Face-to-Face versus Online Learning Effectiveness in Teaching Math

Face-to-Face versus Online Learning: Effectiveness in Teaching Math


As a result of the effect of the COVID-19 epidemic, classroom instruction was put on hold for the time being. Students in elementary school found themselves in a position that had never happened before and had never been considered before. Math education in the classroom and other forms of conventional instruction have been mostly phased out in favor of a novel and exploratory approach that is offered via online learning. It is quite likely that the duration of the pandemic, in addition to its impacts on day-to-day life, expenditures, and other financial concerns, will have a direct influence on the ability of elementary and middle school pupils to complete their education (Adnan & Yaman, 2015). It is concerning because disruptions in academic environments have led to the creation of an atmosphere that is susceptible to disruption. Difficult conditions have arisen for students at the elementary and middle school levels of schooling as a direct consequence of their situations. As a result of the pandemic scenario, which highlighted an image of imbalance within the academic education system, a sense of exclusion has developed, particularly in regard to the provision of instructions for mathematics. Ultimately, evidence from various scholars discussed in this paper shows that online learning has not been as effective as the traditional approaches in providing instructions for mathematics learners (Feng, Ioan, & Li, 2021). Many primary schools in East Asia were compelled to switch to online instruction rather than traditional face-to-face instruction, particularly in light of the Covid-19 project. In addition, there are a lot of kids and parents who are starting to warm up to the idea of doing school and studying online. The purpose of this conversation is to investigate whether or not there is a significant difference in the efficacy of teaching math via conventional classroom settings as opposed to teaching math online. In the event that online instruction is not as successful as first thought, the purpose of this debate is to provide suggestions for ways in which the quality of online mathematics instruction might be improved. The increasing importance of online education is emphasized especially on how to train new math teachers and what should current math teachers do.

Understanding Online versus Traditional Instruction Giving

Online education has the ability to totally transform the present educational system by, among other things, expanding the number of educational possibilities accessible to students, altering student demographics, and stimulating the development of novel teaching methodologies. As a consequence, both the instructors and the students will see the teaching and learning process as more reliable, successful, and less stressful (Wadsworth et al., 2007). Although studies have demonstrated that traditional classroom study and online learning provide equal learning outcomes, it is a popular misunderstanding that online learning lacks the same degree of engagement as traditional classroom study. The study’s results lead the researchers to the conclusion that there was no statistically significant difference in learning preferences between students who took classes in person and students who took lessons online (Feng, Ioan, & Li, 2021). The effectiveness of online education has been shown to provide a variety of advantages owing to increased flexibility and learning possibilities. These benefits include having easy access to educational settings, being exposed to educational contexts, having a diverse selection of course kinds, and being a part of student communities (Mulenga & Marbán, 2020b). On the other side, there are certain disadvantages to online education, such as issues with internet browsing, device incompatibility, and other technical challenges. It was important to make changes to the pupils’ daily routines in order to fulfill the state of isolation caused by the breakout of COVID-19 (Mulenga & Marbán, 2020a). The lack of socializing has an influence on pupils, disrupting their capacity to maintain a good social and emotional balance. This was especially true for young individuals who were already dealing with similar challenges in their lives. Being alone for lengthy periods of time, according to the students, made them worried and unhappy.

Teaching Effectiveness Between Online Math Teaching and Traditional Math Instruction

Mathematics established itself as the fundamental driving force behind practically all technological and natural scientific advances in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (Feng, Ioan, & Li, 2021). It has a tremendous influence not only on our professional life, but also on our personal lives. It is critical not just to students’ academic performance, but also to the growth of a developed nation. Mathematics education has always been seen as a vital component of not just a general education but, more specifically, a scientific education (Adnan & Yaman, 2015). It is usual to believe that a thorough educational strategy is required for the success of any large-scale development project (Setyaningrum, 2018). Because people’s thoughts and opinions about the value of mathematical education are so different, there are several unique ways that may be employed while teaching mathematics. Teachers are expected to inspire a love of learning in their students since it is their obligation to encourage critical thinking and intellectual progress in their students. The role of educators to stimulate and motivate their students’ desire in learning is largely neglected in many online methods, thus reducing effectiveness.

