Online vs Traditional Education
What is the first thing that goes through your mind when you hear the word "college"? To me, it's a huge class where dozens of students are taking notes as their teacher explains the current lesson.
However, people who take online courses on a regular basis view college classes as a convenient, inexpensive way of getting access to high-quality education. According to Instruction Technology Council, the completion rate for online classes at community colleges is 72%, in comparison with 76% for traditional education. Here are the main pros and cons when it comes to online education.
Before I begin, though, it is important to state that both online and traditional education have their positive and negative aspects. So, don't disregard the idea of combining these learning methods; I'll get to this point later on in this article.
As I have already mentioned, online classes are much less expensive; sometimes you will be able to enroll in a fully-fledged course for $200 or so. Isn't it amazing that you can actually get a solid skill set, and then get hired by a reputable company, because you've taken a six-month course online?
Another key benefit is flexibility. If you have a full-time job, it's going to be quite hard to attend classes at a traditional college. Things get even more complicated if you've got a family to take care of as well. In this case, online classes can be a lifesaver, because they allow you to log in whenever you've got one or two hours of free time at your disposal.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you should skip classes! The institutions which provide online courses have teachers who expect students to log in at least two or three times per week, read the current lessons, and then complete their assignments. Still, this approach makes it much easier to find time for your education, even if you've got a busy schedule.
However, online education may not be suitable for everyone. For starters, you will need to be highly motivated to complete the courses provided by on online college. Yes, online education offers a greater flexibility, but its very flexibility will also give you the illusion that you can postpone your assignments, taking care of them later. Several studies have proven that some of the students who take online courses struggle to complete them, because they lack motivation.
This is an area where traditional education wins hands down. Teachers have regular interactions with their students, and students interact with each other, thus being able to motivate one another. More than this, most students will stay in campus while they are studying, so they've got the chance of asking and answering course-related questions, boosting their motivation levels.
Social interaction is also important, and online courses aren't able to take it to the next level. It is true that students can interact with their teachers and with each other using video chat applications or discussion forums, but let's be frank and admit that this type of interaction is limited.
On the other hand, traditional education encourages real, face-to-face communication. Students can get involved in conversations with their teachers, and this will help them solidify their knowledge.
So, what should you choose? Online, or traditional education? The option is quite clear for people who have a busy schedule: go for online courses. However, if this is not an issue for you, there is an ideal solution, which merges the advantages of both worlds. With blended learning, the courses combine in-person learning and various online-based tasks.
Teachers may require their students to attend courses a day per week, for example. Students will complete their projects at home, and then send the results of their work to the teachers through email.
As you can see, both online and traditional education models have their pros and cons. Blended learning is hands down the best solution, and we are confidently recommending it.