Are you thinking of taking a course and have doubts about whether to study online or face-to-face? Sometimes, online classes, online training, or e-learning generates certain doubts, almost always derived from prejudices that we wear and that we have inherited from traditional education. So we have decided to make an objective analysis of what are the pros and cons/ advantages and disadvantages of online classes/ studying online for school, college, and university students 2021.
Surely, you know that many institutes have been teaching online courses for years and have been fortunate to see the evolution that has occurred in the acceptance of online training in a society, and the truth is that online courses have more and more followers. This evolution has occurred for several reasons, but we can highlight two of them:
- The growth and normalization of the use of the internet in our day to day.
- The growing need to train and reinvent yourself on a continuous basis. Due to the increasingly changing environment in which we live.
The ease of making online training compatible with the rest of your obligations, reducing travel, or accessing quality training at a cheaper price maybe some of the advantages of studying online, but we also want to put the other part of the balance the main drawbacks that are associated with online studies.
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Advantages of online classes
For some time, the number of students who choose to carry out online studies has grown exponentially year after year. Young people, old people, workers, or unemployed, it does not matter the profile, and it is that online training has a more and more transversal presence in society.
It is a fact that online courses are increasingly in demand, from micro-courses, intermediate training, to higher and postgraduate studies. But what does its success lie in? What are the advantages of online training to increase its growth year after year?
The reasons that can lead each person to study online are personal and of a different nature, but the truth is that most students agree that the advantages offered by this type of training have been decisive when it comes to tipping the balance. On your side compared to face-to-face/physical training. Here are some of the main pros/ advantages offered by online classes/ courses/ training:
1. Online training is compatible with other obligations
There is no longer a maximum age to study. It is increasingly essential to follow a training plan to stay up-to-date in your profession or even reinvent yourself. That is why many students, when they consider taking a course, have to assess whether it will be compatible with the rest of their obligations (work, family, and, why not, leisure time).
Online training makes it easier for them to continue training and to manage their time as they see fit. When you work 6, 8, or 10 hours, it is very difficult to be consistent when attending a face-to-face training center. Just think of one thing, what are you going to stop doing to have the time you need to travel, attend class, travel again, and study at home?
Every minute counts, and with online training, you can dedicate more time to your training and at the best time for it (breaks at work, travel, after dinner, before going to work,…). You are the owner of your time and you manage it as you see fit, and not having rigid and fixed schedules makes it possible for many people, who otherwise could not study, to continue training.
2. Studying online is cheaper
It is probably not the most important thing, but one of the factors that makes many students decide to study online is because of the savings it entails compared to face-to-face training. Online courses or classes are usually cheaper than face-to-face ones since the training center can optimize its resources much more. However, you must be careful with courses that could be said to almost give them away. If you want a quality course, with good materials and good support from the teachers, you must assume that it will have a cost.
To the savings, due to the price difference between the online courses and the face-to-face ones, you must add the savings because you will be able to study from home and you will not have to travel.
3. Studying online courses is the perfect option if you don’t live in big cities
Many of us live in more or less large cities that offer you multiple services of all kinds, from public transport to a training offer in almost any field, and sometimes we forget that many people do not have these possibilities in their day-to-day lives.
The reality is that many people live in rural areas or in small cities in which they do not have the training offer that exists in other parts of the country and, therefore, they can be harmed when carrying out their studies and develop professionally. For all of them, online training/classes is a perfect option since it allows them to choose which studies they really want to do and train in whatever they want. Think that today it is possible to train with the best professors from the best universities in the world from almost anywhere on the planet.
4. You set your own study pace
In traditional training, the usual thing is that from the beginning of a course the study rhythm that all students must follow, regardless of their ability or personal situation, has already been set. However, online classes allow students greater autonomy when setting the pace at which they advance in the course.
You are the one who decides to spend less time on a part of the agenda that you are really good at and study more time what you find more difficulties. You decide how long to study at any given time, depending on your personal or professional situation. It is possible that at certain times you have to move slower than the rest of the students, and at other times you can spend more time studying and move faster. Even in many online courses, you decide when the course ends, since it does not have a specific end date.
