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Traditional vs Digital: The changing educational landscape

Updated on 01 September 2020
7 min read 2 views
Updated on 01 September 2020

The shift from traditional to digital learning has been witnessed prominently now due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the worldwide lockdown imposed, all the educational institutes are instructed to carry eLearning. It has now become a major source of learning globally. Though online learning has already been growing from the past few years as many students opt for online courses or distance learning. On the other hand, the traditional education method is a very old method that is adopted majorly across all the educational institutes. This method is slowly being replaced by online learning as it provides tons of benefits to an individual. 

In this article, we will discuss online vs traditional education and the changing educational landscape that it has caused across the education sector. 


1. Flexibility with respect to Time and Location 

Online education provides you total flexibility to attend classes at your own timing and location. This is a win-win situation for both teachers and students as they can connect with each other with regards to time and distance. All you need is a good internet connection and a computer/laptop to get started with your classes. Here the time and money spent on traveling are saved. This time can be utilized by teachers to focus more on making innovative content. Whereas, students who wish to attend classes while having other commitments can easily access them. 


On the other hand, in traditional learning, both teachers and students have to be present in the classroom at fixed timing. This approach is not quite feasible for both. Often teachers have to hurry to complete the syllabus in a stipulated time. Hence, in a limited time, they focus more on the completion of the syllabus and less on creating innovative content. Also, Students who have other commitments cannot opt for the traditional teaching method. 


2.  Cost-effectiveness

Digital Learning is more cost-effective as compared to traditional methods. As all the study materials are available online, students just have to pay for their classes. They can make use of e-books, videos and other online sources to study better. This also gives them a chance to explore and learn additional things and not just stick to the syllabus. 


On the other hand, in a traditional approach, students have to invest more money in paying the institutes which includes various fees right from tuition to infrastructural fees. They even have to buy books for various subjects. The knowledge which they received is also limited to a particular syllabus and books. 


3. Engagement of Students 

Students tend to engage more in a digital teaching environment as compared to traditional teaching. Online learning makes use of various engaging content like videos, e-books, presentations, etc. Also, teachers communicate with students on a one on one level and encourage them to participate more. 


On the other hand, in traditional learning, teachers have to teach a class of 50-60 students together. They cannot communicate with students on a one to one level and make them understand. This approach is not feasible especially for students who are introverted or have a low learning pace so the engagement level is less here. Also, the method of learning is based on pen and paper/backboard which becomes monotonous after a certain point. 


4. Learning Pace of Students 

We know that the learning pace of each student is different and so they need to grasp the concept as per their pace. In online education, students have the freedom to learn the lessons at their own pace. They are solely responsible for their completion of studying. Also, teachers can make them understand better as they can communicate personally with them via chats, mails or phone. 


In traditional teaching, as we are aware of the fact that the teacher teaches the entire class of 50-60 students. They cannot teach each of them separately. It becomes difficult for them to identify the learning pace as they have to manage the entire class. 


5. Ease to evaluate Students 

In digital teaching, teachers can evaluate students easily with the help of various online tools available. Also, they can sit anywhere and evaluate them anytime. Students can expect feedback and result quickly here and can prepare better for the next exam early. 


In traditional teaching, teachers have to sit with bundles of papers and correct them at the given time. It becomes difficult to evaluate students with such burden. As a result, students get the results and feedback very late. 

6. Option to attend missed classes 

One of the advantages of digital learning is that students can attend the classes that they have missed earlier. The courses that are designed online provide the option to learn again. Also, teachers can conduct the classes again for a couple of students. 


On the other hand, in traditional learning, even if the students miss the classes due to any reason, they cannot attend the lectures back as teachers have to complete the syllabus in a stipulated time. 

7. Interactive Study Materials

In online education, teachers can make innovative and compelling study materials. Students can take advantage of various online sources to study which is better than the traditional method. They do not just have to learn from books and gain limited knowledge. 


In traditional teaching, students have no new study materials apart from the same old books. Their knowledge is limited to the syllabus only. 

This was the complete online vs traditional education overview. Traditional teaching has some major downsides as compared to online teaching. There are many advantages of digital learning as far as students have access to the internet and computer/laptop. The education system has changed and it can be surely said that eLearning will form a major part of the education sector in the future.

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