Why Is In-Person Learning Better Than Online

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In the current era, innovation disruption has diversely allowed the advancement and acceptance of technology. The education sector has also been affected, and there is an option today to either choose online or in-person learning, especially at the tertiary or high school level. The teaching method has undergone a significant shift, given the technological advancements. Online education has developed into a versatile method of instruction that allows students to quickly access study resources without leaving their homes’ convenience (Tomasik et al., 2021). Students may promptly gauge their learning pace if they have the right tools and a reliable internet connection. Education that takes place away from a computer is called “offline,” and it is the precursor to the modern trend of online learning. Online learning may be the future wave, but it cannot change the fundamentals of education just yet. Offline or in-person learning allows students to create and maintain a consistent schedule, and it is unaffected by technical difficulties. Students benefit more from in-person learning since there is direct engagement among the students, the teachers, and peers, while they acquire practical experience as instructors gradually review their progress.

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In-Person Learning

Lessons learned through in-person, hands-on methods provide a richer, more immersive educational experience. An advantage of in-person education is networking with other students and teachers in a real-world environment (Tomasik et al., 2021). In contrast to online education, face-to-face interactions are crucial for better clarity and understanding. To truly benefit from hands-on education, human interaction is essential. Learning by doing, or “hands-on learning,” describes a method of instruction that emphasizes direct interaction between the student and the instructor (Tomasik et al., 2021). Children of all ages can benefit tremendously from the hands-on education provided by physical learning settings which come with in-person learning. It has been shown through studies that students of all ages perform better academically when they are taught in an interactive physical environment throughout their education.

There is better student-teacher interaction and practical learning in the offline setting. Discussions and arguments between students and teachers may flourish because of the accessible information flow (Bali & Liu, 2018). Students can also get instant responses to their inquiries and comments in offline learning from their instructors compared to some of the online techniques used. As a result, teachers are modifying their methods to engage their students better. On the other hand, offline lessons provide an engaging environment that blends theoretical and practical parts of education (Bali & Liu, 2018). This blending of theoretical and practical components of education helps students learn and grow intellectually. Furthermore, learning through the in-person technique helps students better understand concepts and learn and adjust to new courses or subjects more rapidly because of the readily available collaborative help from the teachers and fellow students.

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In-person learning is better because it instills self-discipline and time-management techniques. When attending in-person sessions, students are expected to adhere to a timetable set by their instructors (McCutcheon et al., 2015). Students will be required to complete assignments and projects on time because of the emphasis on interactive learning caused by the physical presence of instructors who can do follow-ups accordingly. In addition, students learn to focus better and complete their work on time in a traditional classroom setting. When teaching a course offline, technical difficulties are seldom an issue (McCutcheon et al., 2015). There are no technical difficulties because most learning still occurs in traditional classrooms, where neither students nor instructors need to be very tech-savvy since almost all of it takes place on paper or a computer.

Online Learning

The most significant advantage of online classes is their flexibility; however, they might still be ineffective because many students face time management barriers with online courses. This advantage allows learners to work at their own pace without feeling pressured. Course materials are available online; students may log in whenever it is most convenient. However, students taking online courses sometimes struggle to track their time (Wang et al., 2019). Those who choose to take their courses online often have a disorganized schedule and other commitments that pull them away from their studies. Students who benefit from online classes’ flexibility may struggle to maintain a regular study routine and give in to procrastination (Wang et al., 2019). In addition, students are expected to devote a considerable amount of time to their online courses, which might lead them to look for entertainment elsewhere online or check their social media accounts.

Despite online learning being cost-effective, practical knowledge and technical issues affect its effectiveness compared to in-person learning. These aspects hinder students’ participation in hands-on activities, which are crucial to their education. For instance, chemistry, physics, biology, art, and athletics need students’ physical presence for either live experimentation or active participation; however, they are absent in online learning (Gherheș et al., 2021). In addition, online courses often experience technical difficulties. To participate in an online course, students need access to a computer, camera, microphone, headphones, and a stable internet connection. Further, technical obstacles like a poor internet connection or a lack of suitable technical infrastructure may impede the smooth learning process, especially if the classes are on a real-time basis. Attending lectures in person or obtaining lecture materials like videos or online notes might be difficult for certain students.

In conclusion, in-person learning is better than online learning despite each having pros and cons. In-person learning ensures students benefit from a better interactive learning environment than online learning. It facilitates real-time communication between students and teachers, where they can get instant replies and comments from teachers and fellow students. Discussions and collaborative learning from fellow students is an added advantage of in-person learning, and it allows students to learn better amongst themselves. In a traditional classroom setting, students must be present and prepared for instruction at the regularly scheduled meeting time. Online learning has significant advantages like flexibility and cost-effectiveness; however, it lacks many other beneficial factors to the students, as discussed in in-person learning.

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  1. Bali, S., & Liu, M. C. (2018, November). Students’ Perceptions Toward Online Learning and Face-to-Face Learning Courses. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 1108, IOP Publishing, Nov. 2018, p. 012094. Crossref. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1108/1/012094.
  2. Gherheș, V., Stoian, C. E., Fărcașiu, M. A., & Stanici, M. (2021). E-learning vs. face-to-face learning: Analyzing students’ preferences and behaviors. Sustainability13(8), 4381.
  3. McCutcheon, K., Lohan, M., Traynor, M., & Martin, D. (2015). A systematic review evaluating the impact of online or blended learning vs. face‐to‐face learning of clinical skills in undergraduate nurse education. Journal of advanced nursing71(2), 255-270.
  4. Tomasik, M. J., Helbling, L. A., & Moser, U. (2021). Educational gains of in‐person vs. distance learning in primary and secondary schools: A natural experiment during the COVID‐19 pandemic school closures in Switzerland. International Journal of Psychology56(4), 566-576.
  5. Wang, C., Hsu, H. C. K., Bonem, E. M., Moss, J. D., Yu, S., Nelson, D. B., & Levesque-Bristol, C. (2019). Need satisfaction and need dissatisfaction: A comparative study of online and face-to-face learning contexts. Computers in Human Behavior95, 114-125.
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