Can Online Classes replace a Classroom Environment?
We are a part of a society that is technology driven. Prior to the internet revolution, it was believed that knowledge can only be acquired if one attends classroom classes. Do you think the same holds true today? Can we learn things online or the need to attend classroom classes still remains? Let us look at this highly debatable and subjective topic a little closely.
According to a report published by the Graduate Management Admissions Council, almost 67% of the GMAT takers globally from 2007-08 to 2011-12 were above the age of 24. The assumption follows that a majority of this population would be working professionals, for whom attending training programs for a good GMAT score might not be the easiest thing in the world. Some of them could be in a job that requires them to travel; some could have very long working hours; irregular workload and various other possible reasons that could demand a very flexible preparation program. Such aspirants would prefer an online setting over a classroom situation as they may not have the kind of time a classroom coaching demands.
An online program gives the student the freedom to prepare at his/her convenience and study at his/her own desired pace, from anywhere, at anytime. On the other hand, if we talk about students who are still in college or have just passed out they would probably like to go for classroom training. There could be two reasons for them to make this decision. Firstly, they are more used to a classroom setting than working professionals are. Secondly, they may have relatively more time to spare than the people who have stringent working hours.
But the buck doesn’t stop here. A larger question still remains. Can online classes replace a classroom environment? Are we prepared to learn on our own, sitting in front of a computer? Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that. Classroom learning has its own advantages – the reassurance of having an encouragement and guide in the form of a teacher, the benefits of peer learning, the pre-defined road map that comes with just being in a classroom program etc. But even for a teacher to meet the requirements of all the students is a herculean task, not easily achieved. So inadvertently, some students feel left out in a class. Online classes help circumvent this – you have the freedom to set your own course and pace (hear a teacher repeat a concept hundred times – just for the fun of it. And adding to this, the points mentioned in the second paragraph, I believe classroom training has met it’s match.
Having both classroom and online courses in our kitty, we at Jamboree juggle between both the mediums every day. And I think we realize that ultimately in both the mediums, it’s the human element that makes all the difference.