Online Learning Pros and Cons Vs.Onsite Learning

online learning pros and cons vs onsite learning - Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Lately, in our world today, the way we learn has changed. This is thanks to the global pandemic that struck at the beginning of 2020. Online learning and onsite learning have become standard terms people bandy concerning education. Online learning pros and cons have also been a hot topic lately.

However, what exactly is onsite learning? The simple explanation is that onsite learning is the traditional learning method; students would attend a college, university, or school session with other students. A teacher is also present, and the means of instruction are by word of mouth. Additionally, writing on whiteboards or chalkboards, and laboratory demonstrations happen in person. Onsite learning can only host a certain number of students at a time. Furthermore, It can only be in one location at a given time.

On the contrary, online learning is learning via online platforms using an internet connection. Such platforms include Zoom, Google Classrooms, among other. The teacher and students may or may not be in the exact geographical location for online learning. Additionally, online learning can host many students at a particular moment in time—no limitation by time, number and space.

Granted that people have recently embraced online learning, there are many reasons it may or may not work for everyone. If you are not sure which learning method to settle for, keep reading on. Let us weigh the pros and cons of both methods of instruction to make your decision simpler to make. 

  • Online learning pros and cons
  • Onsite learning pros and cons
  • What to consider before choosing online or onsite learning 

Online Learning Pros and Cons

Thanks to technological advancements, online learning or distance learning has become an accepted mode of teaching and learning. Online learning has revolutionized the way of administering education in the recent past. It has brought to the fore the possibilities that exist within the discipline of education. Online learning may not be the ideal choice for everybody. However,it is worth exploring its advantages and the disadvantages to make an informed decision. Not all students can take on degree programs or master’s programs online. However, you have a choice to make after going through these pros and cons.

Flexibility

Out of the online learning pros and cons, this is the most obvious advantage of this mode of learning. Online learning allows you to pick classes that suit your schedule. No matter how busy your schedule may be, you can choose classes that will not interfere with it. You can create a personal study plan that will not require you to drop any of your current obligations.

Great Savings

The substantial savings that you will make with online learning are apparent. With the exclusion of any travel costs, boarding, and on-campus meals, you spend less on your education. This is a fantastic advantage, without compromising on the quality of learning.

Increased Opportunities for Global Networking

Since students can do online learning from any location, global networking becomes possible. Online learning affords you the fantastic opportunity to network international groups of people. By the same token, you can attend an overseas college from the comfort of your home. All the while meeting exciting people among your classmates and instructors daily.

Learn at Your Own Pace

Learning online brings in individualized instruction, where your lecturer can spend time with you one-on-one. There is no chance that you will get lost in a sea of faces in a lecture hall. Additionally, you can customize your classes to suit your individual needs and preferences. Most online lessons are available later thanks to recordings. Students can conveniently access these later if they missed a class.

Wide range of options

There is a wide array of disciplines to choose from in online learning. Many institutions have moved their courses online, offering you a wide choice to make. Likewise, wide array of subjects and disciplines to choose from that fit your goals. 

Time and Cost-Effective

Navigating traffic and normal commuter delays is a factor that you won’t have to experience anymore. With online learning, learning becomes very time and cost-effective. You can use the time and money you save this way better. Not having to rush through traffic and a long commute is good for your well-being. It may also help you to be more productive and attentive during lectures.

Development of Tech Skills

Thanks to technological advancements, there are numerous online platforms used to offer online learning. Consequently, it would serve you best to learn these technical skills. Moreover, most of your schoolwork will be done online, forcing you to develop new tech skills. Thus getting the know-how to research and submit assignments online is a plus for you. These are essential skills that will give you a leg up in your future career prospects.

As evidenced above, online learning has a host of great benefits. However, it also has some drawbacks that we cannot fail to mention. Here are the main cons that you are bound to encounter when you consider online learning.

Self-Motivation Is Required

To be successful in online learning, you must have extra determination and self-motivation. If you lack these two disciplines, chances of falling behind in your learning are bound to happen. It would help if you were motivated enough to get out of bed each morning to sit through your lessons without supervision.

Technical Know-How Can Be a Setback.

Gaining new technical skills is an advantage of online learning; however, it can be frustrating if you have a problem learning how to get and use these skills. Additionally, it would be best to acquire all the tools needed to access online classes, such as laptops, working headphones, and a steady internet connection.

Distractions Online and in the Environment

Distractions abound online in the form of social media and other non-school-related platforms. Additionally, your home may also have many distractions, such as children, if you have a family, pets, or noise. 

