Recently, there are lots of discussions going on worldwide about online and offline classes and which one is the best. Online classes were introduced and gained momentum during the pandemic era.
Even post-pandemic, several online courses were introduced and a shift was seen towards online learning. It made educational institutions rethink their teaching mode. In this section, we will debate in detail online classes vs offline classes, which one is better, and how.
How Covid-19 Caused a Sudden Upheaval in the Education Industry?
When the pandemic hit the globe and the lives of people got uncertain, online classes kept learning alive. Here’s how it altered the conventional teaching methods during offline classes.
Rise of E-Learning Platforms
E-learning was always a part of higher education but became evident during the peak of the pandemic. Teaching professionals started taking classes and made courses online. Many people took it as a chance to upskill themselves through digital learning.
Covid-19 impacted the global economy so badly. Many people lost their jobs and educational institutions had to face a financial crisis. Online classes were cost-friendly, so more students learned about e-learning.
Students had mixed reactions to online and offline classes. Some of them liked the concept of online education as it saved them time and energy. While for others, it was like a prison and they even suffered mentally.
Online Classes Vs Offline Classes: A Detailed Comparison
For those students who are wondering which mode of education is better- online or offline, you can analyze that through this debate on online classes vs offline classes based on the following factors.
Mode of Learning:
In online classes, teachers use the virtual class to teach students through online videos, audio, animations, virtual whiteboards, video conferences, and live chats. Students can easily access ebooks and study materials if they have a stable internet connection.
On the other hand, offline classes provide a learning environment for students and they can interact with their peers and teachers closely. Students can actively participate in cocurricular activities for their physical and mental health.
Another difference between online and offline classes is that candidates don’t have to be physically present in online classes. They can attend classes from the comfort of their home without worrying about being late or getting stuck in traffic.
Conventional classrooms require the physical presence of the students. It can be difficult for those students who live far away or commute a long way to attend school.
Time and Cost:
Another fact that adds a brownie point to online education is that it is time and cost-effective. Students can save time spent travelling to the institute and use that time productively. Also, online education is less costly than offline education as the hostel and mess fees are included.
Some Students feel that offline classes suck their energy and time due to a rigid timetable.
Students can choose the educator they want to learn from in online learning. Those teachers don’t necessarily have to be in their surroundings but from any part of the world. Students have the freedom to choose any course they desire to learn without any restrictions.
This is a strong point that favours online learning in online classes vs offline classes discussion.
The flexibility of classes and time management is the best advantage of online classes. Recorded video lectures are available for students in case they miss any lectures. You can attend classes and access class notes at your convenience.
Unlike online classes, offline classes have a fixed timetable and students have no choice but to attend the classes accordingly. It can be stressful sometimes when they miss the class as no recording is available. So, which side do you think is winning in the discussion of online classes vs offline classes?
Focus and Commitment:
Here is the twist, the majority of students lag in online classes due to a lack of focus and commitment to their goals. You might want to jump to another social media app in the online class thinking that the teacher won’t understand. So, self-discipline is a must if you want to excel in online classes.
However, peer pressure works well for some students in offline classes and they complete their course work on time. Also, the chances of getting distracted by smartphones are less in real classes and you listen attentively to the teacher.
Busting the myth that student-teacher interaction is difficult in online classes, online classes allow students to interact with their teachers regardless of location and time. Students can anytime discuss their doubts with their mentors on the online learning platforms.
While you can actively participate in debates and discussions in the offline mode of education, teachers can address your questions quickly.
The Pace of Learning:
Further difference between online and offline education is based on the pace of learning. You can learn at your own pace in online classes as the study materials and video lectures of the class are always accessible. You can skip the chapters you already know and jump on to another topic to save time.
But it is not possible in offline classes because teachers determine the pace of learning and you’ll have to follow through.
Since online classes are based on the internet connection, certain applications, and proper use of gadgets like smartphones, and laptops, there might be some technical issues that can disrupt your classes. Also, students in rural areas don’t have access to the internet or smartphones, so they might be unable to take advantage of online classes.
In offline classes, there is no such thing and classes run smoothly as long as teachers and students are present.
Some topics and subjects are best understood by practical learning. For instance, you can understand titration reactions better when performed in the chemistry lab by yourself. Online classes might show some animations or videos to explain any topic, but it is not effective as when the students perform it themselves.
So, Offline classes win this online vs offline game in imparting practical knowledge among students.
Online Classes: Pros and Cons
As technology advances, there are no location restrictions or restrictions of choices for students. Online learning has made it possible for everyone to access online study materials, lectures, and any courses of their choice.
