Is E-Learning a Substitute for Classroom Learning?

Posted in Group Discussion (GD) Topics with Answers, Total Reads: 1370
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6 people are having a discussion on the topic (Simon, Vin, Michael, Samantha, Rachel, Andy)


Category: Education


Group Discussion Starts

Vin: With the advent of technology in today’s world, e-learning has become an important part of our education taking it to the next corner of the world.


Simon: E-learning enhances the knowledge of the student by helping them to understand better. The videos and animations help the students to get the real live feel of the concepts and application rather than imagining themselves.


Michael: E-learning provides a greater flexibility to both the students and the teachers. Students who missed the classes could again revisit the course in online platform. Similarly teachers could deliver his lecture to maximum number of people as possible.


Samantha: Also it could nurture the habit of learning from the childhood. Children often use gaming apps these days. Providing them with an education cum gaming apps could transform them into great scholars from the young age itself.


Image: pixabay


Rachel: I accept whatever you guys have to say about e-learning, but it is definitely not going to be a substitute for classroom learning. Tomorrows leaders are nurtured in today’s classroom only. Classroom can only provide students with interpersonal skills, communication and other soft skills required for him to become future leader.


Andy: I completely agree to that point. Personality development of the students won’t be there in an e-learning exercise. Ethics, discipline, morality, team skills could never be taught by e-learning tools. E-learning could only be a supplement for classroom learning and can’t be a substitute.


Samantha: Taking forward your thought, I too believe a complete Personality development could not be provided by online education course. But we have to understand the power of technology and we can expect a lot of new features in the near to long term future which can greatly enhance the way we learn through online courses. Particularly the features provided for interaction with the teacher or other fellow students in the online medium will be greatly enhanced through the addition of new improved features.


Vin: Yeah, I totally agree to it. Also looking at it from the broad economic perspective, India is a country where there is huge gap between the demand and supply of good quality qualified teachers. As there is an immense shortage of teachers, e-learning is the only way to cater all the needs students with best quality education.


Michael: I would like know if e-learning could help the slow learners to understand better. Of course the animations and image would act as the means to learn better, but there has to be teacher sitting next to him to motivate and teach him.


Samantha: But many tailor made courses are available for the slow learners, they can post their doubts and get it clarified. In the online live streaming they could clear their doubts even faster.


Vin: Yes, and again we are limited only by the power of technology in this area. Adaptive learning systems is a recent innovation in this area which has the power to learn and adapt its online education offerings tailored to meet the specific learning needs like the number of times a user pauses the video to understand it, the amount of time taken by the user to solve each question in tests etc. And with the rapid progress of efficient and cheap Artificial Intelligence systems, I believe will have enough resources to make online education system effective for all kinds of students especially slow learners and that too in a cost effective manner.


Simon: One more advantage which e-learning has is that it is environment friendly, saves paper and helps in teachers overcoming occupational hazards like chalk dust infection, verichosvein etc


Samantha: More over the e-learning would potentially create new jobs for many professionals with varied options like working from home etc. And this has the potential to fundamentally change the way our education system works because now good teachers are not available everywhere and when these systems make the availability of good teachers virtually everywhere, the role of not so good teachers will be reduced to mere facilitators.


Vin: Another aspect of this online education from the students’ point of view is that, Students who do not get admission into high standard institutes like IITs and NITs could benefit from e-learning by the initiative by MHRD in the form of NPTEL, where videos of professors from these top class institutes are shared. Thus, students who are from tier 2 and tier 3 institutions will not be at a disadvantage and effectively compete with students from top tier institutions.


Michael: Some students might misuse the e-learning in that there is no formal control of students as in case of class room learning. There could also be problem in terms of certification, as these courses could never be compared to the degree from a University and other problems like accreditation to these courses by Government.


Samantha: E-learning might be costly to afford for many people. The Internet and Computer facilities are only exposed to urban population. Government should take some serious steps in taking internet to the rural population too.


Vin: Yes, I totally agree with you. Internet penetration is also one of the crucial factors for the success of the online education system both socially and economically. It is the necessary base infrastructure on which the success of not only online education but also the entire rural empowerment hinges on.


Conclusion

Thus we unanimously agree that online education has great potential to change the entire education landscape. But the degree of substitutability will be determined only by the growth of technology particularly Information technology. Depending on the success of online education, the classroom education can also take a new shape. The teacher can then play the more important role of asking questions, engaging the student at many different levels not only deconstructing his or her worldview but also reconstructing it and relating daily problems to the grand questions facing humanity.


Facts related to the topic

• The e-learning market in India is estimated to be around $3 billion

• India and China will lead the growth in project management roles, generating about 4 million and 8.1 million roles, respectively, by 2020 in the area of online education

• Intellipaat, started in 2011, provides online training to IT professionals including corporate training, and self-paced courses and offers over 80 technological courses across different domains. The company is witnessing almost a 1,000% increment in terms of growth

• lynda.com is an online education company offering thousands of video courses in software, creative, and business skills. LinkedIn Corp. announced its intention to buy lynda.com in a deal valued at $1.5 billion



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