Online Versus Traditional Education

ed-techIf you were to look at the educational landscape only 15 to 20 years ago then it would look a lot different than it does today.

Students of all ages are now using technology in a variety of creative ways that supplement their coursework.

It isn’t uncommon to see school learning management systems, flipped classrooms, online testing, mandatory online forum participation, badges & gamification, online assignments, and other digital components.

In fact, these strategies are so common today that one might say they are now part of the ‘traditional’ education model.

The creation and ascension of massive open online courses (MOOCs) has helped to further the adoption of online courses. As reputable universities joined programs like Coursera there was a flood of learners eager to sign-up for the courses being offered.

While completion rates aren’t the greatest for MOOCs, the message is clear: online learning is here to stay, and is often preferred over the traditional classroom model.

However, traditional education isn’t going anywhere.

Despite all of the great outcomes of elearning programs, there is simply no substitute for the learning that can occur through live instruction.

I can recall consulting a company back in 2011 where they were trying to determine the best way to train their employees.

They ended up choosing a blended approach (elearning and live-instruction) because the complexity of the course content ultimately required live instruction.

That’s the role traditional education will always continue to play.

When content complexities exist, the instructor model is often the best way to teach. It allows for immediately collaboration and feedback, vetting of ideas, and practice in a safe environment.

So while we continue to (rightfully) laud elearning for its benefits in education, traditional learning methods will continue to dominate the education landscape.


About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

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