Comparision of Classroom Styles (“Face to Face”, Hybrid, and Online)

“Face to Face” is known as the traditional teaching approach.  For this approach all learning is conducted in person.  The only learning that occurs outside of the classroom is homework that is to be completed at home.  Homework is used to reinforce learned skills in class (Crawford. 136).

“Face to Face” is an extremely successful tool for grades pre-k through 12.  Young children tend to struggle with commitment and self regulation.  They don’t want to be stuck in a classroom listening to an instructor and having to complete constant assignments.  However, if given the opportunity to attend online school in middle or high school, children would be less likely to complete assignments or put in much effort.  Also another huge benefit of “face to face” learning is the social aspect.  Young children need those social interactions in order to gain the social skills needed for life.  Relationships bloom when placed in a learning environment with others.  Friendship becomes natural as students get to know others in their class and find common interest. Negative effects of “face to face” learning also can occur.  For instance a student may be hesitant to share ideas and thoughts due to being worried of being wrong.  Bullying is a never-ending issue in all school systems.  Another side effect is that much learning become memorization rather than hands on experiences.  Students find themselves spending most of their time studying to the test.

A video to observe of preschool children interacting together is- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tILrvPPydSs .  So many skills are strengthened during such a learning opportunity.  Skills such as social, emotional, sharing are all being improved through such opportunities.

 Hybrid approach is the teaching approach that balances learning in the classroom and online.  The balance of time spent in each learning environment is decided by the school (Crawford. 136).

The benefits of a hybrid learning are extensive.  Using this approach the students still get the one on one socialization time as well as the ability to get to know and learn about their instructor.  Instructors are better able to understand their students and more accurately create a curve when having the opportunity to work with students face to face.  Confusion can also be addressed in person leading the student to feel more reassured and positive of the learning experience.  The online portion allows for deeper conversation and thought to be included in the course.  It creates an opportunity for students and instructors to continue a conversation over a period of days and continue to add thoughts and information that others can read, respond to, and apply in their own life.  In some case’s teachers may create a more watered down learning experience for their students through such a teaching approach.  Not all the time, but sometimes teachers become lazy and lower expectations of the online portion or vise verso due to the work of having to create a curriculum in both places.

Online classrooms are 100% conducted online.  This means that all assignments, lectures, and communication are completed with the use of a Learning Management Software (Crawford. 136). 

Such learning choices heavily depend on the self regulation and commitment of the student in order to achieve success.  Online classes offer the flex ability for students who work full time to still further their education.  Online courses do not have a particular schedule allowing the student to mold their learning schedule to their individual life.  Students are also able to spend more time applying their learning to their field of study.  Online courses typically ask the student to use real life situations to further learning.  Students are not expected to study to a test, but rather prove they understand the material and can apply it to real life situations.  An issue with online learning is that a student gets out of it what they put in.  This means that self regulation is what determines the outcome of the program for the student.  Such learning is not meant for students who are not serious about their learning and willing to put in a great deal of their time exploring and learning on their own with minimal support from an instructor.  Another huge issue is that professors do not have an opportunity to get to know their students.  This means that they are unable to truly know if a student is struggling or just slacking.  This uncertainty can lead to frustration when creating a curve for students grading.

All learning experiences have pros and cons.  However, there is no perfect fit for every student.  The reality is that all students have different learning styles.  Each student needs to reflect and know themselves well enough to know which learning style meets their personal learning.

References

Bates, C. & Watson, M. (2008). Re-learning teaching techniques to be effective in

hybrid and online courses. Journal of American Academy of Business,

Cambridge, 13(1), 38-44.

Crawford, C.M., Smith, R.A., & Smith, M.S. (2008). Course student satisfaction results:

Differentiation between face-to-face, hybrid, and online learning

environments. CEDER Yearbook, 135-149.

Do you think there is other ways to provide social experiences enriched enough to replace face-to-face schooling for a young child or even teen?

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One thought on “Comparision of Classroom Styles (“Face to Face”, Hybrid, and Online)

  1. Face-to-face learning can never be fully replaced to include the social interaction that children need to succeed in life. Already I see my own undergraduate students glued to their cell phones almost 100% of the time. They don’t know how to sit and have a conversation with friends; they must be looking at facebook or instagram for any kind of conversation stimulation. Children need face-to-face learning to interact with others and learn non verbal cues that are invisible through online learning. Using Skype could be an option, but that physical contact for little ones is very important. Even through the teenage years students still need that face-to-face contact to learn how to act in a classroom setting, which will translate into the students’ future career. The blended classroom could work, but it seems like a lot on the parents that would have to help their children use the technology to work on the blended part of the class. It would be interesting to research how younger children adapted to using technology in a blended pre-k classroom.

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