University students today have been provided with a luxury that students of just fifteen years ago would never even consider: taking their course load online and not in the classroom. Today almost all post-secondary schools in Canada offer distance education to their students as an independent and convenient way for them to obtain credits. This modernized way of learning has benefitted our generation in many ways and many people can say that they prefer it over day-to-day classroom lectures. This brings up the question of whether or not University classrooms are obsolete and if so, how long will they last?
We can start by looking at the basics of what we already know about online education. The way that online education is designed is so that students can learn from the comfort of their own home and on their own time. The original purpose was to make courses accessible for students who can not make the commitment to attending classes due to their busy schedules or travel inconveniences. It has since gained extreme popularity for the flexibility it offers students and gives them the opportunity to not attend in-class sessions of hundreds of other students two or three times a week.
The classroom is effective and it has been the way that youth have been taught for generations; which is why so many people dismiss the idea that it may some day be irrelevant. But in a society where new technology is evolving so constantly there will be almost no point to having some classes taught in person. Online live streams already exist and in some education systems the use of electronics, computer coding, and social media are some classes being taught to children at a young age to prepare them and to keep them up to date with the way the world is modernizing.
The biggest factor in deciding the fate of classrooms has to be the audience that it speaks to. A lot of people are tactile learners; people who have to be physically demonstrated something to retain the information. Subject areas such as welding, culinary arts, and nursing are a few examples of areas where you need to practice the skill itself and do not require much use for reading notes and watching powerpoint presentations. Other areas such as history, marketing, and kinesiology are more oriented for visual or auditorial learners; who can primarily use repetition and memorization as there learning style. These subjects do not require the same physical practise as others and could potentially be all taught on a computer screen.
So to answer the question mentioned before at least for the time being, it is very unlikely classroom teachings can be entirely removed. However it is certain that it will not be very long before the trend of technology will take over and look to dominate education.
5 Reasons Online Learning Making Classroom Obsolete. (n.d.). Retrieved March 08, 2017, from http://saleemsufi.com/5-reasons-online-learning-making-classroom-obsolete/
Gardner, M. D. (2016, June 13). Online vs. Traditional Education. Retrieved March 08, 2017, from https://owlcation.com/academia/Online-Education-vs-Traditional-Education