Traditional learning is what we are familiar with- lots of books, a large number of teachers and proffs roaming in front of us, regular attendance to classes irrespective of the weather conditions and a whole lot of home assignments to do! This to us is the best way of gaining knowledge, as this is how our previous generations got educated. But today it is not the only way of learning. Virtual classroom, e-learning, online education- these are some of the synonymous terms with which most of us is familiar with. However, not many of us have a crystal clear idea about it’s pros and cons.
E-learning is a form of training or teaching that takes place over the internet or intranet. E-learning has become a widely used tool for teaching and training individuals in both academic and corporate settings. It is a convenient and inexpensive way to gain knowledge and information while pursuing higher education. There are two categories of e-learning – synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous e-learning is very similar to the traditional classroom in that, learners meet at a particular time via audio, video streaming or in a chat room, taking away the time flexibility which is generally a major advantage of e-learning. Asynchronous e -learning allows learners to work at their own pace as they communicate periodically with the instructor.
The hot debate that goes around is- which way of learning is more rewarding – the traditional method of learning or e-learning. These two methods of education both have advantages and disadvantages. E-learning includes advantages such as: time for digesting the information and responding, enhanced communication among the learners, knowledge being acquired and transferred among the learners themselves, the ability to conduct an open discussion where each learner gets more of an equal standing than in a face-to-face discussion, responses may be made around the clock with no restrictions. The best way to take a decision on this is to consider the individual learning style of the learner himself. Now-a-days, this form of education is getting famous because one can accommodate his or her time according to their work schedule. Distance learning is a form of e-learning. Here one can study and get a degree while working full-time, many youngsters do their MBAs in this manner.