In order to be aware of the teaching practice activities carried out by instructors, we must have a thorough comprehension of both learning and teaching methodologies. Educational institutions all across the world have used a broad range of teaching techniques, including those that are more traditional, those that stress problem-solving, and those that promote discovery learning (Panaoura, 2021). Given the number of ways that may be employed to teach mathematical ideas, the degree to which various approaches succeed is to be expected. This is especially important in light of the growing popularity of online education as an alternative to more traditional teaching methods.

Over the past two decades, there has been a parabolic surge in the installation of internet-based mathematical settings in schools across the nation. This is mostly due to the widespread use of internet-based technologies COVID-19 has spurred an urgent change from traditional techniques of mathematics instruction to web-based methods of mathematics teaching at all levels of mathematics education. Mathematics courses given in primary schools span a wide range of subjects. Concepts gained at the elementary level are connected to more difficult concepts studied at a higher level of mathematics, such as trigonometry, functions, and equations (Cao et al., 2021). The essential parts of mathematics, such as whole numbers and their operations, fractions, and decimals, are inextricably linked with foundational mathematical notions (Engelbrecht, Llinares, & Borba, 2020). Basic mathematical notions and fundamental mathematical difficulties, such as numbers and operations, fractions and decimals, are inextricably linked. Furthermore, spatial awareness, mental rotation, visualization, and logical reasoning are all linked to mathematical ability in some manner. This is only one of many instances in which the two sets of skills are comparable.

According to the results of Mulenga & Marbán (2020b) research, WBMI (Web-based mathematics instruction) not only helps students acquire fundamental ideas, but it also helps primary school students grasp higher-level mathematical concepts and master mathematical talents. However, experts note that the majority of WBMI students lose interest in the advanced and tough mathematical themes they are studying and struggle to adapt to the content since they have no previous experience with mathematics. This is despite the fact that WBMI is one of the most creative and forward-thinking educational institutions in the world. The study of elementary-level mathematical issues is claimed to be challenging when done in inadequately customized settings for web-based mathematics education (Hillmayr et al., 2020). As a consequence, the impact of WBMI on the acquisition of mathematical knowledge may vary based on the particular of the mathematical ideas addressed in schools (Panaoura, 2021). Furthermore, it is unknown if the effects of WBMI on mathematical knowledge acquisition are constant across the diverse components that comprise the multiple school mathematics themes.

Changes to Learning and How this has Affected Mathematics Instruction Provision

The COVID-19 outbreak seems to have significantly disrupted the conventional face-to-face style of education. Education at a distance via the use of information and communication technologies has progressed from a rare choice (typically reserved for programs delivered at a supplementary level) to a mainstream practice (Feng, Ioan, & Li, 2021). The change in primary school learning was particularly noticeable. In recent years, Setyaningrum (2018) and Panaoura (2021) found that both the methods of teaching and learning in scientific and technical domains, as well as the usage of digital technology, have undergone tremendous change and growth. The increasing use of technology has had a tremendous influence not only on instructors, but also on the pupils they educate in the subject of mathematics. On the one hand, some older instructors are unable to provide an in-depth lesson plan based on the new digital platforms because they do not understand or utilize them (Panaoura, 2021). The majority of persons in charge of teaching mathematics believe there is no way out of the current situation because they would rather educate using the old manner that has traditionally been utilized.

On the other hand, it seems that the students in primary schools will gain a substantial quantity of new knowledge and skills as a consequence of participating in online learning activities (Engelbrecht, Llinares, & Borba, 2020). The pandemic has had a tremendous impact not only on the engagement that students have with their various teachers, but also on the contact that students have with one another (Feng, Ioan, & Li, 2021). As a consequence of these advancements, both the method in which people connect with one another and the character of academic life have undergone substantial changes. Adnan and Yaman (2015) found that the level of involvement that may be engaged in during each session is one of the most important parts of the whole learning experience. Personal touch and engagement have become more uncommon as a result of digital technology’s domination in today’s society. Consumers are becoming more used to engaging with digital gadgets. In the subject of education, one school of thought believes that the growth of online educational options, especially in the field of mathematics education study programs, has produced a number of challenges that must be addressed. Among these concerns are:

People’s movement has been hampered as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, which has resulted in the closure of schools. As a result, education is increasingly being delivered off-site via a variety of online education platforms, with pedagogical support from families, notably at the preschool and primary education levels of the educational system (Panaoura, 2021). The influence of the pandemic on the change of processes involved in distance education in contrast to face-to-face instruction may have a detrimental impact on students’ mental health. This impact may be noticed not just in abrupt transitions, but also in the adoption of new learning and teaching techniques that make use of virtual worlds. Furthermore, students in primary school are hesitant and lack motivation to do their allotted assignments. This adds to the difficulties that educators already confront, since they must adjust not only to changes in the topics they teach, but also, in many cases, to the educational practices of their own families (Mulenga & Marbán, 2020a). Mathematics education has been one of the areas with the biggest need for the adoption of fresh didactic teaching methodologies due to the symbolic character of mathematics and the dependence on paper rather than technology. As a result, mathematics teaching has become one of the most in-demand fields.

