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Progressive Online Learning vs Traditional online and offline learning

The COVID-19 situation has created a massive stir in the education system. Within no time, the entire teaching and learning process was shifted to an online platform to ensure that the continuity of learning doesn’t stop.

The new-age virtual education system can be conducted using outdated traditional modes of education, or they can be conducted by applying experiential and PBL (problem-based learning) approaches. The newer approaches are far more engaging for young learners. In online learning, engagement is everything. The more learners are engaged, the more attentive they will be. The higher the attention, the more the retention. 

Vega Schools was ranked by Education world (2020-21) as one of the Best Schools in Gurgaon, as we efficiently adapted virtual teaching by bringing a variety of new-age teaching methods, e-books, high-quality online platforms for communication, and assessment, and multiple teaching strategies. 

In this article, we will try to understand the difference between traditional vs progressive methods of teaching. 

Traditional learning can take place either online or offline (in a physical classroom). Traditional learning often involves fixed learning plans, excessive focus on worksheets. The teacher does most of the talking and the emphasis is on children learning content to recall in a test or assessment. 

Progressive learning can also take place online or offline (in a physical classroom). It involves a teacher using multiple strategies to engage the learners. The teacher will use break out rooms, multiple and fun assessments. Teachers will use several applications to make learning more engaging and will ensure children apply their learning. Student-led conferences and project exhibitions will continue, even if the children are learning online. 

Online Progressive learning, as the name suggests, happens online i.e. over the internet. It’s a type of distance learning where the learners and teachers can be part of the world (provided there is internet connectivity). The content can be learned, shared, and accessed anywhere and anytime.

Both types of this learning have their own sets of pros and cons, and we will analyze them wisely here.

  • Traditional learning is Teacher-Oriented whereas Progressive learning is student-centered: As we all are familiar with the traditional model, where a teacher stands right in front of a group of students teaching the same techniques to all. Whether all the learners can retain the content or not, we are unable to figure that out. As we know, different learners learn differently, this traditional mode of teaching becomes ineffective. Whereas in the online mode of progressive learning,  different students can receive different types of the same content at the same time through a variety of shared devices which helps them retain information in a far better manner.  
  • Lesser Interaction in Traditional Learning as compared to Online Progressive learning: In a traditional teaching model, students listen to long lectures, take notes, and usually resort to rote memorization, which leaves no or very little room for interaction in the classroom. Progressive teaching encourages group participation, collaboration, and networking through a two-way communication system and multiple virtual classroom activities. Children as young as 4-6 years old can also join interactive platforms to share, like comment, and chat on threads of conversation both with their classmates and teachers. Learners play the role of both listener and talker.
  • Progressive Online Learning saves time, money and energy, over Traditional learning. This is evident from the fact that distance learning doesn’t need traveling to school daily, buying expensive textbooks and notebooks, or having a physical classroom arrangement for learning.
  • Progressive learning is well known for its more flexibility than Traditional learning: The Online classes enable learners to study at home and in situations or cases when and where they cannot go to school/college.
  • Learners attending online classes have access to study material 24*7, which is not possible in traditional learning set up. As mentioned before, not all students learn the same way. Younger students sometimes are moody. Hence in these cases, parents can access the study material any time of the day. In a conventional school system, one has to wait for the child to go to school to have access to the content materials/notes.
  • In an Online Setup, learners have the flexibility to learn at Their Own Pace, which again is not achievable in a Traditional Classroom setup: Online learning lets the learners have complete control over their lessons. Some are quick learners, some take time, some learn differently. So online is best suited for them. In a classroom environment, teachers, though, try their best to explain the content and answer queries but they can not ensure that all the children have understood the topic or not. Some children are introverts who don’t feel comfortable asking questions in front of other students. These children can send emails or chat with their online instructors to clear their doubts. Online learning allows them to take control of their learning process. They can go through the  
  • Students in online classes are less dependent on teachers, as compared to Traditional Classes: Now the learners don’t have to completely depend on the teachers for notes or query solving. With the available online content, they can go back to the chapters again and again to clarify their doubts. With easy access to the internet, students can browse through thousands of online learning content. Whereas in Traditional learning, teachers are the primary source of information, and students are sometimes conditioned to go by teacher’s notes only.
  • Online education has an effective assessment and feedback system: Traditional classroom teachers need to spend a lot of time and paperwork in grading students’ work and checking their assignments. This can be saved by introducing online modules where most of the work is done by the apps themselves.  Online assignments are easy to submit and assess. The teachers can even use their mobiles to assess the assignments anytime and anywhere. The teachers could instead spend more time creating an interactive learning environment in the classroom with activities, discussions, etc.

However, we cannot deny the fact that Traditional teaching has been around since time eternity and we can’t completely shut it down. No matter, how much technology is incorporated in the learning process, the primary source of information is still a teacher and we cannot replace that.

As mentioned by Sandy Hooda, Co-founder, Vega Schools, top 10 schools in Gurgaon, “Technology cannot replace superstar teachers who coach learners on how to apply their learning to find new and better ways of doing things. We call them DOK-4 (Depth of knowledge level 4) teachers. DOK-4 is the competency that is a great premium in the real world”. 

For more details, please visit our blog “The best way to use technology in a school” dated 30th Oct 2020.

We need proper schooling for our children so that they learn to socialize, interact and develop interpersonal and communication skills for a confident personality. 

When the teachers interact with the learner in person, they know their traits better and help them become a better mentor with a personal touch. 

Technology is the need of the hour, and education needs to be child-centric. The role of a teacher as a facilitator is very important. The teacher guides their learner towards the right content, get them to research while checking the validity and accuracy of their work and plug learning gaps So we need to merge both online and formal education to create a better effective and effective learning module.

This is exactly what we are doing at VEGA Schools, one of the schools in Gurugram, blending technology into Problem-based learning to create future-ready children. We are using the online education model to overcome the disadvantages of the traditional education system, while also providing additional benefits.