Online versus Offline Education

Traditional offline education and on line education are expected to be different in format and methodology. There are benefits and disadvantages of both forms of education however the strongest common factor between both of them is that they want to help the students gain knowledge.

In an offline class room the lecture is being delivered by an instructor to a class with a finite number of students that they know and interact with each day. There is a sense of familiarity with the teacher and the class that helps builds a learning environment. The classroom, the board and the other resources that the students use to further their learning process are familiar to students as well as instructors.

The basic format of an online education includes a learning management system (LMS) or a portal or a virtual environment where the authorized student is allowed to access using conventional user Id and Password for log in.  Like the traditional board or the notice board, this LMS portal helps the students gain access to the learning system. The LMS replaces the class room, the blackboard, the peer students and the notice board and library of a conventional school.

The other major difference between online and off line education is that it is a different medium for both students and teachers. Instructors cannot afford to take lectures in an on line mode if they are not comfortable with the use of technology. The discussions posted on the LMS can continue for days and months together and the teachers need to keep responding to threads, moderate discussions and also at times force close a thread if it seems to get out of hand. All this is not required in a traditional class where a discussion very rarely lingers beyond a single class or two at the most.

The online mode if education is currently being preferred by students who already have an elementary knowledge of the subject and want to advance or further the same by extensive study. Primary or basic education still needs to be delivered by traditional education as that is where a constant engagement between the teacher and the taught is necessary.  In school education, online and live education is gaining momentum as an additional learning resource, for homework, for clarification of doubts and for preparation of additional papers, seminars and competitive lectures etc. This is ensuring that students get the best of both worlds. They are able to study in the conventional educational system and gain from peer interaction, learning discipline and strict routine of discipline and class participation while simultaneously engaging in rich meaningful discussions through online collaboration with global student communities in an on line virtual class room.

Virtual class rooms require commitment and discipline from students and are really more voluntary than the conventional education system which pushes the students to fall in line with their learning environment.  The traditional class rooms score on the virtual class room by ensuring that all students get something out of each class and not leave that learning to the student’s choice.

Education is bound to grow the most with on line methods simply because it has a far outreach and it costs less.


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