Parental Involvement in Children’s Mathematics Learning

The advent of the Covid-19 virus has a number of ramifications for human survival that might be witnessed all around the world. Furthermore, research by Panaoura (2021) suggests that the pandemic had an influence on a variety of other spheres, including industry, tourism, healthcare, social services, the economy, and educational institutions. Keeping a social distance, avoiding crowds, and working from home are all possible ways. As a result, every government chooses to provide its workers the option of working from home (work from home). Throughout the epidemic, the primary school teaching and learning process, which had previously taken place in person, had to be carried out from home as well as online (Engelbrecht, Llinares, & Borba, 2020). This necessitated relying on the technologies given by the internet. Everyone participating in the primary school online learning process is aware of the changes that have occurred as a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak, including students, educators, and parents who support their children. Students, instructors, and parents are all included.

Parents must engage in their children’s educational activities because the degree of support and assistance that parents offer has a substantial influence on their children’s skills. They should also be aware that the development of their mathematical skills should be encouraged via a range of activities such as directed study (Panaoura, 2021). Furthermore, fulfilling this goal is critical for educational reasons since it assures that students will be able to solve issues using a range of various ways. The extent to which parents participate in their children’s mathematics education “at home” by exhibiting an interest in and offering support for the subject has a substantial influence on the subject’s learning results and capabilities.

Despite this, many parents believe they are in the dark about modern educational practices and how they might get more involved in the process of teaching their children. Many efforts have been launched across the world to increase communication between schools and families, but there is a dearth of documentation, particularly in the subject of mathematics education. To successfully study mathematics, students must develop their own knowledge via the use of real-world examples and situations, with the ultimate objective of achieving goals and solving logical issues. Furthermore, when kids are put in a setting similar to the real world, their mathematical reasoning talents are highlighted (Engelbrecht, Llinares, & Borba, 2020). Parents, who play an important role in determining the quality of their child’s learning at home, should provide authentic experiences that are relevant to their children’s day-to-day life, as well as chances for their children to learn via play. As a result, parents must be ready and willing to engage in the process of their children learning mathematics via play alongside them.

Improving the Quality of Online Mathematics Teaching to Match the Effectiveness Observed in Traditional Face-to-Face Approaches

Learners in primary and middle schools are more likely to become diverted and lose concentration on their studies when they leave the regimented environment of a conventional classroom and head home, where things are less organized and more relaxed. Students who do not have their own dedicated physical study environment may be more exposed to distractions such as background noise and other obstructions to their academic achievement. Individuals’ educational experiences have also developed. There will be times in class when students are expected to do their own independent research, a move that may be ineffective in mathematics teaching. Math learners taking online classes may find it difficult to retain and grasp the content delivered to them. It has been shown that the existence of these concerns makes it more difficult to employ online education appropriately for primary schools (Engelbrecht, Llinares, & Borba, 2020). It is unclear, however, if these elements have a major influence on how students see themselves as math students who study online.

To put it another way, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the technological, personal, institutional, and community barriers to online learning have been identified; however, it is still unknown how these barriers affect students’ sense of themselves as mathematicians in a completely online class setting (Engelbrecht, Llinares, & Borba, 2020). This is owing to the fact that COVID-19 is still causing people to get unwell. This is because there has been minimal research on the subject. Furthermore, the ideas that are presently being examined for improving the teaching of mathematics that is delivered online do not take into account how people think about mathematics when studying it online. If instructors can understand how their students assess their own mathematical talents early in the process of adopting online learning, they may get the information they need to improve or change the way they teach mathematics using the internet. As a result, it is critical to understand how the aforementioned aspects impact each student’s image of themselves in respect to their mathematical talents within the context of an online learning environment.

