The topic below was seen in the Academic IELTS exam in the UK, June 2011.
General Training Writing Task 2
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
In the past lecturers could teach a certain number of students in one lecture hall. With the development of new technology it’s hard to justify the reason to participate in the lecture physically and not via the Internet. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? What is your personal opinion?
You should write at least 250 words.
Traditionally, lectures were given in large rooms to accommodate equally large audiences. With the advent of modern technology, this arrangement is being challenged by the option for students to attend class online. However, it is felt traditional lecture hall talks are beneficial to students and will never completely be replaced by the Internet. This will be shown by looking at how both the theatrical nature and possibility for face-to-face debate during an in-person lesson cater to the learning experience of an individual in a way that technology simply cannot.
Firstly, lectures provide students with an element of theatre, which can be positive for their education. For example, while studying at university in Canada, I was once involved in a course that was televised in my city. During the first semester, I engaged in the classes solely by watching this broadcast from home and found myself to become quite lethargic and unenthusiastic regarding the content. However, during the second semester I was informed that as a registered student I could attend the classroom sessions of the same course and discovered this change revitalized my interest in the topics being discussed. As my experience shows, being present for a lecture physically can have positive effects on students.
In addition to this, classroom lectures allow students to strengthen their wit and abilities as orators and this is not possible on the Internet. For example, although university classes usually have an online forum to provide a context for debate, this medium does not completely replicate the challenge faced when presenting and defending ideas in front of a live audience. Thus, the idea that traditional lecture-styled learning is less effective for students than more modern methods can be debunked.
After analyzing how traditional in-class lessons benefit the academic process, it is felt that this style of learning will never be replaced entirely by technology.