The Possibility of E-Learning Methods in Replacing The Traditional Face to Face Education Learning Methods In New Phase of The Pandemic
Thu, 02 Jul 2020 || By Samuel Giovanno Johanes Pasaribu

            The concept of e-learning has been echoed all over the region concurrently with the pandemic that has inhibited various sectors in businesses, industries, services, including education. Hype towards educational reform from conventional educational methods on face to face interaction has been postulated as e-learning offered more student-centred learning which solved the conflicting time and far-flung spaces among teachers and students by using the educational software, 3D virtual lab, virtual environment and other computer-assisted technology to maximize the education facilities and services in enhancing the participant exchange and collaboration without border swathed inside the virtual classroom[i]. With the change that encompassed assessment of learning, interaction and community, and technology design, revolution in this sector must have been applied to the instructors and learners. However, this concept has been opposed since it only presented as a 'virtual fashion' type of learning and teaching without any technology and instructional design preparedness to support the stakeholders in these educational methods. The mainstream idea that enabling single instructors to reach many students by using e-learning, transfer of responsibility to the learners and students take over to the control of learning process are complete fallacy that has been depicted the methods as simple as it seems[ii]. In the implementation, the ‘revolutionary’ methods are arguably creating lack of interaction and relation among the learners, less effective compared to the traditional methods since it terminate the face to face interactions of the participant, diminishing the communication skills of the students, unable to controlled the methods from illegal activity such as cheating and increasing the probability of plagiarism along the process[iii]. Furthermore, this type of methods would be only applicable to particular disciplines, not the wholesome, since practical skills are not something e-learning could covered maximumly. Cost disadvantages and students capabilities in accessing internet and hardware technologies may also vary, thus creating its problem by creating limitation. For instance, mobile and personal computer as the media to access e-learning are not common things which instantly has been possessed by the majority of its population. Likewise, hardware ownership, internet access is also another obstacle which could inhibit the process of e-learning adaptation in some of these countries. The comparison of Indonesia (17.75%), Malaysia (66.48%) and Singapore (88%) households with personal computer have vividly shown the limitation by certain countries in adaptation to this methods, in addition, differentiation of internet access between these country has also widened the gap of preparedness in following the concept of e-learning, since Indonesia still be in the bottom line with 29.08% internet access, 65.50% of Malaysia and 88% of Singapore households have gained access. This weak infrastructure development even has tangibly shown the irony in Indonesia case as it took a victim of a student in Makassar, who has found dead after he fell from the dome of the mosque for its effort in obtaining internet signal[iv]


            Not only by technicalities problem, but the soundness of e-learning problem also comprised in the government and related ministry preparedness in performing the complex e-learning methods. Indonesia could be the case study to prove that e-learning implementation must be well organized and surely not applicable in the 'new normal' phase of the pandemic. The Circular Letter of Ministry of Education and Culture No.4 Tahun 2020 has developed boredom and dissatisfaction among the students as it completely forced all the educational activity to be executed online and terminating the face to face interaction, unexpected spread of the pandemic has left the government with an unplanned adaptation to its curriculum on adapting for a new e-learning methods[v]. Schools all over the region are independently implementing its own 'interpretation' on the concept of e-learning to the process without any instructional design and proper framework designated by the government. This practice would lead to unequal learning outcomes from educational institutions in the country. In reality, e-learning models have shown its fallacy based on the past experience by United States Online Charter School, the hyped of e-learning methods has fallen its students behind for its lack of students engagement (100 students on 1 teacher, compared to 16 students on 1 teacher in public school), poor outcome of quality education (public school students have average grade higher than online schools) and lack of social interaction has prompted students social imbalance such as depression[vi].

            A 'Totally Online Mode' is completely inapplicable for Indonesia context and other developing countries to match its condition with the complex e-learning dimension requirement to fulfil. It has been argued that the implementation of e-learning methods in developing countries such as Indonesia without any dimension development is just a minor change on traditional education method that full of lecture and assignment, which brought to the online platform by forcing the students to be involved in 'clicking' activity[vii]. The unsteady implementation of e-learning as a new method in ‘new normal’ phase of the pandemic will severely prevail the program and government unpreparedness to the issue by sacrificing the society of academicians (Civitas Akademika) in the process[viii]. However, the adaptation of ‘mixed and blended mode’ type of e-learning, which still combined the traditional method while preparing the whole e-dimension to be adapted would be a solution for the time limit and distant space limitation on the middle of the pandemic in the near future. This method would function to fulfil the gaps of dimension e-learning sources in management, evaluation, ethical, resource support, institutional, pedagogical, technologies, and interface design, which have not been developed well by the government[ix]. The involvement of traditional method is meant to cover the underdeveloped dimension of learning, while the authority prepared the essence of e-learning to be accessible, interactive, flexible and digitally communicative for the students.


Author: Mira Ardhya Pramastri
Editor: Amelinda Pandu Kusumaningtyas

Read more articles written by Mira Ardhya Pramastri



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[v] MediaIndonesia, 2020. Karena Pandemi Korona, Para Siswa Dituntut Belajar Mandiri. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 June 2020].

[vi] Bridges, K., 2018. Online Charter Schools: 3 Reasons Why They Fail And What Could Be Done About It | Emerging Education Technologies. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 June 2020]

[vii] Contact North Central, 2015. Challenges Of Teaching Online. [video] Available at: [Accessed 11 June 2020].

[viii] Algahtani, A., 2011. Evaluating the Effectiveness of the E-learning Experience in Some Universities in Saudi Arabia from Male Students' Perceptions. Durham Thesis, Durham University,

[ix] Khan, B., 2005. Managing E-Learning Strategies: Design, Delivery, Implementation And Evaluation. 1st ed. Hershey: Information Science Publishing, pp.1-19


* World Bank, 2016. Households With Internet Access. [image] Available at: [Accessed 11 June 2020].

* World Bank, 2016. Households With Personal Computer. [image] Available at: [Accessed 11 June 2020]