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Winning Essay Competition Entry – Online Versus Traditional On-Campus University Education

Many universities and their courses in the world are rising in popularity, it is for this reason in this essay I intend to discuss online education and traditional education and the advantages and disadvantages for both systems.

Since human existence began every generation tried to pass its knowledge to the next generation, it firstly started orally, in the time where writing was invented they started writing in books and after that education developed until education systems started and till then it stayed the same. In the 1960s the University of Illinois invented a system that connects teachers with students and this limited to letting students reading their study materials and communicating with their professors by text. In the 1990s a new education system emerged, which depended mainly on computer technology and the internet letting students submit their work or read required material.  Through this emerge many universities and colleges now offer academic degrees online.

The necessity of people preparing themselves with skills has made online education the best alternative to traditional education for working adults and people living in remote areas. The advantages of online education are that there is flexibility to choose your own time in the sense that one can decide on their own time to study, in that they don’t need to follow the schedule like in campus, for example, those working-class can study at the time they are free. It also encourages more interaction for certain personalities that find it hard to express themselves in class because they are shy tend to be given an opportunity to participate in chats and discussion forums. There is also convenience that learners can stay at home in their sleeping outfits and do their work and helps learners to complete their assignment in their spare time on their phones or laptop. This helps in making student concentrate on their studies without being disturbed by others. The cost that is spent studying online is lower than traditional education because there is no spending money on textbooks they can be accessed on the internet. It also makes possible for people to study their dream programs because they are their online.

As much as online education has advantages, it also has disadvantages and these are; It is impersonal were only traditional classroom setting allows educators to be answerable to questions and solve problems impersonal than online education. As we know that online education requires a person from a computer screen so it causes health problems like poor vision, strain injuries and back problems. There are certain topics which need hands-on practice but online education does not teach. Online education requires a student to be disciplined because there is no one to tell them to do the work.

Though online education has been introduced and has been seen as the best mode of education, traditional education for some still remains as the best mode of the education system here are the advantages and disadvantages of traditional education.

Traditional education offers an active mode of learning in the classroom, where students are able to learn quickly. It also promotes the active participation of students in activities and hence also make students make each other in study-related matters and them to clarify from their lectures by asking where they were not clear. Traditional education has a high level of communication between the students and lecturers, even among students. Also, increase the level of confidence among students were student become good communicators and lectures feel competent when they get feedback from students. When it comes to traditional education it is always scheduled and properly carried out, as students always have a schedule of their lectures and test and discipline is enhanced among students. It also has recreation activities that help students get some relief from tense study year and students have fun and enjoy their free time together.

Traditional education also has disadvantages. Students tend to depend too much on their professors in every study-related and this makes to never know their strength. It brings about favouritism where many professors tend to demonstrate hence has a negative effect among students, who may feel bad which leads to inferior feeling being experienced. Sometimes this mode of education leads to students indulging themselves in negative groups that destroy academic performance and personalities. Though recreational activities are good for students, extra of these activities distort students whereby students find it difficult to balance between education and extracurricular activities and their academic performance is affected. Traditional education is more cost demanding because students don’t pay for tuition fees, they also pay for textbooks and school things like technology fees and this is a challenge to some parents.

In conclusion, though online education is becoming more preferred to traditional education, online education is not made for every person or field of study. Online education will be present in our daily lives and traditional education will still exist. Hence we say that both systems future looks bright and there are both undergoing many improvements and upgrades.

By Julia Chisala – Luska, Zambia

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