OPINION: Zoom classes vs. in-person classes. Which one is best?

When the spread of COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020, many educational institutions took the step to transition their classes online via Zoom.

However, there was much debate regarding Zoom classes in the world of education as this was the new modality of classes, overshadowing face-to-face education, which was traditionally the most common method of teaching. 

Nowadays, online learning has become the preferred option for many individuals due to its flexibility by eliminating geographical barriers and providing easier access to a more varied education. 

On the other hand, some may also argue that zoom classes are not a very effective method of teaching since students are less likely to socialize with others in-person nor does it require as much discipline as in-person classes do.

Personally, I am more in favor of online classes. But, like everything else, this way of receiving classes has its pros and cons. My favorite pro is that I can learn without leaving home, I do not have to take the train and I can watch my classes comfortably. 

Also, there are no geographical barriers. The best educational institutions in the world are within reach and can be accessed anywhere as long as the individual has a laptop or computer that they can use.

Not to mention, the hours are flexible. Class contents are available as long as the class runs, and can be accessed at any time, anywhere.

Finally, taking online classes requires organizational skills and willpower. This could be considered as a con for some people, but I see it more as a pro. The idiosyncrasy of this type of education is that it requires the individual to establish certain routines different from if they were attending in-person classes as there isn’t that pressure to constantly motivate them.

However, there are downsides to this new method of learning.

First, it reduces the chances of socializing. As there is no physical place to go, it becomes more difficult to establish personal relationships with other classmates.

Second, there may be difficulty establishing clear communication with the professors. Since contact with professors takes place virtually, it may be difficult to have a clear and consistent line of communication if both sides or one side does not respond in a timely manner.

In regard to in-person classes, there are also some positive and negative aspects. 

First, there is the increased likelihood of socializing. By getting together with more people in a physical space, acquaintances and friendships are more easily established, which can be of great help for classes and even for future networking.

Additionally, professors are more accessible. Students are more likely to have direct access to their professors during in-person classes, which allows them to ask questions or set up tutorials without having to go through the steps of doing everything via email or Zoom.

As with online classes, in-person learning does have its downsides.

The costs are higher. Infrastructure maintenance such as facilities, services or supplies and additional travel costs can make the cost of education more expensive.

Moreover, the schedules are more rigid. Those people who want to combine their studies with a job may struggle to have a work and life balance, on top of piles of homework.

Finally, classes are not as accessible. If a student is unable to attend class, they would not have access to the lectures if the professors doesn’t post it online. Additionally, if it is more expensive to attend in person, it might be more difficult for an individual to afford it compared to an online option.

While both ways of learning have proven to have their ups and downs, each person must find what ultimately works best for them in their educational journey. So, think about it: What modality of education do you believe has the most benefits?

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