Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Traditional classroom training is massively getting remodeled as technology progresses with giant strides. Today you can get your diploma, degree, or masters from the comfort of your home.
Reformers are impressed by the digital learning models that encourage customization, active participation, and self-learning.
Well, if you find yourself on the opposite side of this argument, you may have to think about the drawbacks of classroom learning and the potential that a digital environment has in solving the challenges.
Learning that is not student-focused
The most significant disadvantage of traditional training is that it emphasizes standards, curriculum, and exams. Digital learning, on the other hand, is a bit more student-focused.
That is to say that the learning places value on the student by building the curriculum around what one needs to understand and not simply regurgitate traditional views.
It builds on the existing knowledge that students have, enabling them to form concrete concept associations with new information they receive. This kind of learning builds understanding.
On the contrary, traditional classroom learning is focused on repetition and memorization of facts that often evaporate soon after a student sits for an exam.
We all learn differently
Traditional classroom learning is gradually getting phased out because it doesn’t encourage active participation from the students. It is teacher-centered, instructive, and leaves little room for student inquisition for deeper understanding.
For that reason, many are moving away from the classroom model to a hybrid model of learning that involves an instructor within a digital platform.
Some other programs are fully-digital, leveraging the advantages of self-learning, flexible schedules, and peer-to-peer learning via digital channels. These two forms of learning are student-centered and understanding-based.
They encourage exploration and experimentation that is vital for reinforcing lifelong learning.
Little emphasis on critical thinking
Traditional physical classroom learning fails to encourage critical thinking and the ability to apply information learned through experience and reasoning.
The norm in many schools and higher education institutions is that their programs focus on the role of teachers as knowledge masters and students as subjects or repositories.
Classroom-style learning rarely allows students to gain a deeper levels of understanding needed for complex concepts.
Education reformers are pushing for programs that emphasize critical thinking and knowledge application. Forward-thinking schools and program providers have found a way to merge abstract concepts with the needs of the physical world.
The result is relevant qualifications and certifications that can allow graduates to do something valuable with their knowledge.
It’s not a process-oriented kind of learning
Learning in a physical classroom with other students and a teacher at the front often only comes down to one thing—passing exams.
The process of ‘getting there’ is devalued. Students are encouraged to find ways of passing exams without really having to understand underlying concepts. Digitized learning is a whole new experience. Emphasis is placed both on process and results.
Often, physical classroom studies limit students to the few resources in the library or those availed by the teacher. Things are different with digital learning. The World Wide Web has endless resources for learners.
And many third-party content providers are helping to organize that information and make it easy for the students to focus on the right place.
Compared to physical resources, online learning resources are cheaper and easily accessible by everyone, no matter what part of the world they are in. For that reason, the physical classroom may not be part of our future in the coming years.
Localized and hardly standardized
It’s disappointing that the old education model that involves learning in classrooms has not kept up with globalization trends. Concepts and contexts are localized. And so, instead of opening students up to the world and global-scale opportunities, classroom learning closes them in their countries and regions.
New forms of digital learning platforms are coming up with ways to harmonize education content globally. Given that learning happens centrally via digital channels, it is possible to attain international qualifications relevant to every corner of the world.
It is also possible to get a deep understanding of unique regulations, business environments, and culture in every part of the world for the successful running of multinational corporations and non-profits.
A focus on individualism and competition
Traditional classroom training emphasizes competition and individual student work as opposed to collaboration in learning. As such, it often turns out to be a poor preparation path for a young professional’s future endeavors where teamwork is often a critical requirement. Digital learning provides endless opportunities for student collaboration and networking with experts and mentors.
One of the significant drawbacks seen in all physical learning environments is that instructors find it hard to say organized. It can be hard to make lesson plans and organize documents, tests, and other curricular information.
By the end of a program, it’s highly likely that the teacher would not have covered some sections, at least not adequately. E-learning can (mostly) solve that. Digital tools significantly lessen the reliance on teachers.
Students can take charge of their learning in an organized way.
Limitations of time and space
In most cases, physical classroom learning materials are only available within the classroom environment. The session expires, and if you miss it, you miss it forever.
That can make it extremely hard for students that need to have some flexibility in their schedules. Given that many students in higher learning programs are either employed or nurturing their own families, physical classroom learning makes it hard to pursue knowledge.
The beauty of the virtual classroom environment is that content is available 24/7. Students can access past lectures and study at their own pace. Lectures and classroom materials can be accessed in all parts of the world.
Students get the flexibility to travel, work, and learn many more lessons from life as opposed to being confined in a classroom.
Generalized content delivery
Some students are fast learners. Others take their time to analyze content and make associations with what they know. Some students are visual learners, while other learners do well with sound.
Physical learning classrooms do not make these distinctions.
They bundle up all students with the assumption that everyone is the same. And it puts many students at a disadvantage.
Learning delivered via digital platforms is customizable to the learning pace of each learner. Students can also choose to watch video lectures, listen to audio, or find other productive ways to interact with the content.
This extra autonomy for the learner leads to a deeper mastery of content and lifelong knowledge.
Little to encourage research
In classroom environments, students are essentially spoon-fed. The teacher does the legwork of the learning process from research to session preparation, leaving the students passive-takers in the process.
The result is laziness and limited or disinterest in research. The limited discovery of new information could be what kills innovation in our future world if such a learning model is to continue.
Bland, boring, unexciting
It can be difficult for anyone to sit for a long time, listening to a speaker go on about a topic. The modern-day learner has grown up exposed to technology and can juggle several screens at once. Such people can have a difficult time staying focused.
They will similarly have it rough when it comes to timed note-taking.
Physical classroom learning does not take into consideration the students need to multitask or explore knowledge from different avenues. The learning process starts and stops at specific stages.
E-learning platforms are exciting and encourage continuous learning long after graduation. Things have changed and we must understand this.
Biased learning with a propensity for fraud
It has happened in many universities and other learning institutions- professors act favorably towards students that they like. Some even do it in exchange for sexual favors, putting deserving students at a disadvantage.
This biased testing destroys feelings and personalities and places the fate of companies and nations in the hands of fraudsters.
Too much distraction
Some learners can quickly internalize educational content and, after that, start distracting the slow-paced learners. That’s one scenario that could lead to wastage of time and money on physical classroom learning programs.
Other possible distractions include sports and personal relations and negative groups. A learner can get out of a program with a different personality that is worse compared to who they were when they went in.
Blame it on peer pressure.
It’s no wonder that most students are increasingly choosing online courses. Traditional forms of education are costly and involve commute or hostel fees, tuition money, maintenance, and costs associated with printed books.
Online learning slashes these expenses considerably.
At the current rate of technological change and globalization, it would be a big mistake not to rethink education models. There is a great need to save costs and find education that is practically helpful to the real world’s challenges.
The traditional classroom model does not meet these expectations.
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