Online education vs. In-person classes: Which one to pick?


As a result of the constant developments in technology, there have been numerous innovations in various fields, including education.

Nowadays, students of all ages are being offered different ways to broaden their knowledge and go up on their educational ladder. They can choose to complete their studies the traditional way or follow the lessons online in a virtual classroom setting.

The truth is no method works the same for everyone. Depending on the individual’s educational needs and preferences, there are a few factors they should consider first to help them decide whether they should pursue online education or stick to the in-person classes. So, no matter if you are a high school student or a college grad, you should explore both methods in detail to see which one will suit you best. 

To help you, we have broken down the pros and cons of the two learning options so you can make an informed decision about your future education.

Online education

One of the greatest things about online education is that it allows students to learn from anywhere and anytime. As long as they complete their assignments in a timely manner, online learning teaches students how to be self-disciplined and come up with their own study schedules so they can effectively achieve their educational goals.

Another great thing about online learning is that it lowers tuition and other financial-related costs. From saving money on food and travel expenses to saving on the basics such as books and supplies, this learning method proves to be more affordable than the traditional one.

However, there are still a few disadvantages of online education that both students and teaching staff members need to be aware of.

For example, lack of social interaction is one of the biggest downsides. Students will be spending more time in front of the screen and less time socializing with their peers. This is especially important for young college students who should be making friends and having a great time.

Besides affecting students, online learning can also pose a real challenge for teachers and professors. If instructors aren’t properly trained in online delivery, there is a great possibility that the entire program will be compromised. They must possess basic computer knowledge and know-how to create a comfortable virtual environment in which the class can operate.

In-person classes

Classroom learning offers lots of advantages to students. The biggest one is that peer interaction is more increased in the in-person learning environment. This means that students can meet their instructors face-to-face and establish relationships with their fellow classmates.

Also, with in-person learning, students’ concentration levels will be much better. They will likely pay more attention in the classroom and learn without as many distractions as is the case with online education.

In addition, when studying in the classroom, students can also take advantage of the supplies available which comes very much in handy for those individuals who have limited access to a computer and reliable internet at home.

Unfortunately, in-person classes also come with a few disadvantages.

For example, the traditional, on-campus learning style offers less control over scheduling. In other words, students won’t be able to decide when and where to attend their classes as they would normally do in an online program.

This drawback leads to another one and that is higher traveling costs. If you need to attend your classes in person, you will need to travel to and from campus regularly. Depending on your living arrangements, this can be a real financial issue as you will need to plan money for gas if you are traveling by car.

Also, in-person learning has higher tuition expenses such as student housing and on-campus meal programs.

Final thoughts

Due to the advancements in technology, students have two options for how they want to pursue their educational goals. While traditional, in-person classes are still the most popular way to learn, online education has also become the preferred learning method among many students. Whether they are looking for a hands-on learning experience or great flexibility and accessibility, students can choose the method that best suits their needs and preferences.

For more information about both learning styles, refer back to our post and read about the advantages and disadvantages of studying online and in the classroom.