The Information Age and a rapid progression towards the use of technology heralded the birth of, the now popular, online education that is currently sweeping across the globe. Leading scholarly pundits even contend that it may, at some point, replace traditional face-to-face learning owing to its numerous cumulative benefits (Anon, 2018). While there are those who support this point of view, others vehemently oppose it citing conventional education as being irreplaceable. What follows is an assessment of the similarities and differences between e-learning and face-to-face learning. As with any conduit of education, the quality of learning material is dependent upon the instructor’s aptitude.
A similarity that cuts across both models is that the instructor’s competency determines overall success. A tutor who fails to prepare their lessons ultimately does their students a great deal of disservice since they will have a difficult time discerning the material (Morgan, 2018). Even though exponents of e-learning hail blended and flipped classes for enabling faster access to quality scholarly works, the model altogether fails if the content is substandard. In addition to this, both cases require a great deal of dedication from students to complete the voluminous work that they encounter. Both atmospheres involve providing and receiving feedback since it enhances the whole learning experience.
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A significant difference between e-learning and traditional face-to-face learning is in the learning environment. Face-to-face learning requires students to attend actual classes where they interact directly with other members taking the same module (Morgan, 2018). Access to instructors is limited to school hours with urgent consultations having to wait until the next session. In contrast, e-learning accords the learners with both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Online studies can be conducted remotely as long as there is a stable internet connection. Classes are then conducted through chat where the student can remain in touch with their teachers for questions or further clarifications. The system allows instant messaging which has been invaluable in promoting real-time communication.
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In conclusion, the rise of e-learning is a nascent development that now rivals traditional face-to-face education. The success of both models depends on the instructor’s proficiency and student involvement in various learning activities. Nevertheless, they differ starkly in the learning environment that they provide, and the access accorded to individuals
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