e-Learning V/s Classroom Learning

e-Learning V/s Classroom Learning

In a rapidly-evolving world, has e-learning on its way to becoming the future of healthcare education?

By: Neelam Jhangiani

The impact of learning environments in relation to learning outcomes has long been a subject of research by explorers in the field of education. The effectiveness of one over the other often becomes an issue of debate. Can it be definitely said as to which is more effective? While classroom training offers real time interaction with an instructor, e-learning allows learning at one's own pace in a flexible manner! In such a scenario, how does one decide which method to adopt for effective and efficient knowledge acquisition? Well, below are a few points that help see both classroom and e-learning more closely to help choose accordingly in context of one's specific requirement.
Online education has for long been considered inferior to traditional degrees affecting employment status of students when compared to professionals with a degree from a reputed brick-and-mortar university. However, the status-quo is changing rapidly with online learning quality picking up. The demand for online degree programs has shot through the roof as employers have come to expect more refined and up-to-date skills from employees. Healthcare too, is not untouched by this phenomenon. Our industry is seeing a surge in online courses. It makes sense too, because many times, healthcare management courses are taken up by working professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills. For someone who works a full-time job and perhaps has a family to give time to, online courses prove as a boon; making it possible to learn anytime anywhere.
While both are thriving in co-existence, the subjective suitability of these is dependent on one's requirement.

Industry Trends

Healthcare management courses are taken up by working professionals too, to enhance their knowledge and skills. For someone who works a full-time job and perhaps has a family to give time to, online courses are a boon

#1 Flexibility

While traditional learning requires one to physically be present at a particular location, online learning offers flexibility. e-learning helps to juggle professional or personal commitments with studying. With a multitude of options to change the pace of learning, online courses are customisable and delivered from the comfort of your home. And unlike online courses, which can be accessed from anywhere, or any device, conventional courses are not designed for the mobile generation. Although many conventional courses now have an online module as well.

#2 Multimodal Delivery

Online programs being delivered over the web allow students to choose their individual style of learning. Learners with an inclination towards self-study have an option to choose from millions of self-paced courses in a variety of disciplines. For those with a more classical approach can opt for online programs offering live online training with remote instruction that replicates the feel of a face-to-face classroom and more real-time learning.

#3 Interactive Nature

The common perception appears to be that online learning's biggest downside is the lack of interaction with fellow learners. But recent technological advances have changed all that and Ed-tech majors have made community interaction and social media an integral part of the online learning experience.
Hence, digital learning though not a total replacement to classroom learning, certainly looks like is here to stay.

What do the employers think?

Employers have different perception about online degrees. Although the stigma around online learning isn't completely gone, perceptions have however undergone a sea-change in the last decade or so. In fact, international studies have found online learning to be equally effective as conventional learning. That said, there may be certain fields, which call for face-to-face degree programs or have a significant advantage over online programs.
As the quality of courses rises, so will the quality of students and in the end, will result in more confidence from the employers.

Summing up

Online learning can be a very rewarding experience. Not only does it allow students to continue education without having to give up their career, it also allows them to interact with other students around the world. Traditional learning on the other hand has unique advantages with certain degree programs. Thus, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Taking learning style, career goals and personal commitments into consideration will help you make a decision that fits your individual circumstances.