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At times when you’ve had to decide on your education, did you ever stop to think about whether you prefer attending to conventional classes or taking online classes? Attending to conventional classes at a school is probably the preferred and immediate choice for most since it is something maybe more familiar to the general public, especially in third world countries. Also, because it is related to tradition. There are many parents who influence their children to go to the same universities they studied at. There are also people who simply want to go to a traditional renowned school because of the greater recognition, acceptance, and opportunities society will give them once they have a certificate of studies from a certain distinguished school. However, those who can relate and have access to technology might opt for an online course instead. The reason for this is that there is more flexibility in the sense of time and you can probably find options to study something online that may not be available locally. Both of these options offer a possible way to become educated. They are similar in this way, but they differ in other aspects regarding how the effectiveness of a learning process is achieved. Distance learning and traditional classes are both good options to obtain an education, however the effectiveness of what is learned through online classes depends mostly on the students’ self-discipline.
There are different requirements needed from a student when it comes to comparing traditional instruction and online classes. While both forms of education offer a certificate of completion of studies and support from teacher and peers, when it comes to talking about requirements that are time-related they don’t work in the same way. Online courses require for learners to have very good time management skills since they have to complete their online lessons according to their own time availability, but they can do it from any place as long as they have a computer with internet connection. In this case, learners don’t need to worry about transportation or commuting so if they live in a remote area this could be a relief for them. However, in order for students to be able to take better advantage of what they are being taught they need a greater deal of concentration and discipline to fully absorb lessons and comply with assignments in a timely manner since they rely solely on their own time-management skills to do so. While conventional classes, on the other hand, require for learners to commute to a physical building and comply with a specific schedule. This obliges learners to invest even more time and money because of the need to travel somewhere to attend to classes whether they live in a city or a remote area; and the truth is, mishaps do happen and are always unplanned. Nevertheless, by attending to a class physically, learners are able to focus only on their studies more easily during a specified time.
In addition to the time management aspect, there are also differences in regards to the technological knowledge that is required from a learner in order to ensure a smooth and effective learning process. For online courses, it is preferred for learners to have intermediate computer skills as to avoid frustrations with online platforms and students from becoming unmotivated. It is also essential for learners to have a computer or device with internet connection at all times so that they may have access to the course wherever they may be. For conventional classes, learners are not required to have access to a device with internet connection at all times since they actually attend to their classes on an established weekly schedule at a specific location where teaching and learning are the main activities taking place. While both forms of education offer support from a teacher, whether virtually at any given time or physically during a classroom lesson, it is required for online learners to have more of an initiative than conventional classroom students to try to contact their instructors in case they need to clear doubts. Online learners must also be self-disciplined enough as to comply with their responsibilities regardless of whether there are additional reminders for assignments and due dates or not. Consider the fact that people have different habits and lives; not everybody has the same amount of responsibilities to take care of nor the same problems. Conventional classes, on the other hand, offer a bit more relief in this sense because learners are able to have direct contact with their teachers if they have questions or difficulties and teachers will usually remind students of assignments and tests during class. In other words, students are able to clarify their doubts at the moment and may also feel more comfortable and confident participating in class since they can relate to their teachers more after meeting them in person.
If you want to learn, you are going to have to study and read up on material one way or another regardless of whether you attend to a class physically or do it online. However, the way the course material can be distributed is different and the time it takes to complete can differ as well. The learning material for online classes is usually divided into shorter segments which allows learners to understand and complete lessons more quickly. Therefore, completing an entire course online can take a shorter amount of time than if you attend to conventional classes which have a set schedule and completion time that cannot be altered by a student. Online learners also have the ability of being able to go over old lessons in case they need to review them even though they have already completed them. The length of a lesson in a conventional class, on the other hand, depends on the school. It may happen in a traditional classroom scenario that there are teachers who may want to cover too much in a single class causing the students’ attention to drift away eventually if they are unable to process the amount of information given. In other cases, when a student is unable to attend to class, they will definitely miss some information since the teacher has no obligation of repeating or going over what was already explained or discussed in a previous class in which the student was absent and there is no recording of the class either. This means that students have to rely on their peers’ or the teacher’s willingness to catch up on or clarify whatever they may have missed.
Two other differences to mention between both types of education are the resources used to keep learners interested in a course or lesson and the cost of the course as well. Because online courses don’t always feature a real-time virtual teacher when a learner is developing their lessons, they make use of a variety of images, audios, videos, and other content formats to keep a learner’s attention. This may also be one of the reasons for which there may be more and cheaper options online nowadays. This means that the monthly expense a school has in regards to teacher salaries is usually lower, if any, since they pretty much reuse and update the resources provided for students on their website. For conventional classroom classes, the use of additional resources such as the abovementioned fully depends on the teacher’s preferred methods which can sometimes be limited or boring for some in today’s visual era.
In conclusion, both online courses and conventional classes are good choices to obtain an education, but they have differences in the way of learning and regarding what is required from a student to learn effectively and complete their studies successfully without too many difficulties. The most noticeable difference between both choices of study is the fact that you don’t need to be physically present for online courses, but having a device with access to an internet connection is necessary. Even though conventional classes may require more time planning to comply with a pre-established schedule in which students must be present physically, it definitely helps students to set aside time to concentrate on their studies and clarify whatever doubts they may have at that precise moment.
In a nutshell, conventional classes and distance learning have noticeable differences in the following ways: the way in which a student has access to classes or information, the amount of technological knowledge and internet accessibility required from a learner, the amount of time that has to be invested to complete a course, the way in which learners are able make contact with or request clarifications from a teacher, and the way in which students must manage their time. Whether you decide to attend to conventional classes or opt for taking an online course, they are both effective ways to obtain an education. However, even though they are both good and acceptable methods to become educated, online students have to rely on their self-discipline and criteria much more to set time aside to learn effectively and dedicate the necessary time to complete their studies.
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