IELTS Writing Task 2: Some universities now offer their courses on the Internet so that people can study online. Is this a positive or negative development?


#1

Dear Luschen,
It’s been such a long time since my last post here. I hope you’re doing well :slight_smile:
Currently I am practising writing essays to prepare for the IELTS. I hope you will help me with this. Thank you very much!

TOPIC: Some universities now offer their courses on the Internet so that people can study online. Is this a positive or negative development?

It is true that more and more higher educational institutions are providing students with online courses. While I agree that there are several drawbacks, this phenomenon has far more advantages.

The key drawback of studying online courses is that students would have less interaction with professors and classmates. Whereas students can stand a good chance of being engaged in face-to-face conversations, seminars and group projects in traditional classrooms, those studying online courses are restricted to chatting via online platforms. As a result, these students would hardly have the opportunity to enhance their soft skills such as communication or teamwork skills that are vitally important for their future career. Furthermore, studying online means that learners would have less mentoring and peer support, which may lead to a lack of motivation and procrastination.

Despite the above-mentioned drawbacks, I would argue that online university courses are a positive development. Firstly, given the flexibility of online courses, it is possible for students to schedule their own study progress and study whenever they want. Secondly, universities are likely to reduce the costs for equipment and facilities by introducing online courses. This amount of money could be invested in improving the quality of courses. Most importantly, the fact that universities offer online courses would provide more educational opportunities for students in remote areas where universities are not yet available. For example, many students in rural areas of Vietnam now can possibly enroll on degree programs offered by American universities on Coursera or edX websites. In this way, an increasing number of students are able to gain knowledge regardless of geographical constraints.

In conclusion, although studying online courses may have some disadvantages, I am of the opinion that this is a positive development overall.
(287 words)


#2

Hi Duongan, welcome back! Wow, your writing is very good. There were not many errors I was able to find. I realize IELTS writers always seem to want to address both sides of the issue, but to me it often reduces the persuasiveness of the argument. Here though you make it pretty clear which side you feel is stronger, but you might want to show a little more clearly why the drawbacks are not very persuasive. Here are some other comments:


#3

Hi Luschen,
Thanks so much for your feedback! I’ll note them down.
Regarding the conclusion, I agree that I should add more. Is this one ok?
" In conclusion, although studying via online courses may have some disadvantages, I am of the opinion that this is a positive development overall. Online university courses would allow students to study much more flexibly and help universities to save costs. This trend can also open study opportunities to more and more students in remote areas."
What’s more, for this IELTS writing, which band score do you think you could give to my essay?
Many thanks!