Many people wonder whether there is a difference between students and learners. In fact, with the shift of traditional education, online learning has become a more popular mode of education. However, not many people understand how students differ from learners. This question is still under discussion. Some people use the words “student” and “learner” interchangeably when they are talking about those who study in college or university. If to look these words in the dictionary, you would hardly find a clear definition. Students are more often defined as those who study in school, while learners are not defined at all. The following essay will try to clarify the difference between students and learners in order to understand the difference between online and traditional education. The existing definitions of learners are not satisfactory as they do not capture the essence of this word. The basic difference between learners and students is that the first ones are enrolled in online learning, while the latter study either in school or in higher educational establishments. Let us discuss this issue in greater detail.
What is a student? In our opinion, a student is a person who is studying in the formal educational environment. Students are given grades in classroom and are evaluated by teachers to move through different stages of educational system. When we think about students, such elements of education as books, desks, backpacks and academic discipline usually come to our mind. The word “student” also reminds us of the established order, namely order in school, order in the educational system and order in classroom where education is provided. Every one of us has experience of being a student, so we understand the game of school, its rules and the ways of following them in order to get what we need and win teacher’s appreciation.
What is a learner? A learner does not have to follow the rules of traditional education. Such people do not want grades, but rather want to get a feedback from their instructors. They seek opportunities for cooperation with teachers, rather than competition with other students. Learners are in control of their learning experience and they usually pursue not only the subjects that they are passionate about, but also the ones that will help them to grow and develop as a personality. Learners are not restricted by educational establishments, time or curriculum that is established by their instructors. Such learning is engaging and very satisfying for young people. Therefore, the difference between a learner and a student lies in the fact that students are under constant control in their learning experience, while learners are not confined with such restrictions.
Let us further discuss the difference between students and learners in greater detail. Skilled learners do not always show exemplary results in their studies. This does not refer to such exceptional learners as Einstein and Gates. Instead, it refers to a great number of people who feel passionate about gaining new knowledge and have exceptional abilities in remembering various facts. Skilled learners include self-taught scholars and musicians. Learners are people who can ignore the task of doing homework because they think it is boring or do not listen to the lectures of their teachers because they prefer learning some information on their own. Such people cannot be called good students, but they are natural learners. Here are some basic differences between learners and students that will help you understand what distinguishes good students and skilled learners:
The above differences between students and learners have shown that online learning is much more productive and progressive compared to traditional education because learners are not restricted by the rules of educational establishments. They have different sources of motivation and tend to acquire knowledge in a different manner. However, traditional education also has its merits and demerits and for now, both forms of education prove to be valuable for the world society.