Physical vs Online Classes In Malaysia: How Do Malaysian Academicians Do It?

The pandemic Covid-19 for the past March last year really makes a lot of us face a lot of hardships. One could be laid off from their workplace and others have stopped the business that only has been started. Some of them even need to use all of their savings to continue living in the pandemic covid-19 after having been laid off from the workplace. Basically, all of us strive and give our best living in the pandemic covid-19. Everyone needs to live a new way of life in the pandemic. 

While the whole country is on lockdown, all of the students either university students or school students need to continue all of their studies. But how? Everyone needs to stay at home because of the lockdown, isn’t it? There is a way. All of the students need to continue their studies through online classes in Malaysia. All the academicians and the students did not have to go out of their house to continue their studies. You may think this is a new method of teaching and learning process but the fact is, this method has already been practiced in other countries. It may be a new thing and method for the students but some of the lecturers especially senior lecturers already do this in their career even before the lockdown. 

You might be wondering which one that the students and teachers prefer right? The answer depends on the individual. You can’t generalize the method to all people because some people can prefer online class than face to face class because it is a more convenient way of learning while others may say that the ordinary face-to-face class is better because the communication seems to be more efficient that way. In these articles, we are going to discuss how Malaysian academicians do it and maybe some student’s perspectives on this matter. 

What is the difference between online classes and normal physical classes?

You might be wondering how the online class and physical class could be different right? Well, there are some differences between the two of them in terms of interaction, communication, participation, productivity between the students and the academicians, and the situation itself. 

In some point of view, the online classes could lead to better communication and interaction between the students and the academicians. Why is that? Isn’t communication better in normal physical classes? Well, there are some reasons for that. We all have some friends that are extroverts and introverts. While the extrovert does not have any problem communicating with the lecturers or teachers in the physical class, the introvert always does. They need to text the lecturer after the class session is finished or after office hours. 

When the online class is being held, communication becomes easier for introverted students. For example, if the class session is being held on Google Meet which is required all students to turn on their camera, the extrovert student can ask their teachers or lecturers straight away if they do not understand anything in the class and the introvert one can use the “chat-panel” if they want to ask something in the class. They don’t have to personally text their teachers or lecturers after the class sessions are finished. Isn’t it proven to us that actually communication and participation become much better in online classes? 

But at the same time, the communication and interaction between the students and academicians also could become slower and worse because there is no synchronization between them. We were all well-informed that some students or the academicians didn’t have a strong and stable internet connection at their place. So sometimes the communications didn’t get a fast reply from either the students or the academicians. The online class needs to use a medium or platform in order to make the class sessions can be done. So that’s why the communications can be hard sometimes. But at the end of the day, it is totally up to the person itself. Even if they have a strong and stable internet but they do not want to participate, it can’t be helped at all.

Online is in session

What are the challenges with the online classes?

In terms of challenges, it is for sure that online class will have a lot more challenges than the physical classes. To be precise, the distraction is the challenge for the online classes. There are a lot of distractions for the students and the academicians when the online classes are being held. Some of the parents did not understand that their child had an online class to attend. They make their child who needs to attend the online class to help them with all the house chores. For the academicians themselves, they need to take care of their child and their family as well. 

Plus there is always the internet connection problem when everyone is at their home. The internet line is jammed and becomes slower and makes the online class session become difficult. It is not only the internet connection, there will always be other technical problems such as the laptop being broken or the students need to share the laptop with all other siblings because they all need to attend the online classes as well. 

Most academicians have this kind of challenge when they conduct the online class session in which the students are not ready for the online class session. For example, if the online class is early in the morning, the student is not ready for it or worse they just log in for the online class and then continue their sleep. Either it is online classes or physical classes, the students and the academicians need to get themselves ready especially their minds for the class sessions otherwise, both students and academicians wouldn’t get anything. The academicians also always see that the students tend to use the fake image when they have been asked to turn on their camera. Isn’t it disrespectful right? The student should respect their teachers and lecturers at all costs as long as they did not ask you to do anything wrong. 

What are the teaching resources used for online classes and how do academicians assure student’s attention during the sessions?

Some of us might be wondering what teaching method and teaching materials that the academicians use for online classes right? Well, some of the academicians do use the same materials and methods as the physical classes but some of them may have realized that they need to make another approach to make the online class more interesting. The academicians always know that if they take the same approach, the students may be slacking off during the online class. 

Recently, most of the academicians have realized that matter and they have taken another approach to settle that matter. The academicians need to revise the syllabus and make it more 

interesting. Based on past experience, some of the academicians make some of their daily syllabus become a game or a video. By doing that, they can attract the student’s attention while the online classes sessions. While the online class is in session, the academicians either the teachers or the lecturers, need to communicate more with the students because if they are not doing that, the students will lose interest in continuing the online class. Actually, it goes the same for the physical class because with the communication itself enough to grab the student’s attention to stay focused in the class. 

The lecturers especially can make a simple video to explain their daily syllabus to make the online class sessions more interesting. The school teachers also can do it for their students. For university students, the lecturers have to make the online class more on discussion and consultation sessions because the material can be given beforehand. That is one way to make the online class sessions more interesting and make the student not lose their attention while the online class is in sessions. The academicians must use a suitable approach and platform in place to make the online class more interesting. We are not going to have any problems with the physical classes because there are a lot of activities we can do for it. But there are always limitations for the online class. 

Lecturer workspace

The academicians also can make the online class sessions shorter than a physical class because the student’s focus becomes shorter than in the physical class. Basically, the academicians just need to make the online class sessions more into students-to-lecturer communications because that will make the students more focus on the online class sessions. Plus, the online class material should be different from the physical class because as has been mentioned just now, the academicians need to take another approach to make the online class more interesting because during online class, students are less likely to be able to focus compared to when they are in a physical class. 

Worse things that could happen within the online class session?

Some academicians have a lot to handle since they need to teach the students through online. Some of them need to divide their time for taking care of their own family. For the students, some of them have a family that does not understand them at all. Some of their family ask them to do the house chores during the online class. It can be unbearable sometimes. Worse things that ever happen during the online class is totally depending on the person itself. One can have a lot of pressure from their own family, one can be having trouble with the connection and a lot more. If we ask the academicians themselves, they will say that most of the problem is from the students themselves. The academicians do not have any problem that will prevent them from holding the online classes. Again, the problems or the worst thing that can ever happen is totally up to the person themselves. 


In conclusion, both online classes and physical classes are quite similar even though they are entirely different methods. All of the students and the academicians need to adapt to it whether they like it or not. Some academicians may say that the online class can only be done for the university students and secondary school students because they can manage to stay focused on the online class. But below that? It is not suitable because they did not have a long-term focus to stay in the online class. Online classes also make it hard for the academicians because they can’t go through with the exam through the internet. The tendencies of the students to cheat during exams can be higher. But at some point, the online class has trained the students to be more matured, independent and disciplined by themselves. They did not have to rely on anyone to remind them that they need to attend the class for their own good. At the end of the day, we will have to adapt to every single thing that life has prepared for us. 

For more articles like this go here.

Muhamad Adib
Muhamad Adib
Too much to handle.







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