Here’s a recent IELTS Writing task question that appeared on the cue card.
Some universities now offer their courses on the Internet so that people can study online. Is this a positive or negative development?
One thing to notice here is the word ‘OR‘ used. It shows that we do not need to discuss both the options. We have to put up our opinion on any one of them.
Here’s a sample model answer for the given IELTS Writing task question.
It is true that online courses are becoming a common feature of university education but of course, there are drawbacks.
The main drawback of the trend towards online university courses is that there is less direct interaction. Students may not have the opportunity to engage face-to-face with their teachers, and will instead have to rely on written forms of communication.
Similarly, students who study online do not come into direct contact with each other, and this could have a negative impact on peer support, discussion and exchange of ideas. For example, whereas students on traditional courses can attend seminars. They can even discuss their subjects over coffee after lessons. Especially, through website forum areas. These learners may also lack the motivation and element of competition that face-to-face group work brings.
Despite the negatives mentioned above, I content that online university courses are a positive development for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, they allow learners to be more independent, self motivated & study in a flexible way, meaning that they can work whenever and wherever it is convenient, and they can cover the material at their own pace.
Finally, online learning offers open access to anybody who is willing to study, regardless of age, location, ability and background. For example, my uncle, who is 65 years old. He has recently enrolled on an online MBA course in a different country. It would have been impossible in the days before Internet-based education revolutionized the learning platform.
In conclusion, while I recognize the possible disadvantages of online learning, I consider it to be a positive development overall.