Should online learning replace face-to-face learning?

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Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my opinion about whether online learning should replace face-to-face learning. I disagree with this statement and I believe that both online learning and face-to-face learning should co-exist, none of them should be replaced by another. Since I have experienced online learning for four months and face-to-face learning for more than seven years, I want to share my opinions.

First of all, I think there are advantages of both face-to-face learning and online learning. Face-to-face learning makes learning effective as we can ask teachers questions immediately if we do not understand the content. Online learning provides diversified learning experience for students in order to stimulate students’ learning interests. There are many types of online learning such as having live lessons, watching videos, doing online quizzes and tests or playing games, to suit different learning objectives. Therefore, I think there are advantages of both face-to-face learning and online learning.  

Moreover, there is no specific time or location requirement when we are learning online. We can learn at any time if we do online learning. We can design our own learning time table which suits us the most as everyone is different, some prefer working in the morning and some in the evening. Also, there is not a specific location when we learn online. We can learn at home, library, coffee shop or any other places we like. However, if we learn at school, we have to go to school punctually at eight and we have to learn in classrooms which are not as free as online learning. Therefore, there is no specific time or location when we are learning online.

As for face-to-face learning, teachers can adopt a more flexible approach. Teachers can adjust the learning pace according to students’ response. For instance, when a teacher asks a student question, if the student does not know how to answer it, the teacher would notice that he or she is talking too fast or does not talk deeply about the content, then he or she will improve their teaching skills and teach the students more clearly. However, if we watch online videos for learning, teachers will not know and adjust the learning pace of students. Therefore, during learning face-to-face, teachers can have more flexible approaches.

Someone may say that we have adopted face-to-face learning for the past decades and it has been working well, why do we have to learn online now? With the advanced technology, we are able to supplement face-to-face with online learning to make learning more interesting. Also, students can learn through various platforms and they can receive the information more clearly. Therefore, online learning and face-to-face learning should co-exist in order to let students have a comprehensive approach to learning.

In conclusion, I think online learning and face-to-face learning should co-exist since there are advantages of both face-to-face learning and online learning. For instance there is not a specific time or location for online learning and teachers can have more flexible approaches when we are doing face-to-face learning. Therefore, from today onwards, apart from learning face-to-face at school, we should also do some online learning so as to consolidate our knowledge.

Yours faithfully,

Natalie Cheung