Online education is as effective as traditional education. Both programs have many advantages as well as disadvantages. In order to make an informed decision, prospective students should research both types of programs to determine which would better suit their learning styles and abilities.
A traditional educational program builds a rapport with the instructors and encourages social interactions between classmates. Instructors are able to have face to face discussions and provide immediate feedback for any questions from their students. This is a more hands-on setting that allows for brainstorming and peers learning from each other in a social setting. Many times this interaction can naturally promote a healthy competition between students.
Instructors in a traditional class have a very structured lesson plan that must be taught within a specific timeframe. Students must attend class at a set time and day, following a rigid curriculum. While most information comes from the instructor, printed study guides and are used. This alleviates the need for electronic devices and reliable internet services. Any additional information obtained is usually limited to local interactions and peer influences.
Online educational programs offer more flexibility than their traditional counterparts. While utilizing the same school resources, services and curriculum, students are able to work from any location at their own pace. This allows students the ability to work a regular job while still receiving an education. This flexibility is especially beneficial for working or single parents who need to be able to meet their family needs. It can also be a more cost effective option by providing an opportunity for students to work their way through school and avoid taking out costly student loans.
Students who elect to take advantage of an online education must be extra focused and committed. They are expected to provide the same quality of work as traditional students. It’s essential to be motivated and to be a self-starter. In order to stay on task, strong organizational skills and planning are needed. It becomes easier to procrastinate without the competiveness of their peers to help drive students towards deadlines and quality classwork.
While both online and traditional education programs each have many benefits, they also have just as many drawbacks. One setting may be better suited for some than others. Some students may benefit from more face to face interaction. Others may benefit from more flexibility. Every student has individual needs and capabilities. Students should take these into consideration and research both program styles before deciding on and committing to a specific program.