All students have different ways in which they learn the best. Prior to starting a learning program, it is important for a student to identify the collegiate experience that works best for them and which, suites their lifestyle. With that in mind, it is imperative to understand the similarities and differences of an online and traditional class along with their pros and cons. Besides the obvious differences of traditional classes being held in a classroom setting while online classes take place at a students place of comfort preferably at home, in front of a computer, a good comparison of the two can help students to make informed decisions on which of the two best suites their situation.
An online class is more flexible than a traditional class. The flexibility of online classes has attracted many scholars especially those with busy schedules, yet they wish to further their studies. It allows such students to do other businesses and only focus on their online classes during their spare time. They can review the lectures notes; do their assignment, quizzes, and tests when they are free from their daily activities. Most people who are pursuing online classes are working, making it very easy for them to work as they study. On the contrary, traditional classes are a little fixed as all the registered students have to attend scheduled classes. Attending the traditional classes counts as part of the grading, hence unavailability is not an option. In regard to flexibility, traditional classes are disadvantageous because the students have to follow a scheduled worksheet, unlike the online classes where the students plan their study schedule.
Online classes are cheaper and less time consuming as compared to the traditional classes. To attend an online class, a student needs to register by paying tuition fees and examination fee where applicable. Students usually take care of all their needs at home and they do not need school to do it for them. For example, students obtain their accommodation, foods, medication and security on their own without having to involve school management. In most cases, a school that offers online classes does not even know where their students reside. Students also schedule their time appropriately depending on their duties and determine the time they can access their online portal and do their assignments, quizzes, and tests. Online classes save students quite a great deal of time enabling them to engage in other activities such as business or work. Students attending traditional classes pay more because the school fraternity has to take care of most of their needs, besides the tuition and the exams fees. They also spend most of their time within the school compound and are mostly tied and cannot involve in exercising other serious activities such as family obligations, work or conducting their businesses.
The level of interactions between students in online classes programs and those on traditional classes programs differ quite significantly. Those studying in traditional classes program can interact with other students, tutors and lecturers on a one-on-one basis, helping them to have a better grasp of the ideas. The students can also work in groups to solve assignment helping them not only to learn but also to develop their social life. Interaction in the traditional class setting is well established enabling the students to have a wide range of ideas and techniques of approaching a given problem. On the other hand, online classes programs do not provide an excellent environment for students to interact. Although campuses have established forums where students can interact and discuss their ideas, the forums are not as effective as the interactions in the traditional class setting. Online classes also limit the students social life and can only follow the given way of solving problems as they are not well-equipped on a wide range of techniques from their peers.
Traditional classes offer students with an opportunity to perform extra-curricular activities. It allows students to exercise their talents in the field by joining various sports and groups that can help develop their abilities in school. Students attending traditional schools can also attend clubs, societies, and associations that help them to grow spiritually, physically and emotionally. For instance, attending guidance and counseling session in-person is more effective than having it online. Traditional classes also help students to grow physically and participate actively in most activities. Conversely, students in online classes are passive participants in most of the activities. They hardly involve in activities such as clubs, sports, and societies. Even those online students, who participate in online clubs such as Chess clubs, do it without involving their physical energy. They commonly rely on their mental capacities.
In conclusion, both online and traditional classes have their advantages and disadvantages. They are suitable for different classes of students. For those who are tied to family obligations, work or businesses, yet they wish to pursue their academic dreams; online classes are the right place for them. Those students who require a lot of one-on-one interaction with their peers and need to engage in school physical activities should choose traditional classes. Again, the choice of either online or traditional class should depend on the best mode of learning for a student.
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