Online professional development provides a variety of advantages not accessible in conventional classroom environments, including more flexibility and convenience. When teachers take standard courses online rather than in a typical classroom environment, they have more choices and flexibility in terms of when they can participate in class and when they can study (Feng, Ioan, & Li, 2021). Teachers who work in small or remote schools may have access to professional development courses that are presented in person but would be prohibitively expensive or logistically difficult to implement. It is also easier to connect instructors from other school districts and specific institutions when using online courses. As a consequence, one’s perspectives are enlarged, and professional ties are formed that would not have been possible under any other set of circumstances. Since its debut more than a decade ago, educational leaders have questioned whether traditional face-to-face meetings are as beneficial as online professional development in terms of improving teachers’ material and pedagogical expertise, as well as their instructional methods. Educational leaders, on the other hand, have questioned whether online professional development is as beneficial as traditional face-to-face meetings (Adnan & Yaman, 2015). This is because instructors may now pursue continuing education programs online, which is considerably more convenient. Because online education just duplicates the settings seen in traditional lecture rooms, the potential unique to this modality of teaching are seldom used. This is true despite the fact that participation in online discussions has the potential to increase students’ knowledge.

E-learning has grown increasingly popular as a consequence of the advancement of information and communication technology, and its effectiveness is expected to increase further (Wadsworth et al., 2007). The combination of this new development and the COVID-19’s stringent constraints has led in the introduction of fresh methods to educational practice. The e-learning approach to education is putting old beliefs about how teaching and education should be carried out to the test. Because instructional activities may now be done at any time and in any place, e-learning necessitates a rethinking of both training locations and durations (Hillmayr et al., 2020). Mulenga and Marbán (2020b) Access to the internet, as well as a variety of other technological tools and online resources, provides availability and reach. With online teaching of primary schools for mathematics, there is a significant difference in performance between the online and traditional instruction giving, giving more weight to effectiveness of the conventional classroom setting.


Following COVID-19, questions regarding how to swiftly ensure quality in online education have been sparked as a result of the move to online education. These discussions are moving their emphasis toward how to better understand the requirements of students and how to utilize input from students to improve the quality of education, especially with regard to online teaching of mathematics for primary schools. Notoriously, primary schools and the effect of online learning versus traditional learning have been understudied.  The discussion is of the opinion that conventional classroom teaching should not be regarded a replacement for online education, but rather that online education should be seen as a vital component of the educational systems of both today and the future. When seen from this perspective, the challenge of determining how to enhance the level of education that is delivered over the internet can seem to be a less daunting one. It is more probable that teachers will come up with creative new methods to engage students in lower grades and elementary levels if they employ online delivery as part of their teaching strategy and accept its utilization.

Following student excitement for returning to the conventional face-to-face classroom setup, the usefulness of teaching and studying mathematics via online channels has been called into question. Students in elementary and middle school are more likely to get distracted and lose concentrate on their studies when they leave the structured environment of a regular classroom and go home, where things are less orderly and more relaxed. This is particularly true for elementary school children. Those who do not have their own dedicated physical study area may be more prone to disruptions in their academic progress, such as background noise and other barriers, than students who have. Individual educational experiences have also altered throughout time. During the session, students may be forced to do their own independent research, which may or may not be useful in the teaching of mathematics. Students of mathematics who attend online classes may struggle to retain and comprehend the content taught to them. It has been shown that the prevalence of these concerns makes appropriate usage of online education for primary schools more difficult to execute. However, it is unclear if these qualities have a major influence on how students see themselves as math students who study online.

The discussion acknowledges the role and involvement of parents and caregivers in online education, and specifically the special role in the issuing of mathematics instructions. From the analysis of information above, it emerges that a significant number of parents have the impression that they are in the dark about contemporary educational procedures and the ways in which they may become more active in the process of instructing their children. There have been many attempts made all around the globe to boost communication between schools and families, but there is a lack of documentation, especially in the field of mathematics education. These efforts have been made in an effort to improve the educational experience for students. In order for students to be successful in their study of mathematics, they need to construct their own knowledge via the application of real-world examples and scenarios, with the end aim being the accomplishment of objectives and the resolution of logical problems. In addition, children’s abilities to think mathematically are brought to the fore when they are placed in an environment that is analogous to the actual world. Both real experiences that are relevant to their children’s day-to-day lives and opportunities for their children to learn via play should be provided by parents, who play an essential role in defining the quality of their child’s learning that takes place at home. As a consequence of this, parents need to be prepared and willing to participate alongside their children in the process of their children learning mathematics via play.


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