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The rift between online learning and traditional learning continues to grow as technology makes inroads in our daily lives. The coronavirus pandemic has forced learners across industries to take to online learning, with schools and universities being shut down for the foreseeable future.

The advantages of online learning are many; that said, the jury is out on which learning process emerges as the victor in the online training vs traditional training battle.

What is Online Learning and Benefits?

In simple terms, online learning is education and learning that takes place over the internet. It is interchangeable with the term e-learning and the types of online learning aren’t restricted to students alone.

Several professionals take to online learning to be able to upskill, add more certificates to their resume, or prepare for a career change. Similarly, recent graduates may choose to enroll in e-learning courses to get certified on industry-grade software, hard skills, and soft skills.

The benefits of online learning are many, including costs, ease of access, self-paced learning, and flexibility.

Lower Costs

E-learning courses are typically less expensive when compared to traditional courses carried out in person in schools and universities. This is to account for the lack of access to infrastructure, libraries, labs, and other on-campus facilities that traditional courses have access to.

Students don’t have to pay additional fees over and above their tuition either, to cover accommodation, transport, books, or other collaterals that are required for traditional learning experiences.

Self-paced Learning

Using an online video education platform allows students to learn at their own pace and fit classes around existing schedules. Most courses only have time restrictions on tests, but can offer to reset those should students need to put their learning on hold. This flexibility isn’t

accessible in traditional schooling which is why many people with busy schedules, but harboring an interest to learn, choose e-learning over traditional schools after a certain educational qualification. This answers the question ‘how effective is online learning’– allowing students to learn at their own pace makes them more likely to engage better with their courses.

Access To Quality

As online learning effectively erases geographical boundaries, students can gain access to top-quality courses from world-renowned institutions without moving from their homes.

This bridges the gap in the quality of education and levels the playing field in many ways. Students also benefit from signing up for courses that are either better taught elsewhere or have much more experienced faculty than they otherwise would have access to.

What is Traditional Learning and Benfits?

Traditional learning in this context refers to schooling and college systems that rely on in-person interaction every day. Traditional learning is best suited for children entering the education system and continuing until just before undergraduate. These involve daily attendance, strict classroom timings, fixed schedules, and set curriculums.

The benefits of traditional learning are:

Peer interaction

Students in traditional setups can meet their peers and friends every day, allowing them to form human connections outside of the course and curriculum. This is vital for growing children as it enables them to build a support structure outside their family and socialize well.

Higher discipline

Given the structured nature of traditional classrooms, young students learn discipline, timeliness, and adhering to schedules which will feature prominently in their adult lives. It enables them to monitor themselves and comply with a set of rules that intend to make them better individuals.

Learning-heavy environment

Classrooms are designated centers for learning, so it is easy to slip into that mindset upon entering. In this way, traditional learning ranks higher than using an online streaming platform for education, where familiar environments and lax schedules can often lead to laidback attention.


Traditional learning setups also come with access to school and university infrastructure, including libraries, online subscriptions, labs, newsrooms, studios, and more. All online courses can’t offer these; hence, this is where traditional learning gains a distinctive advantage.

What are the Differences Between Traditional and Online Learning?

To sum it up, online learning is learning conducted over the internet through the use of interactive formats such as videos, educational video streaming, screen shares, and live Q&A sessions. Traditional learning takes place in physical classrooms with everyone enrolled present according to a strict attendance and class schedule.

When it comes to answering the question of which is better, e-learning or traditional learning, it all boils down to the benefits that individuals find most relevant to them.

E-learning benefits tend to veer towards lower costs and wider access to a variety of courses; on the other hand, traditional learning offers peer learning and socialization experiences that can’t be matched online. To be able to pick between the two, potential students will need to determine where they stand on the following parameters:

  • Budgets
  • Learning topics and accessibility
  • Faculty strength and experience
  • Extracurricular benefits
  • Goals to be achieved from either form of learning
  • Time available to study
  • Preference of environments (traditional classrooms vs homes and cafes)

Traditional learning is often favored by children and young students looking to secure their required 15 to 16 years of education. On the other hand, e-learning is heavily frequented by students and professionals looking to upskill and increase their number of certifications.

Traditional learning has long been the foundation of education systems around the world, and e-learning can be seen as supplements to boost careers and job opportunities.


The bottom line is that both traditional learning and e-learning have their perks– the winner of the battle depends entirely on students’ preference, time, and learning styles.


Online learning is an excellent opportunity to upgrade skills and prepare for a leap forward in one’s career.

About Post Author


hey 🙂 My name is Tom Matlack.
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