Furthermore, those who can’t enrol in regular classes due to family issues or personal issues can take advantage of online learning and learn at their own pace.
All you need is reliable internet and a mobile phone, and you are ready to learn online. So, let’s start the discussion of online classes vs offline classes by counting some upsides and downsides of digital learning.
Pros of Online Classes
1. No Location Bound
The factor that gives online learning an upper hand in the online education vs offline education debate is that you can learn from anywhere around the world. You can learn from your comfort and get the course material on the site.
2. Saves From the Hassle of Daily Transportation
Commuting a long distance to attend private tuition or coaching classes can cost you a lot of time and energy. You might get stuck in the traffic and get so exhausted to even lift a book. So, online learning saves you from everyday hassles like this.
3. Time Management
Another topic in the online classes vs offline classes debate is management. You have access to the library and notes related to the subject. So, you don’t have to be dependent on the teacher and learn from modules before they teach in the class. You can also skip the topics you know and use that time for new topics. Some students focus well at night time and others may have some work during the day, so online learning can help in time management the best.
4. Effective Learning Using Virtual Tools
Are you a visual learner? If yes, then online classes are the best for you where several virtual tools, presentations, graphics, and animations can be used to educate children.
It can also grab the attention of most students for a longer period.
5. Flexibility and Convenience
Online education provides a great deal of flexibility and convenience. In school, you have to wait for the next day to ask a doubt from a teacher. But here, you can instantly solve your problems at any time by revisiting the course lectures or contacting your mentor.
Flexibility is the biggest plus point in the discussion of online classes vs offline classes.
6. You Can Choose the Best Mentors and Teachers
In conventional classrooms, only a limited number of students could learn from a skilled teacher. This is another good point in online classes vs offline classes discussion. You can take the virtual classes of some of the finest teachers in the education sector from your home.
7. Networking Opportunities
There is a larger number of students in online classrooms than in the typical offline classroom. You get the opportunity to network with most of them through combined studies.
You can also meet some mentors who can change your life and mindset completely. So, what’s your preference for online classes vs offline classes?
8. Easy Doubt Clearance
Suppose you get doubt about a topic during your nighttime study session. In conventional offline classes, you will have to be present in the class to clear your doubt.
But online classrooms have recorded lectures available which you can access anytime and revise numerous times.
Cost-effectiveness of online classes is one of the reasons why students are leaning more toward digital learning. You can save your lodging and boarding costs along with the mess fees by studying online.
Cons of Online Classes
1. Less Interaction with the Real World
Besides counting the advantages of online education in online classes vs offline classes, there are some drawbacks too. Online classes create a sense of isolation among students. Their social life becomes limited and they might get bored or depressed.
2. Students Get Distracted Easily
Students can’t stay away from distractions if they don’t have enough drive or focus. Don’t you have the urge to scroll through your social media once while online classes are going on? You might miss an important lesson in that way.
3. Technical Issues are There
Online education is dependent on the internet and gadgets like Mobile phones to establish connections between students and teachers. If your network gets disrupted, or your mobile is damaged, you might miss your classes. So, it is a negative point added in the online classes vs offline classes debate.
4. Less Practical Learning
It is difficult for students to gain practical knowledge in virtual classes. Some concepts are learned best by practically doing them yourself.
5. Additional training for educators is needed
To make online learning successful, teachers must get acquainted with the methods of teaching and how to keep students engaged in the classroom. They also need to get hands-on experience with some e-learning tools.
6. Increased screen time
Virtual class means hours of sitting in front of screens that may irritate the eyes or headaches. Also, students become sedentary in online classes and sit for hours without moving. It is not a good lifestyle habit.
7. Difficult for Those Who Don’t Have Internet or Smartphone
Online education still has a long way to go in developing countries as not everyone has a smartphone or is aware of online learning.
So, did you analyze all the points in the ‘online classes vs offline classes’ discussion?
Offline Classes: Pros and Cons
Offline classes are the conventional mode of learning that allows students to interact with their peers and teachers in person regularly. It is not much dependent on technological aspects. It instils discipline in students by setting up a routine for them to follow.
Teachers can also keep an eye on each student in the class and guide them when needed. Even after so much advancement in online learning, it is impractical to fully replace this conventional style of teaching. Let’s see what comes next in online classes vs offline classes discussion.
Pros of Offline Classes
1. Competitive Environment
It has been observed that classroom competition helps in improving motivation and drive in students. When students interact with each other, they bond over a healthy competition and learn from each other.
Don’t you feel motivated to study when you see your friend performing well in class?
