online learning versus traditional learning

Attending college is no longer a one-alternative path. While in the past, you could only adapt to a schedule set by universities, it has come the time that you can now create your own schedule of lectures.

Hence, there are now two options of learning which are proving to work just fine, whether alone or blended. However, no method works the same for everyone. The same theory applies when choosing a plan that best suits you when absorbing knowledge. So let’s dig a little bit deeper into online learning vs traditional learning, and the perks of both of these educational methodologies. After, maybe you can decide which one to choose to contribute towards building your career.

What is Brick and Mortar education?

You can basically understand the context of brick and mortar education by its own name. Brick and mortar is the traditional way to attend college, with students coming to campus and attending class in physical classrooms.

Being still the most dominant form of pursuing an education, brick and mortar colleges allow students to interact with one another and discuss with teachers face-to-face. Probably this is what keeps this form of traditional learning still so much in demand, as students can communicate with others or ask questions personally to the lecturer. They feel more responsible regarding their exams, towards every deadline that comes their way and commit to regular attendance.

However, this kind of college lifestyle does not suit the mindset of some other students. Attendance, location, lack of flexibility and campus life are exactly the components that they find disturbing; therefore, they choose to withdraw. They know that them being late or absent is something that can be held against them later on in exams. Or maybe the schedule of lectures does not comply with their part-time job and makes their attendance in the class impossible. Overall, campus life sounds overwhelming and little to no flexibility may as well feel like a threat to their willingness to learn. Luckily, technology made other options available to them.

What is Online learning?

Online learning is known as the education that takes place over the Internet. Often referred to as “eLearning”, or “distance learning” – online learning involves the umbrella term for any learning that takes place across distance and not in a traditional classroom.

Colleges nowadays use LMS (Learning Management Systems) such as moodle, blackboard or similar software as a replacement for classes. Assignments are submitted online, discussions are in a forum format and emailing professors is very prompt. This excellent learning methodology comes along with convenience, greater flexibility and greater accessibility. Lessons can be completed around your schedule without leaving home or having to relocate depending on the rain, snow or sunshine.

Even the costs are shorter as most online programs cost less than brick and mortar. That’s because room and board, parking, books and attendance fees are not necessary. Still, you get the same benefits and level of knowledge as you would from traditional classrooms. For instance, our online degree programs here at Potomac University are designed and taught by industry professionals. We are dedicated to ensuring that the quality, relevance and discipline of our online programs are the same as our on-ground programs. The online course presentations are updated regularly, taking into consideration the world’s constant academic evolution in online education.

Some of the cons of online programs may involve lack of determination, low retention rates and less social interaction. This is most likely the reason why fewer degree choices are offered online than through traditional learning. But if you have the willingness and commitment, you shouldn’t be discouraged.

Comparison of Online vs. Traditional Learning

Fast Stats

Online and traditional learning institutions both have their advantages and disadvantages. However, one thing is for sure: online education is here to stay, and its demand is on the rise. These statistics on how online learning stacks up when compared to traditional learning were gathered in early 2014. Enrollment in online universities continues to increase year after year. But how do these programs compare to traditional, face-to-face education?

The enrollment rate in Online Learning

  • The total number of students enrolled in online courses: 6,700,000
  • Current number of accredited online universities: 275+
  • Amount of college students who have enrolled in at least one online course: 30%
  • Whether online or in a traditional institution, 67% of college instructors believe video, blogs, podcasts, and other online media are necessary teaching tools.

What are Students Studying?

Most Popular Bachelor’s Degrees for Traditional Learning

  • Business
  • Accounting
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Elementary Education

Most Popular Bachelor’s Degrees for Online Learning

  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Elementary Education
  • Nursing
  • Health Administration

Student’s perception of Online Education

  • 77% of educators believe that online learning is just as good as traditional learning, if not better.
  • Nearly 70% of all students claim online instruction to be as good as or better than in a traditional classroom setting.
  • 26% of online students claim to learn better online than in a classroom.

Online learners score on standardized tests

  • The average score of classroom learners: 50th percentile
  • The average score of online learners: 59th percentile
  • There is a 5:1 ratio by which learners differ
  • A 5:1 ratio by which learners differ means that the slowest student takes 5 times as long to learn as the fastest student.
  • 90% of these learners will successfully reach higher levels, but only if given enough attention.
  • Face-to-face instruction is the best approach to providing these levels of attention.
  • Fortunately, 97% of online institutions’ courses offer student/faculty ratios of 25:1 or better.

Online learning vs Traditional learning costs

  • Online degrees cost as little as 80 times less than traditional degrees
  • Total average cost of traditional degrees: $85,000
  • Total average cost of online degrees: $30,000

Did all of these stats make you feel determined enough? If so, contact us for more information about our online and classroom taught degree programs.