Education is essential for everyone. Among other benefits, it equips us with the knowledge needed to communicate, survive, and even excel in our careers. As for how we seek it, the dawn of the computer age has introduced online education as a possible alternative to traditional learning. The latter is, however, yet to be replaced. That is despite lacking some unique perks presented by the former, such as custom assignment solutions for students who want to hire professionals for better grades or free up some time. In this post, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both traditional and online education. It will come in handy for anyone who wants to know which of the two is the most ideal for them.
How do they compare?
The best way to handle the online vs traditional education discussion is to view them side by side. This way, you can see where each excels over the other. Before that, however, let’s start by defining each of them.
Starting with traditional learning, the characteristic setting it apart is that it takes place inside a brick-and-mortar classroom. Students listen, take notes, and may even ask questions directly if something is unclear.
Online learning, on the other hand, is conducted over the Internet. Partaking, therefore, requires the involved parties to have access to an internet-enabled device. While learning may take place via video calling tools such as Skype, most institutions will have a portal where you can access notes, videos, and real-time sessions with educators.
Now that you have a clear picture of what each of them entails, let’s see how they compare.
1. Face-to-face interaction
The named benefit is a result of normal schooling. It fosters camaraderie among learners, with friendships established in school potentially lasting a lifetime. Meeting physically also means that they can engage in co-curricular activities on certain days. These, in turn, stimulate creative thinking, which goes a long way in sharpening social and organizational skills. That is not to mention that stepping out of the classroom for some physical exercise may help avoid burnout.
With virtual schooling, face-to-face interaction is not present. People exchange ideas over their phones and computers, meaning that they miss out on the benefits of interacting face-to-face. They, however, forego the expenses of commuting to school whenever there is a class.
2. Structure and organization
With brick-and-mortar learning, you must commute to a learning institution. Upon getting there, you must also follow all the other rules and regulations therein, such as wearing uniforms and attending all the classes. Failure to do that may lead to tough disciplinary measures such as suspension. Although it may seem like a disadvantage, some students may thrive on structure and routine.
Things are a little more relaxed with virtual learning. You can attend classes from wherever you are, provided you have an internet connection. Furthermore, some schools may provide pre-recorded classes, meaning you enjoy the convenience of deciding when to attend. This can be especially beneficial to someone who is working as they study. The flexibility can, however, be a drawback, as a lack of in-person interaction and feedback can make it harder to stay motivated.
3. Hands-on learning
This is one of the main advantages presented by traditional education. It is particularly important in sciences, art, and engineering, where active participation in experiments and activities is necessary. Practicals are also possible in virtual education, but they are not as effective. The students might not have access to some of the materials needed. That is not to mention that some experiments need to be carried out inside a lab for safety purposes.
You are less likely to get distracted when learning inside classrooms. Providing a conducive environment for learners is the reason they exist in the first place. Furthermore, it takes effort to get there, and you do not want it to be in vain. The same cannot be said about virtual tutoring, where distractions are always present. Sadly, most of them are presented by the same device you are using for learning.
With online education, you can attend classes from wherever you are. As already mentioned, you can even choose when to study, as most of the learning materials will be provided at the beginning of the semester. That’s far from the case when it comes to traditional schooling. You need to attend classes at specific times, posing difficulties if you have other obligations such as family.
Online tutoring does not require physical classrooms and other facilities, such as libraries, that require funds to run. Furthermore, tutors and lecturers may only be required once to record videos or provide notes for the entire semester. This makes it cheaper than traditional education, where commuting and housing costs can also add up quickly for the students.
7. Accessibility to a wide variety of programs
With traditional education, you may be forced to settle for the courses that are available locally. Luckily, virtual tutoring gets rid of this drawback entirely, as students can access the programs that are offered both regionally and internationally. Notably, students can register for degrees or courses that will make them qualify for jobs in other countries.
As you can see, each form of education comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right one for you comes down to your personal needs and goals, as well as other things such as wherewithal. If you prefer a more structured learning environment and thrive on in-person interaction, for instance, traditional education may be the better choice. On the other hand, if you value flexibility and convenience, online education may be the most ideal for you.