• Nick Kemp

Task 2 Essay: Offline vs Online Study

Task 2 Question: Some universities offer online courses as an alternative to classes delivered on campus. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?

Band 8+ Sample Answer:

(Intro) The Internet has become increasingly prevalent in education. Many universities are now offering online courses instead of traditional classrooms. From my perspective, I would contend that any potential advantages of this off-campus learning are outweighed by its significant disadvantages.

(Body 1) First and foremost, communication skills might suffer due to less direct interaction with teachers and classmates. Distance learning, as opposed to physical classes, is operated through the Internet resulting in students and teachers not having face-to-face conversations, which deprives students of opportunities to develop their communicative ability. In addition, without regular face to face contact, they may struggle to forge strong bonds with their teachers and peers. As a result, they may hesitate to reach out when they experience difficulties. In the long run, this may lead to loneliness and hinder students from demonstrating higher academic performance.

(Body 2) Worse still, online learning can encourage student procrastination, contributing to lower academic performance. Without strict supervision from teachers, students may neglect their studies and lack discipline. Therefore, this kind of learning is often associated with low student motivation, resulting in low academic productivity. Online courses during COVID19 pandemic perfectly exemplify this drawback. After months of online learning, the Ministry of Education has had to simplify the tests as the quality of e-learning is not guaranteed. This is a testament to how online courses can affect overall student outcomes.

(Conclusion) In conclusion, I am convinced that online courses can exert a more negative effect on students than a positive one, including impaired communication skills, procrastination and lower academic performance. Given the likelihood of more not less online learning in the future, the government should carry out extensive research to determine how to mitigate its many shortcomings. (280 words)

Words: Student essay, corrected & upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.

Image: Marc Thele / Pixabay.