Sunday, 23 July 2017 10:21

Online learning VS Face to Face Learning Featured

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Name: Ali Alzaher
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Institution: Butler Community College
El Dorado, Kansas
Address: 2029 N Woodlawn st
Wichita, KS 67208
United States

Ali Alzaher

Online learning VS Face to Face Learning
Every country is experiencing a growth in their economies and citizens forced to work at the same pace as their economies. Most people today have also made the decision of studying as they work so as to meet their daily needs. Acquiring a degree is a huge decision that does not come easy. Employers require their employees to have more skills which force them to start taking online classes and not the traditional courses. These online courses are also beneficial for adult learners who have to work and accomplish their responsibilities as parents, unlike the traditional classrooms which are more attractive to college students. Research has shown examples of negatives and positives for both classroom and online learning. These studies can help an adult learner in deciding the type of learning environment that suits their skills. However, through this essay, I argue that online learning is the best for learners more than the traditional classroom learning. I will give reasons to show the reasons for online learning is the best option which is the flexibility, a comfortable learning environment, more concentration and interaction ability and the costs are much cheaper than the traditional form of education.
First learners always face distractions as part of their everyday life. For example, they have to wake up early to take their children to school. They may also be required to take their children to the hospital or request a day or two to care for their sick child at home. They also have to come home early to help their kids with homework and prepare dinner for them. Thus generally an adult’s life is filled with responsibilities which they have to accomplish alongside working and progressing in their education. The need to enroll in higher education or courses for new knowledge and skills is a necessity since they desire to move up their current jobs or obtain better jobs.
Karyn Donahue (2008) in his book “The Patriot Ledger, indicates that career advancement is one of the major results that motivate adult learners. He adds that furthering their education does not only help the adult learner to have a better career but it is also a means whereby a parent sets a good example to her children that education is a vital part of life. Donahue, also states that “adult learners are always into the quality for the tuition dollars they pay and are motivated to achieve in every course. It is unlike their traditional counterparts who are eighteen to twenty years old who are happy to attend classes and pass their grades” (para 4).
Adult learners have an extensive life experience and can apply their knowledge in an education career. Therefore, most adult learners will prefer online learning due to being many positive reasons especially in its flexibility that suits their busy lifestyles. Online education, therefore, gives learners the freedom to schedule their classes as per their working time. It is not the case of the traditional education a student is required to attend every class in person (E-Skills UK, 2007). Class attendance makes sense to students who live in campus dorms and for students in need of experiencing the campus life. However, for the working people, this traditional form of education does not suit their needs especially those who want to advance their education while caring for their families (Simmers, Alexander & Tiffany 237).
Online learning offers a more comfortable learning environment than the traditional learning. Commercials have displayed how online students study in pajamas at the comfort of their couches or beds. Also, the online learning does not have those physical class sessions like the case of traditional education. The lecturers send material to students electronically. The student is supposed to read these materials and complete their assignments without the need to attend class. Also, online students do not have to leave work early or fight traffic to attend classes online like the case of students attending traditional classes. They also do not have to miss an essential time with their families or search for the right parking places. All these hassles are not for online students. All they need to do is to learn at their own pace and within the comfort of their homes (Simmers, Alexander & Tiffany 241). Students in a class setting do not feel comfortable to speak in a large classroom and are easily judged to lack motivation or lack participation. Thus classroom learners are faced with challenges every single day (Blumfeld, 2010)
A third reason for supporting online learning is that it provides concentration as well as more interaction. Evidence on the rate of traditional student participation versus the participation of students in online education has always been contradictory. However, the well-known fact is that online education provides students who are more shy and reticent with an opportunity to engage actively in class discussions and chats with much more ease unlike face to face discussions (Woolley-Wilson, 2012). Also, online students have reported that it is easier to concentrate when taking online courses since they are free from any sorts of distraction from other students or class activities (Simmers, Alexander & Tiffany 234).
A fourth reason for supporting online learning is that online courses are much more affordable than the traditional education. The net tuition fees for online education are much less than traditional education. The traditional education requires not just the tuition fee but also has its associated costs such as commuting costs, uniforms, course materials like textbooks which are not necessary for online learning. For online learning, learning materials are available online for free. Also, most colleges accept credits earned from the extensive on online courses. The credits are the advance from online education. These free online courses earned via credits assist students in accomplishing their educational requirements at no or much less costs (Simmers, Alexander & Tiffany 246).
I also find online learning to be better because online classes are highly beneficial to students and teachers. The limited distractions in the classrooms such or students coming late or delays in starting the class are not present in online learning, however, with online learning students for controlling their environment. Also, teachers of online education can send the assignment to a student through the written works. Thus with written message, it eliminates chances of a student becoming confused about the assignment’s instructions (Leng, 12). For classroom learning, a topic can get off track when students start to air their opinion leading to confusion and time wastage.
Therefore for the case of online learning, a student receives information from his teacher making it much easier and more convenient. Also, teachers do provide their contact information online, so when a student fails to understand a certain topic, he or she can send an email, or meet the instructor, or call the instructor to clarify. Therefore learning becomes easier and convenient. Also, online learning can support a large number of students without affecting the overall quality of learning. However, for traditional learning, a large number of students is a negative thing. Also, schools that offer online learning do not incur the extra cost of building more facilities for the high demand of students enrolling for educations (Charlotte, 12).
Online learning is also highly effective in the sense that a student has a chance to find answers to topics rather than waiting for them to be handed to them through discussions with other students or lectures. Thus, online learning requires students to search for answers to their assignment actively. They have to use discussion boards and their resources to find answers. This independent learning enables a student to remember more than the information handed to them. Studies have also shown that students taking online classes perform much better than those taking the same courses through the traditional learning of face-to face (Visser, 177).
Thus this essay has shown the various reasons on why online learning is much better than the traditional approach of learning. The online learning is earlier and convenient to attend. These online classes fit the need of learners with needs and those with minimal cash; there are also fewer hassles accompanying attending of online classes such as lack of traffic hams, or lack of vehicles to commute daily. Also, others have to work while attending classes/. Online learning is also desirable for disabled who are freed from the hassles of attending classroom physically. They also have a wide range of learning kits that fits their disabilities. The same is also true for the shy people and those with medical reasons that make them feel uncomfortable being around other students in a traditional face to face class room.

