By Brian Fairbanks
While COVID-19 may have brought remote learning to the masses, online courses predate the pandemic and offer a completely different experience. While once thought of as a novelty, online education is even more robust than before and offers exciting new opportunities to learn from anywhere in the world.
For some, online education is exciting and bold. For others, e-learning can be a little scary. So let's take a look at the differences between online learning and traditional learning.
If you're new to online programs, it can be a little confusing. So we're breaking down the primary differences between online classes and traditional classes.
At a traditional university, there’s no getting around the back-and-forth of a commute. You might live an hour away, from door to classroom and you have to make that trek daily or weekly.
Some students may not mind this while others would rather save time. A virtual classroom removes the obstacle of geography. All you need is a steady internet connection to catch up on lectures.
An on-campus university is usually an efficient enterprise. But, it comes with strict class times and minimal tolerance for lateness or absences (even if there’s traffic or you have competing obligations to family or work).
If you do miss a lecture at a traditional university, you might have to ask a classmate to share his or her notes before the next class or at least the next test. And even if you find someone willing to share, you take a risk that those notes are inaccurate or incomplete.
In the virtual learning environment, however, you can typically catch up on classroom instruction and coursework within a few days and not fall behind or rely on anyone else to get caught up.
While both in-person and online classes have requirements around attendance and deadlines, learning online can usually be accessed anytime within a certain window. So, whether you’re a night owl or on a lunch break, you can attend class when it works for your schedule.
On campus classes, on the other hand, are not usually recorded, so if you miss something, it may be gone for good. (Unless your lecturer fills you in!)