Virtual teaching is becoming more and more popular but can it measure up to in-person instruction when talking about quality? There are obviously going to be differences in the two types of teaching, but both of them can give their students great learning experiences. Here are some of the significant differences between these forms of teaching that teachers have to be aware of so they can give their students what they need.
Face-to-face Vs. Online
The most significant difference between these two types of learning is that face-to-face involves the teachers and students interacting with each other in real-time. But students doing online learning work through the teaching materials and lectures at their own pace. That can ask any questions they might have on discussion boards, but they have to wait for another student or their teacher to respond.
Some people see this delay as slowing down their learning, but the teachers can use this as an advantage. When the teachers present complex ideas in their lectures, they are inviting the student to pause the video and take time to think about all the information before they continue with the lesson. This lets students learn in their own time, and it also makes sure that nobody gets left behind.
Facilitating Learning Vs. Delivering Knowledge
When you change from giving in-person instructions, it’s important to think about your position as the teacher. The job of a normal teacher is to give a group of students information. Most of these students will sit quietly while the teacher is talking. An online teacher will act more like a facilitator that encourages their students to talk about the materials and to interact with one another. The teacher still has a vital role in guiding these discussions. Yet, they aren’t the only way for the child to get the information because the students are encouraged to bring their own experiences and ideas into the discussion. This type of learning encourages every child to engage with the materials and to have their own thoughts about it.
Which One Serve the Children Better?
The environment that a student will thrive depends on their habits and preferences; most students like in-person learning since they are more used to this kind of learning. Students know how they are supposed to behave in the classroom, but people who take online classes for the first time might not understand how to get the most out of this kind of learning opportunity. To help make this transition easier, teachers have to make sure that students know all the ways they can access the resources. They have to be able to encourage the students to participate in discussions with the other students in the discussion boards. The information could come as videos that give them all the information plus tests at the end to make sure the students understand what they are supposed to do.
Performance of In-Person Vs. Online
Even though studies about how effective online learning is being limited. The ones that have been done do suggest that students who take some of the classes online actually perform better than those who just have access to in-person learning. Some of the students said that the time they spent studying was the main factor that affected their performance. This means that online and in-person teachers could help their students do better by giving them homework that encourages them to spend time looking over the materials and putting what they have learned into practice.
Online Is Mostly Asynchronous
Online courses are mostly asynchronous. This means that the teachers and students have to figure out when they can participate and engage in their courses. These courses can be advantageous to the non-traditional student, such as working professionals who are furthering their career or parents that need a flexible schedule. Asynchronous courses can help students who learn better when they are able to review the materials and lectures many times and through various media.
Online Students Might Not Know What to Expect
In-person students have had many years to learn the right way to behave in the classroom. The class’ procedures, social rules, and expectations, but for online students, this might not be as clear. The teacher has to make sure they all their students know what is expected of them. Give them obvious instructions. Everything that you take the extra time to make as clear as possible will save you countless email messages later.
Students Have to Be Motivated, Self-Directed, Good at Managing Their Time, and Disciplined
Students who are successful at in-person courses have to be active listeners and willing to participate in their classes. They need to complete their coursework, study and be able to take notes well. Showing up for their classes goes a long way to completing them successfully. With an online environment, and not having a teacher standing in front of you telling you every single thing that you must know in order to pass a test or the class, students have to be great at managing their time, self-directed, disciplines, and motivated.
Online Students Might Quit Faster
In an in-person classroom, most of the students will wait for a few weeks to make sure they know what to expect of the class. There isn’t any social pressure to stay in front of a computer if an online class isn’t as exciting as they thought it would be. Online students will just walk away. They believe online classes are a bad type of education, or they don’t have the skills to handle them.
The teacher has to start personal interaction with their online students as quickly as they can. Engage them with the rest of the class. Create an assignment that will prepare the students for the course and show them the technical skill they need. Give them incentives, encouragement, and praise to keep them learning.
Online Students Might Need More Interaction With The Teacher
This might surprise you, but it is very accurate. In-person students usually designate a few of their classmates to be the ones who participate. These students are the ones who ask the questions and give feedback while other students learn by being quiet.
Since online students aren’t able to watch the other students’ interactions, the teacher has to be prepared to get a lot of emails. To keep this burden to a minimum, figure out which questions might be asked a lot and answer these in the support materials before they get asked. Encourage the students to interact with one another so they can help each other. Give them links to online resources that they can use, too.
