Classroom teaching allows teachers to sense if any students do not understand the subjects through “body cues” such as body language or expression. This is unable to be achieved when you have a classroom of thirty to forty altogether behind screens, teachers would not be able to observe the student’s body language individually as lessons are carried out through video recording. Even when there is communication through online meetings such as Google Meet, some students may feel shy and afraid to speak up in front of their classmates, hence this may impede the students learning and result in students not being able to truly understand concepts, eventually affecting their grades.
Some students may be kinesthetic learners, who strive on hand-on activities, which is something that home-based learning does not offer. In this digital age, where information can easily be found online, schools are no longer the gatekeeper of information. Education has become a social experience as the vibrancy of classrooms, the active learning is truly the reason why classroom teaching is the best medium for students. Students are intellectual beings that need to be engaged in an authentic learning environment and not just stare at their screen passively, spending the whole day communicating with their screens. No online learning platform can replace the vibrancy of classrooms and simulate it on a computer screen.
Some may argue that home-based learning is more beneficial than classroom learning as it offers flexibility to our learning. With online classes, most students can learn at their own pace. Classroom learning is not able to accommodate everyone’s learning pace due to the need to complete the curriculum with a fixed period of time. This results in the slow learners to face difficulty catching up with other students and may end up losing out to other students. However, with home-based learning, students are able to plan out their own schedule and study at their own convenience. Online learning can sometimes be more flexible as the materials are found online where students have the freedom to access it anytime. Lecture videos online also allow students to replay or fast forward the video as many times as they want according to their own learning pace, which gives students plenty of time to digest the information, practice and do their own research, which may hence improve their grades. For example, in Student Learning Space, students are given the freedom to complete their work posted on that platform anytime they want before the due date. It also allows students as well as teachers to monitor the students progress bar and be able to track their work.
In this time of Covid-19 crisis (or haze may return again) and as we move towards being a Smart Nation, Home-based learning may become the ‘new normal’. Students, Parents and Teachers must learn to work together and fine tune the process of remote learning. In this VUCA world, online learning and HBL is definitely going to be a part of the future in education and it will complement to classroom learning. Although, on some levels, it cannot replicate the same level of interaction that a classroom setting provides, it can definitely complement a student’s learning, especially in our highly connected and globalised world.