Hard to Use in Specific Fields of Study

Students cannot carry out specific practical courses online, especially if they require physical participation. These include courses such as swimming, driving school and other such courses. However, you can combine online learning with onsite learning for a holistic experience in some of these courses. 

Onsite Learning Pros and Cons

Even as online learning continues to grow in popularity, traditional onsite learning is still a popular instruction method in most learning institutions. Onsite learning requires the learner and teacher to be in the same room at the same time. Onsite learning has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Here are the main pros and cons of onsite learning.

In-Person Networking

You cannot underestimate the value of in-person networking. The human touch is vital in creating networks that last, as opposed to virtual relationships. When learners get together in a classroom, they pick up nuances that help them network as like-minded individuals. 

Foster Teacher-Student Relationships

Just as it is with networking, fostering teacher-student relationships is more natural in an onsite learning situation. There is fostering of relationships through the time spent in one-on-one interactions, which onsite learning provides. Learners can stay behind to chit-chat with teachers after class on academic matters and social issues, which is impossible in a virtual setting.

Real-Time Interactions for Optimized Learning

In a classroom setup, a learner can ask a question that can get answered by the teacher immediately. It also opens up opportunities for group discussions. The chances of a student leaving a lecture hall with an unanswered question are meager unless he/she never asked the question in the first place.

Use of Various Teaching Methods

In an onsite classroom, the teacher can use varied methods of teaching to get his point across. Audio, visual, and even auditory means can be incorporated into a lesson to better understand the teacher’s concept.

Fewer Distractions

For a successful learning process, there must be utmost concentration with little to no distractions. Onsite learning affords you this privilege. Since the classes are set up in the proper environment with only the tools that you need available, distractions are very rare. There are no chances of a child wandering or a  pet crawling onto you. 

Despite being a popular method of learning, onsite learning has its disadvantages too. While it may work for some students, it may not work for others. Here are some reasons why

Rigid Timetable

You have less control of the timetable with an onsite learning option. If you miss a class, chances of accessing the same teaching later are almost impossible. Additionally, if your schedule is tight, you may find it challenging to stick to a set timetable such as is offered in an onsite classroom.

Higher Tuition Fees

Traditional education requires you to attend classes on campus. Attending classes on campus means that you will have to include fees for additional items such as on-campus meals, accommodation on or off-campus, and other miscellaneous costs such as travel to and from school. If you are considering an overseas campus, certain costs need to be factored in, such as visa and flight costs. In the long run, such expenses contribute to running up your tuition fees, making it quite expensive.

Less Individualized Instruction

A classroom can hold many students, making it impossible for a teacher to create a customized work plan for each student. The work plans could lead to slow learners falling back without the teacher noticing. If you prefer individualized attention from the teacher, then onsite learning is not for you.

What To Consider Before Choosing Online or Onsite Learning 

Once you have considered all these pros and cons of online learning vs onsite learning, there are some factors to focus on. These factors will help you make an informed decision about the learning method that you will opt for eventually.

Where You Want To Learn

Are you looking to be an international or local student? If you hope to join an international university, consider the costs associated with online vs. onsite learning. Additionally, consider your budget and the time limit you have to apply to the institution of learning you have settled for your studies.

Which Course Are You Taking?

Some courses require you to be onsite for proper learning, whereas students can do other courses comfortably online. Find out if the course you are taking is done using the method of instruction that you have settled on before making a decision. Remember, most courses can work well using a hybrid learning method; this is both online and onsite learning.

How Busy is Your Schedule?

Are you available to take on classes full-time? If you are looking for classes that can fit your busy schedule, an online learning course may work best. Consider your schedule and keep that top of mind as you research schools and courses. Pick a course that will fit into your schedule without needing much adjustment from your end.

What Kind Of Learner Are You?

Learning online and onsite require varying levels of commitment from learners. If you have no self-discipline and motivation, then onsite learning is best suited for you since there is an expectation to show up in class for every lesson. However, with online learning, a strong sense of discipline and motivation is all you need to make it work.

Online Learning Pros and Cons Vs. Onsite: Next Steps

Whether you will take on an online or onsite course is the first decision to enroll in your degree program. Research the university that you settle on thoroughly before contacting them. Most websites have contact details with the promise of follow-up once you fill your details in.

Whatever mode of learning you choose, you will find assistance. Our learning counselors are always on hand to guide you as you make an informed choice. Start by filling in your details on our contact form. Shortly, one of our student counselors will be on hand to guide you as you decide on the mode of instruction to use.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Subscribe Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive regular updates on opportunities for students, teachers and administrators to the fast-paced world of higher educaiton.

MORE ARTICLES FROM OUR BLOG