Difference Between In-Person and Online Education

By: | Updated: Jan-3, 2023
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As we live in the digital world, we are able to keep in touch with people all over the world with the help of specific apps like Zoom, Discord, WhatsApp, etc. Needless to say, the educational system has also developed, and now students and teachers can connect through virtual classrooms. Now that we also have multiple formats of education, we can’t say for sure that there is one medium of teaching that is better than the other.

Difference Between In-Person and Online Education
Photo by Van Tay Media on Unsplash

Many have debated whether distance learning is better than face-to-face education. Well, we still acquire the same class materials, write essays on the same topics, and attend online classes as scheduled when studying online. But there are still numerous differences between these two formats of education. In this article, we will get into detail about the advantages and disadvantages of in-person and remote education to define which one is better.

Pros and Cons of Full-Time Education

Full-time learning is a traditional form of education. It is characterized by the obligatory presence of students in classes. Here is a list of the advantages of such a form of learning:

  • A wide range of universities provide students with the possibility to get a scholarship and study for free. But, of course, to apply for one, you need perfect academic results.
  • With the help of face-to-face contact with the teacher, you get help and support during academic years, the internship, and the future employment.
  • Consolidation of the acquired knowledge in group practical exercises.
  • Regular open events, where experts in a particular area are invited (master classes, seminars, conferences).
  • Offers more hands-on experience.
  • Nonresident students get a place in the dormitory. It’s a chance to become an adult and be completely independent, tutoring is usually a good way to make money on the side.
  • On-campus life. You can meet a lot of new people, establish contact with them and share experiences.
  • Teachers can easily conduct discussions and engage students in active learning.
  • There are fewer distractions, like annoying neighbors, family members, etc.

The disadvantages of the traditional form of education include:

  • Lack of opportunity to have a permanent job, as you need to spend a lot of time studying. Hence, you can only find a part-time job, so you can forget about a good income during education.
  • Discipline and compliance with regulations. In case you miss a lot of classes without a valid reason or fail several exams, it can lead to expulsion.
  • It takes more time and effort to get a decent job. Unfortunately, not every employer wants to hire a graduate without experience.
  • People who live far away from educational institutions need to spend a lot of time and money on transport.
  • Some students have their own learning styles that might not align with being physically present in a classroom.
  • Less flexible for adult learners.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Distance Learning

The main aspect of distance learning is the physical separation of teachers and students during the academic years and the use of various technologies to facilitate communication. Here is a list of the advantages of distance learning:

  • You don’t need to be in a rush every morning and be afraid to miss a class. Besides, there is no need to spend time and money on transport.
  • The ability to arrange the schedule that fits your lifestyle as you will not waste time on the road to university.
  • Well-designed programs bridge intellectual, cultural, and social differences between students.
  • Accessibility and convenience.
  • Less dependence on physical proximity between teachers and students.
  • You will be provided with digital reading materials, recorded sessions (in case you miss something when having an online class or just to review), chat rooms, and discussion forums. Besides, you will take tests in virtual classrooms.
  • Often more affordable.
  • The main focus is on nontraditional students, such as full-time workers, military personnel, and nonresidents.

Though, there are a few disadvantages of distance learning:

  • The lack of supervision by the teacher and a lack of engagement in virtual classrooms. Not all students have enough self-control and motivation to stay active during online sessions. It can lead to poor academic results or even expulsion.
  • Digital and computer literacy is a must.
  • Tougher technical requirements.
  • No on-campus life. When you study at home, you can’t meet your friends and strengthen your bond with them.
  • There’s been an increase in online fatigue. When every day you attend the same, for example, Zoom calls, it becomes a boring daily routine that leads to unavoidable online fatigue.
  • Certain subjects are hard to obtain online. It can be various hands-on classes like chemistry, physics, or nursing that require a physical classroom.
  • Possible distractions at home.
Difference Between In-Person and Online Education
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Summing Up

Before choosing the right format of learning, you need to weigh all the pros and cons of both in-person and online education. In regards to this article, you can simplify this process and choose the format that suits you more.

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