Distance Learning VS Traditional Learning

I rub my hands together, prepping for the speech, “Let’s start, shall we? Education – the necessary evil? Well, the debate about education versus street smarts can continue on for centuries, but a large amount of population feel that education is important for proper social functioning and growth. With the development of technology and increasing accessibility to the internet – making distant conversations instantaneous, Distance Learning has become quite relevant. This has added another dimension to the debate – Distance Learning versus Traditional Learning.”

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“Can you just stop with the introduction already?” Ved interrupts me, appearing in my line of vision, “Let’s get to the point. Everyone knew about the topic reading the title. Now, speak up the crux of the matter, let’s not dilly and dally,” He reprimands, “It is simple really, like distance learning – a setup course, your time, your pace and definitely your space!”

“And what if you start having doubts about the lesson taught?” I ask shooting a glare in his direction, “We just go on to mug up the things we don’t get?”

“There’s a thing called phone, email or forums that can be used to contact the teachers,” He reminds me, “And that is direct – no flair of cheeky remarks, getting to know the Professor and what nots!”

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“Just because you don’t get along with your professors,” I shake my head in exasperation, but continue to put up my point, “But let’s be serious here, the stimulus that an established academic atmosphere has on your learning process is not just the same as sitting in front of a computer screen. Classroom education is a two-way process, you can clear your doubts instantly! Besides, the post-class sessions you can have with your professors just adds to the ever-expanding bank of knowledge.”

“Are you even serious, man?” He chuckles, “You’re such a teacher’s pet. But let me tell you one thing about distance education – it is on your own terms. You say that talking with your teachers after class adds to knowledge, but working as you study part-time with distance education adds to your experience.”

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I narrow my eyes, “Well, sometimes being given your terms makes you lazy and lax,” I grumble out a ‘you’ in between of fake coughs, “But the deadlines and set timetable helps you do the things in time.”

“That is really subjective, and you know it,” He replies, “If a person is determined, they can finish up the entire degree quicker than they would have in the traditional method.”

“Well,” I hum at a loss of words, “You cannot deny the fact that actual academic setting adds to the overall development of the student through several co-curricular activities. Something that is entirely lacking in the distance learning dimension.”

“Oh, are you talking about certain social dimension,” He winks suggestively at me and I give him a withering glare, “Okay, you’ve got me there,” He admits, with hands raised in surrender “But you have to recognize the fact that Distance Learning gives a global access. You can study through some foreign university while staying at the same place.”

“I agree to that,” I nod, “But the main case comes down to whether learning through traditional setting has better results than the distance learning?”

“Of course,” Ved agrees, “In the end, the main objective is gaining knowledge, all the points would be counterproductive if we don’t actually learn anything. There was a study undertaken by Mickey Shachar and Yoram Neumann. They wanted to know are the results through Distance Learning same as results through traditional setting.”

“Interesting,” I perk up at that, “So, what was the result?”

“Well, their hypothesis was that Distance Learning yields better results than established form,” He continues, “And in two-thirds of the population proved to be right. But the question was of adjusting to the distance education.”

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I laugh at that, “I can completely imagine a scenario where distance learning is not considered as learning just because you don’t step out to study. ‘You’ve been on your laptop all day, don’t tell me you’ve been studying!’”

Ved chuckles, “Or better yet, ‘You’re studying on your phone/laptop? Don’t think I am crazy! You’ve been watching the latest Game of Thrones episode for all I know!’ That’s one of the things, along with you know, motivation and various learning methods one can approach.”

“That’s right,” I nod, “I guess, it is rather subjective.” I repeat his statement, “So, how many times do you watch Game of Thrones under the pretense of learning?”

He raises his eyebrow challengingly and then continues disregarding my comment, “Yes, it is subjective to an extent but then again when the experience is so important in today’s world Distance Learning seems to be the future…”

“I don’t think so!” I began once again and the conversation went on, without any distinct conclusion.

Image Sources: [1], [2],[3], [4].

About Arshi Dokadia

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