01 Aug 2016

Classroom vs Online Courses

Article on - Classroom vs Online Courses

With technology torpedoing its way through our lives and changing the way we consume information, so is the way courses are being taught. Online courses might sound unconventional to some, but there is a growing number of online courses now being offered.

If you find yourself trying to decide which type of course would suit you better, here are three factors to consider before making the decision.

The biggest difference between online and classroom courses is flexibility. For traditional courses conducted in classrooms, extended and fixed windows of time will need to be allocated. Additionally, they follow a rigid course structure, and attendance is often a component of your final grade.

On the other hand, online courses are quite the opposite. They require no fixed schedules, so you can learn at your own place and “attend” lectures at any time of the day - even from the comfort of your own home. For those working shifts, online courses are a great way to pick up or refine a skill without infringing on your schedule.

To quote Peter Parker, your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Albeit that phrase might be taken from a comic character, it does apply to real life especially with regard to self-discipline. Online courses offer great flexibility and convenience for those with demanding schedules. However, they do require a great deal of self-discipline and motivation to keep academic progress in check.

By contrast, classroom courses provide structure and demands a certain level of classroom etiquette and responsibility. This is not to say that self-discipline is not needed, just less when compared to online courses. For those who have trouble staying self-motivated when learning is self-paced, a classroom course might then be a better fit for you.

Interaction and Network
A lecturer once told my class, “University is more than studying. It is also about building your network for when you graduate, for you would never know who you might meet. Your fellow classmate could very well be a potential client, investor or colleague.”

With the structure of traditional classrooms and through group work, you are able to interact with classmates and gain a network of contacts. However, opportunities to build this network of contacts are close to zero when taking an online course, as there is hardly a need to interact with others.

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