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Online vs. Traditional Schooling

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Online Vs. Traditional Schooling

Sarah Ann Weinkertz



Korijna Valenti

There is a long standing debate whether online or traditional schooling is more effective. What people do not realize is that online and traditional schooling are actually quite similar once you look at the material, curriculum, and the instructors teaching the classes. The instructors for online and traditional classes teach the same curriculum, using different techniques to give the students the information that they need. Online and traditional classes do of course have their differences such as the environment the students are working in, the time they get to do everything they need to, the communication between the students with the teachers, and financial obligations. Online schools follow the same curriculum as traditional schools do, providing the students just as respectable an education as a traditional school's education.

Communication between students and instructors tends to differ between online schooling and tradition schooling. When someone is attending school online they have to realize that the communication will be limited; the professor may not be online or available when the student is actually needing the help. This is similar to traditional school, varying in that connecting with an instructor is through online contact in comparison to the possibility of an in-person meeting that is typically available to the students in a traditional school. Another circumstance would be that there is a technological issue with the online campus and the professor does not receive their messages when they send them, but may receive them at a later time. When someone is attending a traditional brick and mortar school they have the option to ask for help during the actual class time, come in during an academic advisement time, or go in after school for the extra help. Some students learn better by having an in-person explanation, which is harder to get from a computer screen. All students learn differently – for example, some need a visual aspect whereas others can comprehend an idea by simply reading about it. Which form of education is the best is dependent on the individual. Some can learn just as much from an online class as they can from a traditional class, whereas others need the in-class visual to comprehend the same information. The number of students the instructor has to teach can also influence the education that the students receive. If there are several hundred students under one instructor, it would be hard for them to keep up with the individual attention that each student needs to have.

The time constraints for online and traditional brick and mortar schooling are really quite different. While attending school online the classes are broken down into weeks of an overall time period of five weeks so it gives you an entire week to do a few assignments. Like online teaching, the instructors can make due dates at any time but traditionally students get the weekends off for studying and completing assignments. Many assignments are received electronically, though, so instructors do not need to wait until class time to set a due date. Although lessons are given in class, all other work often operates like an online class. Also attending online classes students do not have to worry about when they get online as long as they finish their participation and assignments as per their instructor guidance. Online learning allows students to be able to hop onto any computer to get their work completed when it is convenient for them. This is fantastic for people who struggle with having a fixed time to be in class, such as people who work and care for a family. It allows them to have electronic versions of their books so they do not have to worry about buying them. Therefore, online classes allows students to have more time to complete their work, reducing the stress that they are put under by giving them a much more flexible schedule. Much like traditional classes, students have more time to focus on their studies that are taken up by class blocks like on-campus classes. When attending traditional brick and mortar school, the student's time is around class blocks to work but it is significantly cut by the lessons. Most classes are either Tuesdays and Thursdays or Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays. In a traditional school students are given a specific amount of time to complete their assignments, this could cause more stress to be put on them which may cause them to not do as well on their assignments. With traditional schooling students are strapped with time restraints which means they have to do their work when they first get their assignment to make sure they have enough time to complete their work in its entirety, according to the instructors guidance, and having it completed when it is due. It seems like everything in a traditional school works around class time and not the student’s schedule.

The environment that students get to experience while attending online classes and the environment of classes while attending a traditional brick and mortar school are quite a bit different. While attending classes online students are able to work in an environment that works the best for them; whether it be a quiet secluded room, working on their assignments while listening to music, or even watching television. While attending online classes students are not subjected to the drama that they would have to face in a traditional school environment and they do not have to feel rushed when taking their tests and quizzes like people usually end up feeling in a traditional classroom setting. While attending a traditional school students are in classrooms that have many other students and they may be too shy to ask for help or clarification as well as feeling compelled to rush to be able to complete their work as quickly as the other students so they do not feel insignificant to their peers. Classroom settings can be difficult for those that struggle with anxiety or handling high stress situations, like taking tests in a classroom. When students attend a traditional school they do not get to work in the environment that they feel most comfortable working in, as well as they may be around people they do not get along with or feel comfortable around. Attending traditional school can be difficult for students who struggle with social anxiety as it is often difficult to be around other people without feeling uncomfortable.

Online classes spare a lot of money that goes along with traditional schools, especially compared to those who choose to live on campus. When students attend a traditional campus they have to worry about paying for their meal plan, room and board, and textbooks. A meal plan usually costs around five thousand dollars a year, room and board is usually around fifteen thousand dollars, and the students book vary between classes, content, and grade level. Students that do not live on campus still have to put out expenses on gas to commute back and forth from school and home. Total cost of books is usually around seven hundred dollars, give or take. When students attend online classes they do not have to worry about room and board, or meal plans. When it comes to their textbooks they can either choose to use the given electronic version, or they can purchase an actual hardcover copy of the books; the choice made depends on how the student prefers to read. Students may prefer to hold a physical book while flipping pages and some students prefer to read electronically so they do not have to carry or store the textbooks.

While online and traditional brick and mortar schooling have their differences they also have similarities that make them both great ways to further your education. They both follow the same curriculum and use the same materials, but they definitely have differences when it comes to being able to communicate with the teachers, the environment, and time constraints. Online schooling is much more efficient, because students are able to work in their own environment. Students get to work at their own pace when they are not busy, and they do not have to spend a lot of extra money on books, room and board, gas to commute if they do not live on campus, and your meals. The decision the student comes to depends on who they are, where they are in their life, and what their preferences are. Some people prefer online because it works better for them due to their work schedule and being able to care for their family, but others like going to a traditional brick and mortar school because they like the social aspect and the better communication with the teachers. Online and traditional schooling are both respectable ways of getting an education, the choice between the two is dependent solely on the individual.

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