For many years, the traditional classroom has been considered synonymous with education. However, the incorporation of technology into learning has made it a dynamic experience and is rapidly replacing the traditional classroom. Today, students can pursue online courses from anywhere in the world at their convenience. Additionally, the global spread of the Coronavirus has made full online learning even more common, and is set to transform education in unprecedented ways. However, despite online classes becoming the norm, there is still a question of whether online classes can fully replace on-campus learning for good.
Although technology is advancing and e-learning has become commonplace in today’s world, it still cannot fully replace the traditional classroom. E-learning tries to imitate the social aspects of classroom learning through integrating tools such as chatbots and messaging boards. However, this cannot adequately replace the effectiveness of the learning that occurs when students hold discussions and work collaboratively in a physical classroom. Face-to-face interactions hold an essential place in education. While online learning provides easier access to education for students, physical presence and human engagement are still an essential part of the learning process. Rather than either mode of learning completely replacing the other, e-learning and on-campus learning should complement each other.
Online learning has several merits but also contains fundamental demerits. Most students need a motivating environment where they are recognized for their efforts and achievements. Moreover, direct communication with instructors and colleagues enriches their learning experience. Classroom learning possesses real-time interaction, feedback and motivation qualities that e-learning is yet to achieve. E-learning is essentially training, which eliminates the emotional and intellectual bonding that play a crucial role in education. Therefore, online learning cannot fully replace classroom learning. Instead, they should work in synergy, because each has the ability to leverage the other’s weaknesses and strengths.