Work Cited

Blumenfeld, P.C. (2010) learning in classroom and motivation expanding and clarifying goal theory. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(3), 272. Retrieved from
Charlotte, N.C. Information Age Pub, 2012. EBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 15 April. 2014
Donahue, K. (2008, May 14). Adult learners have motivated students. The Patriot Ledger, 6
Innovative Higher Education 29.3 (2005): 233-250.
Leng, P. E-Learning Specialist Group Meeting. 2010 .
Summers, J., Waigandt, A., and Tiffany A. Whittaker. A student achievement and satisfaction in an online versus a traditional face-to-face statistics class.
Visser, Lya. Issues and trends in Distance education: International Perspectives
Woolley-Wilson, J. (2012). Blending technology and classroom learning: Jessie Woolley-Wilson at TEDx Rainier. Retrieved from

Annotated Bibliography
Visser, Lya. Issues and Trends in Distance education: International Perspectives.
Visser in this study shows statistical evidence for the performance of online students. The findings from this study support the point that online students performed better than students in traditional classes learning the same course.
Charlotte, N.C. Information Age Pub, 2012. EBook Academic Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 15 April. 2014
This article examines the positive impact of technology in education especially the benefits of the online learning system.
Summers, Jessica J., Waigandt, A, and T. Whittaker. Comparison of student achievement and satisfaction in an online versus a traditional face-to-face statistics class. Innovative Higher Education 29.3 (2005): 233-250.
Summers and colleagues examine the difference between traditional classroom learning and online distance learning. Results show no significant difference between the two forms of learning.
Blumenfeld, P (2010) Classroom learning and motivation expanding goal theory. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(3), 272. Retrieved from
Blumenfield in his article discusses the challenges which classroom learners face. He says that most students who are shy and do not speak in class can judge as students who lack motivation or do not want to participate. I agree with his view that such students have no power to control their learning environment and are not comfortable with such students. Thus the traditional learning environment is always filled with tensions and distractions from other learners who are not the case for online learning.
Woolley-Wilson, J (2012) Blending classroom learning with technology. Jessie Woolley-Wilson at TEDx Rainier. Retrieved from
Woolley-Wilson, 2012 Talk about the disadvantage of classrooms for an adult learner. He says that adults have a busy learner and also for slower learners they might get lost in the traditional face to face classroom. However, he states that with online learning student gets what they need at a time they need to suit the flexible schedule of an adult learner.
Leng, P. E-Learning Specialist Group Meeting. 2010.

Leng is the e-learning unity director at the University of Liverpool. He states that most people assume that online learning is always impersonal yet this is not the case. It supports his point of view because online learning enables fast communication among all those involved. Learners can communicate through forum posts, or emails which enable students to be open minded to a wide range of topics.
E-Skills UK (2007),
The E-Skills UK (2007) article indicates that online learning is beneficial to adult learners. It shows that e-learning enables adults with a busy lifestyle to juggle learning with their other family and work responsibilities. This article, therefore, supports the idea that adult learners can attend classes even when they have to go to a mandatory parent’s day or a business trip.
Donahue, K. (2008, May 14). Adult learners have motivated students. The Patriot Ledger, 6
Innovative Higher Education 29.3 (2005): 233-250.
Donahue talks about the motivation of adult learners of advancing their careers as their main goal in enrolling in higher learning. I support the author in her comment that adult learners understand well the essential role of education in their lives more than the younger ones.


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