Will virtual learning platforms replace traditional universities? This inquiry sparks controversy and an answer to whether or not virtual learning platforms will substitute traditional schools. According to Palloff and Pratt (2007), the arrival and the commencement of the advanced technologies, such as the Internet, computers, and websites create some immense online courses. Of course, virtual learning platforms, such as Newrow.Com, Tutorroom.Net, Braincert.Com, E-Lecta.Com, and the like, make the learning activities of the students very stress-free as they will not spend time traveling for their classes. As well, virtual learning platforms are less expensive and students can access online courses through electronic devices. Though there are several expanding virtual learning platforms, these teaching channels cannot replace traditional universities since they do not offer human contacts, because they fail to compete with traditional lectures, and because they do not have well-established learning and teaching experiences.
Virtual learning platforms, despite its prominence in the online domain, do not replace traditional universities. They only supplement traditional universities. When teachers use some of the virtual learning platforms, such as Newrow.Com, Tutorroom.Net, Braincert.Com, E-Lecta.Com, and the like, they only provide alternatives for students “to have new learning and teaching environments” (Palloff & Pratt, 2007, p. 28). However, they cannot substitute traditional classroom lectures since they do not offer any human contacts. For example, students cannot meet their classmates and teachers in person. They cannot even ask direct questions to their teachers “if they have important questions to ask” (Palloff & Pratt, 2007, p. 46). They must wait for days before their online teachers generate answers to their questions. Therefore, virtual learning platforms fail to replace traditional classroom lectures.
As well, virtual learning platforms nosedive their intentions and motives to compete with the traditional classroom lectures. They go amiss to handle with their plausible ideas to teach students based on human interactions. Virtual learning websites, which offer online courses, can invite more students “to begin their online classes and teachings” (Halvorson, Crittenden, & Pitt, 2011, p. 485). However, these students feel busy with their tasks, which makes them decide to take virtual learning classrooms. According to research, the goal of traditional education is to uphold their face-to-face contact as “an important element in teaching” (Halvorson, Crittenden, & Pitt, 2011, p. 486). students and teachers must meet in the middle to discuss questions at the spur-of-the-moment. Without the presence of teachers, students fail to get answers to their questions and may lose the audacity to know the idea.
Moreover, virtual learning platforms as complementary tools in teaching do not have well-established learning experiences. They only substitute teachers temporarily to vary their teaching techniques. In other words, they exist to add variations. Teachers only use and produce enormous online courses to attract more students to take online classes and to take advantage of their benefits (Furió, Juan, Seguí, & Vivó, 2015, p. 189). Unquestionably, they make learning activities easier. They even allow students to browse online classrooms and let them explore “the contents of the sites” (Yang & Liu, 2007, p. 176). As students try to access new files and interactive tools, they study their lessons online and “in the comfort of their homes” (Yang & Liu, 2007, p. 174). Despite the encouraging remarks of virtual learning platforms, the fact reveals that they cannot, by far, supplant and swap traditional universities.
Indeed, virtual learning platforms do not have any chance to replace traditional universities. They may supplement the traditional classroom setups, but they cannot alter how traditional universities do. They cannot eliminate the presence of human beings since they do not have enough ability to dismiss the presence of teachers. Teachers who remain the fundamental forces in the classroom can only provide instructions with their human conduct. And yet the increasing virtual learning platforms only supplement the traditional classrooms and the universities. In other words, virtual learning platforms do completely not replace traditional universities as they, in the end, fail to offer any human contacts, miscarry their goals to compete with traditional classroom lectures, and nosedive to embed the new learning and teaching practices.
Furió, D., Juan, M. C., Seguí, I., & Vivó, R. (2015). Mobile learning vs. traditional classroom lessons: A comparative study. Journal of Computer-Assisted Learning, 31(3), 189-201.
Halvorson, W., Crittenden, V. L., & Pitt, L. (2011). Teaching cases in a virtual environment: When the traditional case classroom is problematic. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 9(3), 485-492.
Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Yang, Z., & Liu, Q. (2007). Research and development of web-based virtual online classroom. Computers & Education, 48(2), 171-184.