IELTS Writing Task 2 | Distance-learning programs have gained in popularity

Task 2 | Essay 15
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Nowadays, distance-learning programs have gained in popularity, but some people argue that online courses can never be taken as good as those taken at a college or university in person.
  • To what extent do you agree or disagree?
How to answer this essay?
  • Introduction:
  • Paraphrase the overall essay main topic.
  • Write a clear opinion.
  • 1st Body Paragraph
  • Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea.
  • Explain your main idea.
  • Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  • 2nd Body Paragraph
  • Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea.
  • Explain your new main idea.
  • Include specific details and examples.
  • Add as much information as you can and make sure it links logically.
  • Conclusion:
  • Summarise your main ideas.
  • Include a final thought.
Model Answer | Marked as Band 8
Cohesive connecting words that improve coherence in writing . Useful less common words that boost fluency in writing .
  • The rise in popularity of online-learning software and applications has led many to argue they can be as effective as real-life lessons taken at university. In my opinion, though these lessons are more efficient in particular university situations, their overall efficacy is far lower than learning in person.
  • Proponents of online study point out how increased flexibility leads to greater efficiency. When students study in person, they must expend time traveling to and from class and waiting before and after the lesson. In the aggregate, this constitutes significant time lost. This time could be redirected into more studying or other tasks. For instance, a student studying online could finish assignments up until the minute class begins and quickly begin their homework after the lesson. However, the efficiency gained is largely hypothetical as most students are likely to become distracted during online lessons and waste much of the time saved online.
  • Moreover, in-person lessons are far more engaging than online ones. This was clearly evidenced during the recent Covid-19 pandemic when many schools, including universities, transitioned to online learning for a period of time. The results were that students were generally less engaged in lessons and their overall productivity and learning suffered. This counterintuitive loss of productivity can be explained not only by the potential distractions students are vulnerable to online but also by the lack of connection between learners and teachers. In a classroom setting, students personally interact with their professors and other students, guaranteeing a high level of engagement and memorability.
  • In conclusion, although there are reasons to argue for the potential time saved through online lessons, they are simply far less effective than real world classes. Online lessons should remain a niche element of a university education.
289 words

Vocabulary and Useful Expressions

  • The rise in popularity of: online-learning software and applications: using apps like Zoom more often
  • argue: point out
  • as effective as real-life lessons taken at university: just as good as the classes in college
  • efficient: saving time and money
  • particular university situations: some cases
  • overall efficacy is far lower than learning in person: generally worse than learning in real life
  • Proponents of online study point out how increased flexibility leads to greater efficiency: supporters of remote learning argue it is more convenient and saves time and energy
  • expend time traveling to and from: waste time commuting
  • waiting before and after the lesson: hanging out before and after classes
  • In the aggregate: combined
  • constitutes significant time lost: combines all the time not used
  • redirected: put in a different direction
  • tasks: assignments
  • finish assignments up until the minute class begins: do work right until class starts
  • quickly begin their homework after the lesson: do homework as soon as class ends
  • gained: what you get
  • largely hypothetical: just imaginary
  • distracted during online lessons: not paying attention during classes online
  • waste much of the time saved online: not productively use your time
  • in-person lessons: studying in real life
  • This was clearly evidenced during the recent Covid-19 pandemic when: clearest example of this was during the Coronavirus pandemic
  • transitioned to: moved to
  • for a period of time: over some time
  • results: consequences
  • generally less engaged in: overall not as interested in
  • overall productivity and learning suffered: general efficiency and learning got worse
  • counterintuitive: not what you would assume, not logical
  • can be explained not only by the potential distractions students are vulnerable to online but also by: there’s an explanation that students might be wasting time online and not paying attention
  • lack of connection between: not much link to
  • In a classroom setting: in classes
  • personally interact with: in person communicate with
  • guaranteeing: safeguarding
  • high level of engagement and memorability: makes it more interesting and easy to remember
  • argue for the potential time saved through: point out it saves time
  • far less effective than real world classes: much less valuable than in-person lessons
  • remain a niche element: keep it a small part of the course
  • a university education: learning at college
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