5. You can study almost anything you propose online
Would you like to continue studying and training? The training offer that you have available in online training is impressive. Thanks to the internet you will be able to learn from how to fix a coffee maker to how to create a project related to artificial intelligence with the best professors at Stanford University. And this was unthinkable just a few decades ago.
If you think about it, we are lucky, since we have a world of knowledge at hand that we can access from the home computer or even from the mobile. Can you imagine if Galileo Galilei, Blaise Pascal, or Albert Einstein lived in our days and had access to a computer with the internet?
Disadvantages of online classes
But not everything is going to be advantages. As usual, like almost everything in this world, everything has its positive and negative sides. Therefore, we are going to analyze what are the disadvantages or inconveniences that may arise when studying online.
In addition, we must take into account that each person is different, so it is possible that what for some is perfect for others may not be so. When it comes to studying, students have different characteristics and needs, so for some students, the freedom offered by online class/ training and the ability to manage their study time is great, while other students need something more rigid and structured.
Here are some of the main cons/ disadvantages of online class/ studying online:
1. Studying online requires discipline and perseverance
As his uncle said to Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” And when you decide to study online, you are assuming the power that gives you freedom when planning and setting your study schedules. You and only you, are responsible for taking the steps you have to take to achieve your goals, and for this, you will have to be constant and disciplined.
But, at the end of the day, if you are reading this article, you are probably not a teenager. The safest thing is that you are clear about your goal, and if you have a goal that really motivates you and is worth it, it will be much easier for you to strive and be constant.
2. Is studying online synonymous with studying alone?
Human beings are social animals, and we need to relate and maintain contact with other people. That is why online classes or online training is often associated with the student’s loneliness. And the truth is that all of us who have been students know the importance of sharing a chat and a coffee with a classmate, especially when your spirits are a bit low.
Without a doubt, not having this contact is a disadvantage, although it must also be said that the centers that teach online courses have put the batteries, and it is increasingly common to see online training where there are tools that allow greater interaction with teachers and other students, creating a community around the course. Is it comparable to the relationships established in a face-to-face course? Surely you are not going to have the same relationship with your classmates as with someone with whom you share a desk for a whole year, but for someone who studies from home, it can mean the difference between feeling alone or being part of a community of people who have similar interests and goals.
3. You need to have technological means
If you want to study online you will need some technological means. You must have at least one computer or tablet, an internet connection, apps like zoom, google meet, google classroom, and certain computer knowledge or skills.
You will not have to be a computer expert to study an online course, since the platforms where online courses are taught are usually simple and friendly, but it is essential that you have a small computer knowledge base before starting an online course.
4. Not all the training offered is quality.
The online training offer is almost endless, which is great. But in that sea of online courses, there are companies that offer quality courses and other companies with a dubious reputation that want to take advantage of the pull of online training and offer courses that do not meet the minimum quality standards. At the end of the day, it is the same as face-to-face training.
The problem is that the existence of these courses, which contribute very little, does a disservice to other companies that strive to do things well. In the end, the result of a poor quality course is a lot of disgruntled students, who feel cheated and who do not consider taking an online course again because of a bad experience.
To finish studying a quality online course, we recommend that you always inform yourself beforehand about the center that provides the training, that you see what is said in forums, that you ask all the questions that you consider necessary to the center, and that you inform yourself well before committing yourself with the training center. Take a look at the reviews, social networks, etc. Fortunately, there are many very good online training centers with an impeccable reputation, which will always be ready to clarify any questions that may arise about any training they offer.
In short, as with face-to-face training, online training has its advantages and disadvantages, but it is a type of training that has more followers every day. The motives? It is flexible, personalized, allows you to make your training compatible with your usual life, and is cheaper than most training options with the same characteristics.
The reality of online training is that it gives the possibility of studying too many people for whom, otherwise, it would never be possible to access that training. You may want to pursue a university degree but you cannot travel or face the expenses that it entails. Perhaps you have a job and children, you do not have much time but you need to continue training to be able to have a quality job, or, perhaps, you live in a rural environment and it is unthinkable to travel to go to university on a daily basis. No matter what the reason is that leads you to choose to study online, the important thing is that it will facilitate the possibility of fulfilling your dreams.