Sunday, December 6, 2020

The Debate on Online Learning

The question of whether online learning is really better than face-to-face learning is a longstanding debate. 

Online learning used to primarily consist of a student going through reading modules, submitting assignments through e-mail, and/or watching pre-recorded lectures. Interactive features today allow for the social element that face-to-face learning offers, such as through live video conference classes or virtual Q&A sessions.

With technology becoming so advanced – and the coronavirus pandemic shuttering campuses everywhere – online learning is standing out as the only option in many important ways.

For a start, it lets you learn at your own pace anywhere, anytime. It improves self-discipline. It saves time and money. It’s better for some personality types – introverted personalities come to mind. Online classes are more likely to present material in attention-grabbing, multimedia formats that may be better suited to today’s students. The online classroom is good preparation for a changing work environment – it makes you become comfortable with technology.

And as online learning continues to increase in popularity – we must also acknowledge the drawbacks associated with it. These include: E-Learning can cause social isolation; it lacks face-to-face communication; it requires strong self-motivation and time management skills; it is inaccessible to the computer illiterate population or where the internet infrastructure is lacking; there is lack of communicational skill development in online students; and online instructors tend to focus on theory rather than practice.

These issues often get cast aside in online discussions. After all, who would want to put the brakes on educational innovation?

Anyway, there's no doubt that indeed, we need to recognize that online learning has been generally well-accepted. 

Therefore, it is pretty surprising that in progressive Canada, a poll of 2,700 people is not giving online learning an unanimous thumbs up. 

Among faculty members, 76 percent said that online learning has "negatively impacted the quality of university education in Ontario", according to a survey released last month by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. And among students, 62 percent agreed.

Rahul Sapra, president of the OCUFA, said that the results show a meaningful engagement between students and faculty is a fundamental part of the learning process. 

“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the scramble to move courses online, we have lost that human connection and educational quality has suffered”, Sapra said.

And so the debate continues!

Our first WSD 2021 promo video from Johor Bahru, Johore and clip #23 thus far:

That voice! She has an euphonious voice that carries a sassy lilt and yet there's a tender touch of charming brittleness to it too  a pairing that is delicately complex and yet, it combines well because the layered effect makes you sit up and pay attention.

Thank you, Stancylyn Tani Nila for your contribution  BTW, she's a member of Kelab Pidato Perdana Johor Bahru. 

#unexpectedvoices #worldspeechday

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