Which is the best method?
There are varying perspectives about what is best, online learning or face-to-face learning… especially in the higher education sector. There are great arguments for both learning methods. The Online Learning Consortium highlights some good points. A paper written on the pros and cons of online education puts things very simply while The Conversation argues online is not as good as people think it is. It really comes down to what learning method is best for you! Here are some things to think about.
1. Online portals – these are not just for online learners. Online learning tools such as Moodle and Blackboard are there for in-class students as well. Assessments that include discussion usually happen through the online portals so everyone has an equal opportunity to participate. It also holds the student accountable for their involvement in activities and discussions.
2. Active learning – For some people, sitting in a physical class with 50+ students can be daunting and they don’t feel comfortable asking questions or participating in class discussions, thus hindering their ‘active learning’. This is where online learning can be beneficial as you (as the student) can be active in a way that is comfortable for you. Avondale however, offers small class sizes allowing more personalised attention in every class.
3. Foster self-discipline – something we constantly develop. Online learning can help support self-discipline as you need to be more organised and motivated to complete online classes. In the workforce, self-discipline is an important skill to develop.
4. Learning styles – This is definitely something to consider when choosing how to study. Whether you are an auditory, kinaesthetic or visual learner you may find online learning easier than being in a classroom or vice versa. A combination of both can also be a good option to not limit yourself.
5. Convenience – study anywhere via online learning as long as you have a computer and the internet. You can do class work at home of an evening when you have finished work or even at your local café.
6. Limited social interaction – the life skills you learn while being in a physical classroom situation are paramount. Most careers require you to deal with people and social situations at some point. Going to class and being exposed to a diverse variety of people can help develop those important social and people skills.
7. Class material doesn’t always look the same online – Not everything you are exposed to in the classroom can be adapted for online learners. When you study nursing for example you need to practice giving injections and taking blood pressures on manikins and in simulation labs. There will be certain activities or tools you won’t fully understand or experience online.
Whether you are returning to study to upskill or start a new career, or you are a high school student considering your future, research your study options and find out what is best for what you want to study and make it work for you.
At Avondale we foster a diverse learning environment that caters for both face-to-face learning and online learning. We offer a range of degrees for people to complete online and also a range of degrees for people to attend face-to-face classes. To really make the most of your uni years, study on-campus if possible. You will get to experience so much more aside from classes.
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