Online Classes vs. Traditional Classes: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

Category: American Education
Last Updated: 11 Mar 2023
Pages: 3 Views: 191

Some adults that enroll to college already have a family, or they may have a job. With such a busy schedule they might find it easier to enroll to an online class rather than attending traditional classes at a school campus. Both classes make every effort to help students obtain a college degree, but differ in some manner. Online classes and traditional classes can differ from flexibility, difficulty, and success rate.

Online classes are more flexible comparing to traditional classes. With online classes it is a personal decision to watch a lecture any time appropriate for an individual as long as it is before an exam. Meaning that if a student wants to go to class at midnight they can, sounds fun can be risky. Better for those that may have a family of their own already will find more comfort in taking online classes. “As an online student, I was able to work full-time and carry a full-time course load without any issues” (Reynolds). Although online classes can be very flexible with time, the difficulty of an online class can be very laborious. “There seems to be a myth among at least some students that online classes are easier than campus classes.” (Hartwell).

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Online classes take a lot of self-motivation cause there will be no administrator looking over the student, especially for the students that struggle with their academics. Most teachers can see when a student is sitting in their class and is struggling, without a teacher physically in the same room it may be harder. “Without face-to-face contact, faculties are not able to pick up nonverbal cues from students that can Indicate they are disengaged” (Cull). Not having a teacher to look over a student that has no self-motivation can lead to a student to withdrawal or just fail a class. “… online course success rates that were 12 percentage points lower than completion rates for the face-to-face equivalents” (Perez). Having more flexibility and freedom can make a student feel like they have enough time to get their work done which can cause them into failing and withdrawing compared to students that are in traditional classes.

In traditional campus classes there is some flexibility, but not as much as the online classes. College campuses have night classes, but are only open until a certain time. Having to make a schedule that fits with the professor’s schedule will take lots of time management, “… managing your time is sure to be more complex because your classes will meet on various days and times…” (Gardner & Jewler 11). Although traditional campuses are less flexible than online classes it is said to be easier in traditional classes. “Students appreciated the convenience of online lectures but preferred in class lectures because of the increased ease of maintaining attention in the more structured environment” (Jensen).

People that get distracted easily should be in a traditional in campus class. However, being in traditional classes compared to online classes show a higher percentage in success rate. “Jenkins noted that ‘student success rates in traditional classes [are] 70 to 75 percent, significantly higher than the online course rate’” (Kokemuller). With such a higher success rate in traditional classes, majority of students should not lean towards online classes, unless they can find the motivation and are not struggling academically.

Having a family or working a part time job should not make a student want to take online classes. Some students prefer online classes because they either think it will be easier or simply because they have such a busy life, they feel they will have more time for a flexible schedule. Traditional campus classes can still have some flexible hours as online classes. However, taking online classes will give a student less difficulty with passing their class, because there will be student face-to-face interaction with their professor. As traditional classes statistics show a higher success rate than online classes, more students will be better off with sticking to traditional classes.

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Online Classes vs. Traditional Classes: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?. (2023, Mar 11). Retrieved from

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