Why Face To Face Learning Is Better Than Online

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Face to Face Learning

Technology has changed what we do to learn, how we learn, and whether we should go online to learn to our all. I say all of the above because the recent study from the Pew Research Center gives us a quick snapshot of the landscape for digital learning.

Overall, the public has been ambivalent about online learning as a whole. The study found that 75% of the public believes that less interaction is needed with the instructor in an online class. Another finding noted that 74% of college students under the age of 35 believe that no one should be required to take online courses, despite the fact that 68% say they have taken one or more in college.

Aside from these two stats, the Pew Research Center indicated that while video games, online video, chat forums, social media and forums are all popular learning venues in this digital age, 68% of students say they don’t need an instructor to give them directions when going online.

These two stats completely contradict one another. The main narrative is that I have used video games as a learning experience before, but what this study shows is that online education can be just as good as face to face. The teachers can hand down information via video in a hands-on manner to help you learn. For students who don’t learn well sitting through lectures, if the teacher uses videos and images, they are more successful at getting the takeaway that the instructor may have intended. And when you can help yourself to online courses, a large portion of the high school students need a place to go with their parents. The times have changed.

What is not mentioned in the Pew study is the students’ reluctance to take courses online. Many students didn’t want to be forced into virtual learning, or even don’t want to because of the learning levels of their peers. If they fail to do online classes, they just may not graduate from college. The shifts we are in as a culture can affect how much a college student learns in college.

My experience at Palmetto State College was at the opposite end of the spectrum from the idea presented in this study. As a graduate, my first three years were on campus. I had a video class and then a physical class with a professor twice a week. By the fourth year, I had two classes per week, primarily online. It was that extra credit to help cover the necessary material at a lower rate, saving enough money to go to the movies or anywhere else. These digital courses allow me to really work on my homework and progress with the skills that I could not in the traditional setting.

The Pew study shows us that people don’t want to go online because they don’t want to be held back. When you are pulled in two directions, the nervous response is to stay out of the future and stay out of the present. With the shift to the digital age, the government needs to tweak or be smarter in how it handles where they lay the education guidlines. In my experience, one has to think about the fact that many students simply will not get a chance to visit an online campus or attend a traditional lecture hall. If that does not occur, why not simply stick a technology label on an Oldsmobile car, then add a Bluetooth speaker and maybe you will have one. This way, there are now no physical connections, just digital.

The shift to digital is still a pretty massive one, and it is making big strides in changing the way in which we become educated.

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