IELTS Writing Task 2: Online Learning

Universities offer an online course for students. Do you think its a positive or negative development for students?

From (1) the last few decades, educational institutions have witnessed a tremendous change in the way of teaching, due to technological inventions. However, in my opinion, online courses provide extravagant benefits to educatees, I also believe that there might be a definite drawback if all courses are made online (2).

To begin with, there are several advantages of self-study courses which are offered by universities. First and foremost, online courses provide a great deal of flexibility and freedom for students, in terms of commuting to college and attending classes (3). In other words, online courses can be taken from anywhere, which in turn enable people who are working to pursue their higher education. A prime example is a survey conducted by UNESCO by taking a sample of 10 years data from oxford university (4), in terms number of students in each course. The results were astonishing, as students opting for online courses have skyrocketed exponentially (5) right from the introduction of online courses in the university curriculum.

Nevertheless, the advantages of online courses have not all been beneficial. That’s because, one of the fundamental responsibility of educational institution is to provide an environment wherein students can learn skills, such as empathy, debate, discourse et cetera. Furthermore, no one can replace the true value added in education by lecturers who guide, support and motivate students to set high goals and thrive to achieve those goals.

To sum up, development of online courses are extremely useful for pupils to suffice (6) their hunger for knowledge, along with their normal routine work. However, giving more importance to the online course can lead to adverse ramifications, which disable students from learning human skills which are utmost essential in one’s life (7).

287 words

The commentaries are marked in brackets with number (*). The numbered commentaries are found below. The part in italics is taken from the text, the word underlined is the suggested correction. Words in (brackets) are the suggested addition to the original phrase or sentence.

1. Over(or in) the last few decades — I believe the result of development is meant here. So we can either imply the gradual improvement with ‘over’, or use the more generalised ‘in’.
2. Even though online courses provide extraordinary benefits to educatees, I believe that there might be a definite drawback if all courses are made online — I’ve taken the liberty to alter the sentence to make the contrasting more evident. I also changed ‘extravagant’ to ‘extraordinary’ as it is a more common collocation.
3. Use of commas in the text is not always optimal. There is a nice (and long) article on commas here. I might compile a shorter set of must-know rules later.
4. A prime example is a survey conducted by UNESCO in which a sample of 10 years data from Oxford University, in terms number of students in each course.(A prime example is a survey conducted by UNESCO using data collected by Oxford University over 10 years on number of students in each course— Names of universities, various institutions and organisations are normally capitalised. The sentence is difficult to understand because of three separate clauses. Consider breaking it up into shorter ones. Sentence in brackets is my suggestion that does not involve turning one sentence into two.
5. have skyrocketed — ‘skyrocketed’ already implies surging growth, you don’t need to emphasise it any further, even if it means using fancy vocabulary.
6. To sum up, the development of online courses is extremely useful for pupils to satisfy their hunger for knowledge — ‘satisfy’ collocates with ‘hunger’, ‘suffice’ doesn’t.
7. However, giving more importance to the online course can lead to adverse ramifications that prevent students from learning human skills which are essential in one’s life — ‘disable’ and ‘from’ aren’t used together. ‘Utmost’ is not an adverb and you need one if you want to use it with the adjective ‘essential’ here. Avoid using two ‘which’ determiners in one sentence.

A well-structured essay with clear ideas and decent use of vocabulary. A more focused punctuation would make it very decent — namely the use of commas needs some brushing up. Another aspect that needs attention is collocations — some of the expressions have established word pairs (‘to satisfy hunger’, ‘prevent from doing something’).

Students with good command of English usually believe that the longer and more complicated sentences they write, the higher score they will get. While this is partially true, longer sentences can be tricky to do right and they are usually harder to understand. A minor mistake in a bigger sentence can make it impossible to make out which can seriously harm the final score. Keep this in mind when planning your narrative.

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