2. Fewer Chances of Getting Distracted
The average attention span of a learning individual is not more than 15 minutes. Isn’t it obvious why most students in virtual classes get distracted easily after sitting in front of a screen for hours?
Offline classrooms keep them engaged and mentally ready to learn. This is one of the biggest advantages of offline classes.
3. Real-Time Interaction With Peers
Offline classrooms provide a room for discussion among students and increase their curiosity about the subject. They can easily learn most concepts just by discussing them with their peers. It promotes a collective learning environment for every student.
So, this is a strong point in the online classes vs offline classes debate, in favor of traditional learning.
4. Teachers Can Pay Attention to Every Student
Student-Teacher interaction is the most significant for a better learning experience, which is a bit difficult in online classes. Teachers don’t have a clue how many candidates are actually listening to their lectures.
Offline classes help educators to observe the learners closely and design their curriculum accordingly. Teachers understand the difficulty of their pupils even if they don’t share it directly.
5. Class is More Interactive
Offline classes can be more interactive as teachers can engage students in many ways. A rapid quiz round, a group discussion, topic presentation, debates, and other activities are fun to be organized in offline classes. So, this side gets a mark of merit in online classes vs offline classes evaluation.
There are several other skills besides course content that students need to learn or experience. There is no scope for extracurricular activities in online classes.
But offline education provides ample opportunities for students to explore more talents. They can develop their social skills and self-esteem through these activities.
ALSO READ: Importance of Education
Cons of Offline Classes
1. Traffic and Travel Expenses
Students have to commute to the faraway locations where their institute is located. They have to invest so much time and energy in travelling that they could utilize it in self-study.
On the other hand, online classes allow students to create a timetable according to their schedule and they have more time for self-study.
2. Rigid Schedule
There is no flexibility in offline study schedules. Students also doing some part-time or full-time work have a hard time managing both. As a result, more students drop out and opt for online modes of learning. This is a sad part about online classes vs offline classes discussion.
3. Limited Course Options
Offline institutes offer little choice of courses and students have to take a course simply because of practical issues of travelling, location, and other restrictions.
Also, the admission process in itself is so tedious that it creates a barrier to learning. This is a significant setback for students in offline classes.
There are plenty of online courses that students can choose from. So, they don’t have to suppress their desire and go for a course that they’re not even interested in.
4. Increased Expenses
We very well know how expensive offline education can be. Along with tuition fees, there is the added expense of travelling, boarding, food, and others. Not everyone can afford it, so the majority of students are going for online classes.
This is the end of our online classes vs offline classes evaluation. It is difficult to declare any one mode of education as the best because everything has pros and cons. But this detailed comparison might help you reach a conclusion.
However, the best way is to combine the plus point of both online and offline education and come up with an inclusive approach to education.
Frequently Asked Questions – Online Classes Vs Offline Classes
Q1: How to make online learning effective?
Ans: There are plenty of tips to make your online learning productive. You should have a good internet connection, scheduled study breaks, a separate place to study, and properly set goals. You can also try to actively participate in online discussions and keep yourself motivated.
Q2: How to make offline learning productive?
Ans: As mentioned above in the online classes vs offline classes discussion, you can work on the pros of offline learning. Take part in discussions, interact more with teachers and peers, revise your class work, participate in extracurricular activities, and manage your self-study time well.
Q3: How to stay away from distractions in online classes?
Ans: Staying away from distractions both in online and offline classes requires self-control. Initially, keep other social media apps out of your reach and sit on a proper study table, not on the couch. You can also take frequent breaks and do some stretching.
Q4: Which mode of education is popular among students – online or offline?
Ans: The perception of online classes vs offline classes differs from person to person. Each student has a different situation and learning style. However, more students are taking interest in online classes.
Q5: How to avoid being sedentary in online classes?
Ans: In online classes, students have to sit for hours which may cause some serious health issues in the long run. You can do some stretching, eat healthily, and take frequent breaks (without scrolling social media). Also, make workout sessions a part of your daily routine to perform your best.
Q6: Is learning online worth it?
And: As discussed in the online classes vs offline classes debate, online learning can be the best thing if utilized properly. You can learn whatever you want (mostly for free) and add several skills to your resume. Furthermore, you can decide the pace of learning and timetable.
Q7: Can online classes replace offline classes?
Ans: We can’t really say that any mode of education can replace the other. Actually, there are no such online classes as offline classes, but an inclusive education system where students can take advantage of both methods of learning. There is no such possibility to be replaced by another as both learning methods have their own set of pros and cons.