Online Learning was once considered to be ineffective until the pandemic hit the traditional education system globally. It has now set the bars high for a new-age learning system. When the covid 19 pandemic forced all educational institutions to close their offline doors and move classes online, essentially all students were forced to become online learners. There were questions if the traditional education system would crumble or slow down but a google survey has shown that the interest in online certification programs has received a massive spike in the number of online learners. 

Is online learning here to stay? - Sheet1
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Overnight every member of the educational institutions was forced to switch from in-person teaching to learning online. Teachers had to learn how online platforms work to deliver their course content and the struggle began in this new unprecedented teaching situation. While few focussed on learning it on their own, some institutions helped their teachers by providing the support of eLearning providers to overcome the challenges imposed by the pandemic. 

If we look at the difficulties faced by the students of architecture who shifted to the online mode they were equal to the number of problems faced by their faculties as well. Students found it difficult to focus, not everyone had a good atmosphere to work during classes, access to library books and resources became difficult, and had to overwork because everyone thought being at home is easier than being in a studio or lecture hall. Keeping the difficulties aside there were a few benefits of doing architecture remotely. Students had more control over how their daily schedule worked, they were allowed to create their study environment, they got the opportunity to work at their own pace and there was a good amount of time for power naps. 

When it came to the method of learning and presenting, the biggest challenge was transitioning from making physical models to working with digital models. Though unavailability of resources in the neighbourhood was a reason for the decrease in the making of physical models, there was also a lack of support systems that teaches and encourages students to create physical models in online mode. While some consider that the traditional drafting system has now almost disappeared, studies say that it is difficult for students to only depend on hand drafting methods because it requires more effort and time. When we compare cad drafting and hand drafting methods, cad’s advantages are high. It can accelerate the designing process and save the time and efforts of people working on cad. It also eliminates the need to start a design from the beginning whenever a design needs to be revised and helps organize the work in layers which makes it easy for later editing purposes. But a drawback is that there lies no original copy and hinders the thought process of students in the further learning stages. 

Is online learning here to stay? - Sheet2
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Online learning nowadays has become popular for its flexibility. Learning virtually from anywhere around the globe allows you to pursue the course of your choice without having to commute to a physical campus. These online learning platforms have motivated career advancements to further the educational background of the students. Another great advantage is that these platforms provide both freshers and professionals with the opportunity to learn from schools around the world and find a course that best meets their needs without having to undergo the compulsory traditional structure that’s usually followed at an offline school. This type of learning with different people provides insights from a wide range of age groups and keeps you well-aligned with your tasks, helping you to practice in the real world. 

Online learning has now improved the time management skills of many and helps you to plan ahead and perhaps break your assignments into smaller chunks. Losing hands-on experience might be a negative point but we have now the chance to master technical skills that will benefit us both in and out of the classroom. These online learning facilities offer the ability to think critically about what one does every day. Hence this sort of self-paced learning demonstrates the ability to think critically and overcome any obstacle that’s your way. 

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Online learning has its positive impacts on the design process, however, students face a lot of limitations as well. Some prefer to work independently, while others find comfort in their manner.  Online learning bridges those gaps by recreating the feeling of community in the virtual mode but there are situations where students are forced to move into isolation. And when coming to the online platform itself, one of the classic disadvantages is they are prone to technical issues. Though people’s devices have gotten better these days, the audio, video and connection issues are always prominent. Now the issues don’t stop with just the technical aspect but it continues to the health aspect of the user undergoing online learning. Excessive screen timing can have a bad impact on one’s health and can lead to all sorts of physical ailments like back pain or headaches. 

In the end, online learning has its advantages and disadvantages but eventually, we hope for technological capabilities to reach new heights and address the concerns to strike out the demerits.

References: 

  1. Emeritus – Online Certificate Courses | Diploma Programs. (2021). 9 Benefits of Online Learning for Working Professionals. [online] Available at: https://emeritus.org/blog/benefits-to-online-learning/
  2. Miller, K. (2019). The Benefits of Online Learning: 7 Advantages of Online Degrees. [online] Northeastern University Graduate Programs. Available at: https://www.northeastern.edu/graduate/blog/benefits-of-online-learning/
  3. Thompson, S. (2021). The advantages and disadvantages of online classes for higher education. [online] Kaltura. Available at: https://corp.kaltura.com/blog/advantages-disadvantages-online-classes/
  4. Times of India Blog. (2021). The impact of online classes on students. [online] Available at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/expressons4b/the-impact-of-online-classes-on-students-39348/
  5. Hess, A.J. (2021). Online learning boomed during the pandemic—but what happens when students return to classrooms? [online] CNBC. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/26/online-learning-boomed-during-the-pandemic-but-soon-students-return-to-school.html
  6. Anon, (2020). Tips for Studying Architecture Remotely or Online – First In Architecture. [online] Available at: https://www.firstinarchitecture.co.uk/tips-for-studying-architecture-remotely-or-online/
  7. Fakhry, M., Kamel, I. and Abdelaal, A. (2021). CAD using preference compared to hand drafting in architectural working drawings coursework. Ain Shams Engineering Journal
Author

An Architecture undergrad at NIT Hamirpur, who is extremely passionate about architectural research, urban design and policy planning. Her curiosity to try new things keeps leading her to a new path. Committed to a life full of adventure, she aspires to travel the world and stimulate her body, mind and soul.

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