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Online Learning Vs. Video-Based:

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Online Learning vs. Video-Based 1


Online Learning vs. Video-Based:

The Pros and Cons of Each Learning Environment

Melanie R. Allison

Jefferson Elementary School, Jefferson, South Carolina

Online Learning vs. Video-Based 2


Many students can benefit from a non-traditional classroom that can be brought into their home. The online and video-based learning environments have advantages and disadvantages that individual learners need to assess. For many, the positives far outweigh the negatives. The online class offers discussion forums, a safe environment to express ones ideas, and diversity that cannot be in the traditional classroom. Video-based classes offer graphics and sound that can excite the learner no matter his/her learning style and provide a stirring environment that most other types of classrooms cannot. On the other hand, with both of these learning environments, questions are not answered immediately and some students will be more active than others.

Online Learning vs. Video-Based 3

Online Learning vs. Video-Based:

The Pros and Cons of Each Learning Environment

When researching online learning and video-based learning, there are hundreds of opportunities for a student to try either one of these environments. Before beginning one, however, the individual should look closely at the advantages and disadvantages each. This will give them a better understanding about how the environments will fit into their lifestyle.

The online classroom is a place where students and their teacher can meet to discuss a chosen topic. Regardless of their location, they can still be a part of the class. The teacher posts assignments and interacts with students from anywhere in the world. For many, this kind of learning environment is ideal.

This kind of class has many advantages. First, by using the discussion forums in an online class, a student who is isolated and miles away, can be made to feel closer to the learning. Also, introverted students may find it easier to express their thoughts and opinions more in an online environment. Online learning serves visual learners well because most of the material is in written form and can include graphs, charts, and other images. Lastly, another positive for online learning is the diversity it affords to the class. All of the students and the teacher could be from completely different backgrounds, therefore bringing many different views and information to the class.

Even though there are positives to online learning, there are also some negatives. For one, the online learning environment is out of reach for many who are not technologically savvy. Also, questions cannot be answered immediately so there may be

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down time for some learners who are waiting for a reply. Finally, as with most typical classrooms, some students will be more active while others sit back and participate very little.

In contrast to online learning is the video-based learning environment. "Video helps students learn by appealing to both visual learners and verbal learnersÐ'...It keeps viewers engaged through graphics, sound design, dialogue, and narrative" (Zukowski, 2005). The student watches the video and completes any assignments. This learning can take place with a single student or a group.

One of the advantages of this kind of environment is that it can keep learners interested and involved with the use of sound, narration, graphics, and other sensory stimuli. This makes it captivating for visual and auditory learners. Video-based learning can provide emotion and environment that could not otherwise be seen in other environments.

A disadvantage of video-based learning is that the learner must answer any questions that arise without help from a teacher. Another negative aspect of the video is that the learning cannot be taken in any other direction than what was originally taped. Finally, student's minds may be on distractions and other things happening around them. Thus reducing the amount of learning that takes place.

I have used both of these options with my classes in the past. Neither choice would be appropriate for teaching elementary aged children without proper guidance. There are many ways to incorporate both learning environments into the classroom to help reach all students



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