Understanding Various Ways of Communicating is Needed When Online Learning
With online classes, most course materials and learning exercises involve various communication skills like interacting with others, being able to understand both audio and video content, and reading all the written content. This helps them learn new content, see how these concepts can be applied, understanding the assignments, and getting feedback on how well you are doing. Knowing all the different communication skills is essential when learning online. While this is very different from in-person learning, you can improve your student’s odds of understanding by having different communication options.
Students Have To Depend On The Feedback, Assignment Clarification, and Facilitation of Their Instructor
With in-person classes, students can get any information and feedback about how well they are doing each time they go to class. With online courses and not having a person they can talk to readily, students have to depend more on the feedback, assignment clarification, and the facilitation that is given to them by their instructor. There are many ways to save time that adds can give them meaningful feedback by using multimedia sources.
Most of the Communication Will Involve Non-Verbal Correspondence
With online learning, most of the communication that the students get from their instructor or other students is through non-verbal correspondences in the form of audio or video messages, instant messaging, emails, and discussion boards. Even though this is different from in-person classes that involve face-to-face conversations and dialogue, the biggest advantage is you can communicate your ideas in a clear, comprehensive way that the student is able to look at, reread, and look at over and over again as they need to. With in-person courses, they might only have one time to hear it during class..
Etiquette While on the Internet and Digital Literacy is Needed
Having good etiquette while on the internet and being able to read digital articles is needed for students and teachers. You don’t have to be perfect at every writing code and programming language to be able to teach a class online. You should be comfortable working with basic programs like Word, Google, and email, along with being comfortable with helping your students troubleshoot any problems they might have. Being able to give your student links to external sites is essential to make sure you can communicate and build relationships with your students so they can be productive without having in-person communications. Even though you don’t need to be a computer whiz, you need to have an open mind and a positive attitude about interacting with others and learning new things within the digital world.
Discussions Online Give Students More Opportunities
Having discussions online might give a student more opportunities to think about, do more research, and create their discussion responses and posts. Complex and rich student-driven discussions can be facilitated in either environment, but they both have some distinct disadvantages and advantages. Since they are an online environment and usually happen over a few days, online discussions might give a student more opportunities to think about what they have read. It also allows them to do more research before they create their responses. Within an online environment, both introverted and extroverted students have equal ground to learn. This might result in a more honest, open, and even discussion.
Online Courses Are Usually More Individualized and Personal
Since there won’t be any meeting places and times for the entire class to meet in-person, students in online classes might feel like their classes are more individualized and personal in-person settings. With online classes, the lectures and exercises get replaced with student-directed learning options that are designed for every type of learner. Basically, teachers will interact with students more often on a personal and individual basis that facilitates the student’s learning during the life of the course. Since there will be student-to-student interactions, people will be more open to discuss topics that they normally wouldn’t in an in-person environment.
Brings Diverse Cities, Communities, Cultures, and People Together
Since most online classes are made up of students logging in from all over the country, they might tap into endless possibilities to bring diverse cities, communities, cultures, and people that can expand their learning possibilities based on each person’s perspectives and experiences outside of their location.
Various Learning Exercises and Multi-Dimensional Content
If every aspect of engaging and learning in class takes place online, it is easy to infuse many learning exercises and multi-dimensional content during the course, and this includes numerous learning opportunities. This is extremely different than the normal in-person class that might rely heavily on the normal delivery of the classroom content.
Teachers Aren’t On a Stage
In-person classes are very similar to performing on a stage. There is a lesson plan (script), preparing and practicing your lecture (lesson plan), and the session itself (performance). If you aren’t there to witness it, you probably missed the opportunity completely. With online classes, instructors don’t have to perform. They can write, rewrite, and then record and even re-record it until they have it the way they want it. They have various opportunities to make the information as effective as it needs to be. Students have the ability to read and re-read the information as much as they want or need to until they are confident that they know the content.
The Teacher’s Role Is to Facilitate the Student’s Efforts to Make Sense of New Information
With both in-person and online classes, the teacher’s main role is to teach. Even though teaching an online class looks different than teaching an in-person class. The information of the world will be at the student’s fingertips. They could open up a new tab and just Google an answer. Teaching an online class is less about teaching them information and more about facilitating the student’s efforts to think, apply what they have learned, and make sense of all this new knowledge critically.