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Difference Between Online Classes and Traditional Classes

Mukta Gaikwad Mar 16, 2020
Demanding jobs leave little room for pursuing higher studies. What if you could take classes on your way to office? Sounds incredible, doesn't it? But then, the question arises whether this kind of an education is better than the traditional method. Find out the differences between online and traditional classes.
The biggest difference that most aspiring students consider while choosing between online or traditional classes is the cost and commute involved.
Progressing and climbing the career ladder demands value addition to your skills in the form of acquiring or upgrading your knowledge. However, as a full-time working adult, taking a course or choosing a college that gives you enough time to juggle both work and education has become increasingly difficult.
Here is where the dilemma of choosing between online classes and traditional classes arises. It then boils down to a simple question, are you willing to trade your handsomely paying job for a college degree that could give you an even better pay?. But, coming to an objective answer to this question is easier said than done.
A lot of factors have to be considered before you invest time, effort, and money in gaining education. Here, we take a look at some of the very important aspects of online classes and traditional classes, and what each setup has to offer.

Online Classes Vs. Traditional Classes


Virtual or online classrooms give you the freedom to attend or access them from any place. You can simply login to your classroom from your home, from a coffee shop, or while commuting to work.
This arrangement ensures optimum utilization of time as it allows you to work during the demanding office hours, and study at your leisure. The only drawback of this situation is that it is a solitary activity unlike a traditional classroom. This reduces your chances of meeting new people and being exposed to a certain environment that could have been.
The first important point to be noted about traditional classes is that they are bound by geography. They are always conducted within the confines of a classroom, putting a limitation on the number of seats, and thus reducing its reach to aspiring students.
This may also demand staying on a campus, as classes conducted by visiting faculty could be scheduled at odd hours. On the plus side, conventional classes allow one-on-one interaction with professors and fellow students, fostering long-term relationships and building networks.


Online classrooms do not require students to commute, as they can be attended from anywhere. The expense these classes demand is that of good Internet speed.
Given this, virtual classrooms can be attended without any disturbance from the comforts of your own home.
Unless you are staying on campus, pursuing a conventional type of education demands that you compulsorily commute everyday. This means you have to commute at a given hour and for a given time period.
One has to incur an additional expense for the necessary commute for offline education.


The best part about virtual classes is that you can attend these classes anytime you want. On days when a guest faculty/teacher will be hosting a class, you can record the same and listen to it at your convenience. The freedom in scheduling classes works in favor of every student as it gives one enough leeway in making time to study in a tight schedule.
A traditional class setup demands that you attend classes and be present for each lecture at a designated time. This may push you to quit your job, hire a babysitter, or simply make attending impossible if the given time seems too inconvenient.
The greater drawback of this arrangement is that the classes cannot be rescheduled either. This means that once you miss out on a class, the only way of catching up with the curriculum is through other students' notes.


Online classes only charge a tuition fee. This makes the cost of studying extremely affordable. The fees can be covered over a couple of months paycheck. This is beneficial for those who do not have the option of quitting a job and taking up a full-time course. It also works in favor of those who cannot spend much but are seeking a worthy opportunity.
Without a shadow of a doubt, traditional classes are an expensive choice. The costs can be massively high, which means, sometimes aspiring students have to borrow a loan and then repay it along with interest.
The fees charged by traditional schools and colleges includes their recovery of infrastructure, electricity, building rent, maintenance, besides the tuition fees.
Despite these differences what should remain the same is the quality of education both the methods of classes provide. The option that provides the best education should be the logical choice, as a small compromise can truly work in your favor for a long-term goal.
While many would prefer one of the two options, there are a few students who opt for both to get better perspectives on subjects and to invest their full-time in learning the subjects, its techniques and applications thoroughly. Thus, picking the right method of learning will absolutely depend on your priorities and circumstances.