3 Benefits of Online Vs Traditional Courses (Pros & Cons)

Jordan Coleman
Published by Jordan Coleman
Last Updated On: December 8, 2021

The number of students taking online courses has risen greatly over the past few decades. Many people are still hesitant to take their learning online since they are used to a traditional classroom setting.

However, while there are pros and cons to both online learning and traditional education, today we will highlight 3 areas where online programs take the cake.

After scouring several online forums to find out how online vs. traditional students feel, we’re able to give you the leap of faith you need to step into the online world.

Online Learning: A Summary

A student taking down notes in front of a laptop

E-education involves the student attending internet classes, interacting with real teachers and students.

A good online program should include everything you can get from in-person classes, just without the face-to-face interaction.

Feedback, help, and test-taking all happen via the internet portal. Professors can also leave feedback concerning the students' work.

Students usually choose online classes since they give the option to learn anywhere at any time.

They can complete tasks and take the course material at their own pace. Online learning also makes a college degree more accessible for students who live far from campus.

“The average student will typically spend anywhere between $100 to $400 per credit hour. Also, students do not have costs associated with commuting to a college campus.”


- Best Value Schools 

Online courses are gradually becoming a huge part of formal education, and more than 75% of professors believe online learning is equal or even superior to in-person learning [1].

Of course, online learning isn’t for everyone. The majority of students still believe they study better in traditional classrooms, maybe due to their learning style.

Students who have trouble focusing will benefit much greater in a traditional classroom as opposed to essentially free learning.

That’s why it’s very important to figure out your learning style before you choose online classes vs. traditional classes.

Related Article: How Do Online Courses Work?

Traditional Learning: A Summary

A professor teaching students

Traditional classes require the students to attend classes and lectures on campus, face to face.

It is described as the “true college experience” since most students also enjoy the social interaction aspect of college life.

A traditional setting also allows students to get hands-on with their classes, whether that be in a laboratory or art classroom.

Campus class also lets students interact with their fellow students in person.

College students taking more practical courses will thrive better in a campus environment. The same can be said for students who struggle with motivation since campus classes offer fewer distractions.

Since the global pandemic, many on-campus students have found themselves attending online classes. There may be a slight adjustment period. However, studies show that online learners perform just as well as campus learners [2].

3 Benefits To Online Classes Vs. Traditional Classes

Let's take a look at the three main online course benefits:

1. Learn at your own pace

A 1 on 1 online consultation with an instructor

One of the biggest benefits of distance learning is the flexibility it offers.

Whether you’re a full-time mom or have a part-time job, an E-course can fit around your own schedule.

You will still have to stick to deadlines, but you can choose when and where you listen to lectures, write your papers, and study.

Online students also have the pleasure of their own home, avoiding commuting and strict class times.

As long as you have a reliable internet connection, you can study at home, at a coffee shop, or in a library.

Some college classes provide some sort of flexibility when it comes to your schedule. On the other hand, most online programs, if not all, are completely flexible.

Studying online can also alter the learning experience for students who suffer from social anxiety and depression.

Without the need to meet people face to face, they feel less pressure and, in turn, are able to learn better.

Related Article: How Fast Can You Finish an Online Course?

2. Self-discipline

A woman covering her face with a clock symbolizing time management

As mentioned above, online classes allow students more flexibility for things like family time and work.

So, it is only natural that lots of self-discipline and time management will be required.

Distance learning requires you to find a motivation to study and complete assignments.

Of course, traditional learning also requires motivation, but students will find it a lot easier to focus in an environment made for learning than one that isn’t.

E-learning requires you to set aside at least 8 hours per week per 3-credit course.

Taking courses online requires lots of planning and self-discipline that can be very valuable later in life.

3. Technical Skills

A woman recording herself

Online learning platforms require a certain level of technical skill to navigate.

So, if you’d like to learn applied technical skills, online courses are a great way to practice.

Online learning involves hands-on training in the sense you’ll have to download materials, take interactive quizzes, and exercises all on your own.

These tech skills will help when it comes to employment since most jobs require some form of technical skill to apply for the position.

Online school is a great time to practice all of these skills.

Read More: 8 Benefits of Taking an Online Course

Online Course Pros And Cons

Gadgets on table

Below are the pros and cons to online courses:

  • Save time: Most online courses help students save time since they can decide on their daily schedule. Time is also saved since taking classes online involves no commuting.
  • Life-long learning: Classes offered online can be essential to adults who have never finished high school or are looking to get a degree later in life.
  • Lower costs: Online coursework, no commuting costs, and free course materials greatly cut down the overall costs of education.
  • Extra credits: E-learning allows students to earn extra credits and transfer them to their campus college. This proves valuable during vacation times where campus learning is closed.
  • No supervision: If you’re not very good at managing time or concentrating, it can be easy to fall behind.
  • Lack of interpersonal skills: Traditional learning can help build more confidence since it requires lots of social interactions. In-person classes require students to speak up and encourage public speaking.

Traditional Course Pros And Cons

An empty classroom

Last but not least, here are the pros and cons to traditional education:

  • Motivation: The traditional way of learning allows students to be motivated through various in-person activities such as conferences and cultural events.
  • Hands-on classes: For degrees that require lab hours, campus classes can give you just that.
  • Additional costs: Campus class requires commuting, accommodation and equipment.
  • No flexibility: Online options let students learn in their own hours, where a campus class has set schedules.

Is Online Education Better?

Both online and traditional schools carry their pros and cons. It comes down to your preferred learning styles and if you even have the option to attend a campus classroom.

Distance learning can provide you with more flexibility, whereas campus class is a great motivator.

Either way, both universities provide valuable education and lessons you’ll take and apply later in life.


  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/brandonbusteed/2019/03/05/online-education-from-good-to-better-to-best/?sh=812ca1c69124
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Johnathan-Yerby/publication/330855099_An_investigation_of_traditional_education_vs_Fully-online_education_in_information_technology/links/5c58675ca6fdccd6b5e24f22/An-investigation-of-traditional-education-vs-Fully-online-education-in-information-technology.pdf

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