Traditional Learning vs. Distance Learning

Nowadays, people debate about the most effective way to learn. There is well-known traditional learning, which is used for many centuries throughout the globe. Students attend schools, colleges, and universities to gain knowledge and develop various skills. On the other hand, there is distance learning that is relatively new streaming.

Students aren’t obliged to attend the classes and are free to study right at home using the Internet.

A traditional way to learn is a rather collective form to gain knowledge. A distance method of learning is self-driven. A student uses the help of teachers and professors attending online lessons. Nonetheless, his/her success is dependent on him/her almost in every situation. Our article will provide more information about this captivating issue here below.

Course Material Delivery

Contrasting both methods, you’ll receive two different ways to deliver learning materials. A traditional approach uses long-established methods and techniques to teach. It’s required to attend on-campus lessons and other activities. Students receive instructions from their teachers and professors, have their tasks, and provide solutions. They learn during appointed time limits and take place in study groups, laboratories, etc. The learning environment is more structured and functions within concrete rules and restrictions.

The contrary approach provides more freedom and sets some slight limits. Students are welcome to choose any courses they want. The educational system gives the lists of the necessary learning materials and exams students must pass. However, students aren’t obliged to attend on-campus classes and are free to plan their learning in accordance with their needs.

For example, a student can attend online classes with other students who preferred the same course. However, it’s not compulsory. The main goal is to master the required information to pass exams successfully. One has a rich choice of media, information technology, and the Internet. Such students can choose any other materials and methods of learning to reach their goals. They aren’t obliged to follow a concrete schedule and program.

Program Pacing

Distance learning ensures a free schedule. If a student doesn’t want to attend a lesson or there is no possibility of doing that, he/she may get busy with other things. Some folks claim it’s an excellent method to manage different tasks and duties. In the meanwhile, it may take more time to master certain themes and subjects because students undertake many non-academic tasks and have no time for proper learning.

A traditional form of studying has strict demands and time limits. They make students more disciplined, organized, and focused. They must take into account those rules and limits to succeed. Besides, teachers and professors are close at hand to supervise and guide them.
Distant learners have to depend on themselves. To find clarifications to unknown terms, they ought to surf the Internet or read books. It takes a lot of precious time. There is one alternative. They should stick to special online lessons, which are carried out in the real-time regime. Thus, they fully imitate on-campus lectures, seminars, practical classes, etc. Such programs are online-based.

However, some students have to visit an educational institution if they want to pass internships. Besides, some laboratory experiments must likewise take place in an institution with the proper conditions.

Technical Requirements and Complications

Students who go to schools and colleges are commonly provided with computers and various software. They don’t have to buy them. Simultaneously, online learners are forced to buy everything on their own. Although they can access whatever information is available on the Internet, they need certain stuff to do that.

  • High-speed connection;
  • A personal computer or laptop;
  • Office software applications;
  • Anti-virus program;
  • Email accessibility;
  • Web camera;
  • Headsets, and similar gear.

Such technical issues may interfere with the normal way of studying. One of the good examples is a slow Internet connection. Thus, you won’t be able to attend real-time classes.


It’s likewise necessary to discuss the cost for both studying types. Most people prefer to buy things online because virtual purchasing is cheaper. The same goes for eLearning. It’s commonly less expensive. The fees don’t cost as much as when you attend on-campus lessons.

In the meanwhile, it’s not always cheaper. Some textbooks, manuals and other learning materials for online studying may cost more. Besides, distant learners are deprived of multiple discounts for learning in comparison to traditional learners. Therefore, it’s not the winning choice every time you prefer eLearning.

Computer Literacy

You should likewise be aware of problems associated with the understanding of technology. Although most students are real technological gurus, some of them have certain difficulties. Not all of them can work with Microsoft Office, Excel, and other basic programs. When their computers are infected with viruses or get broken, it induces additional complications too.

As you can see, both methods have their pros and cons. Most people prefer the traditional form of learning. Nonetheless, you’ll definitely find a lot of distance learning followers. Which one is better? It’s up to you to decide. Take into account the issues we have highlighted in our article and match with your possibilities.

Ask yourself whether you’re ready to learn on your own without a teacher who is in the classroom and attentively watches you. If you find the strength and motivation, you’ll possibly succeed. Perhaps the traditional form is more effective? Finally, you may combine both methods. Make a reasonable and thoughtful choice. Thus, you’ll definitely select a better variant.

Saeed Ashif Ahmed
Saeed Ashif Ahmed is a Blogger who has a keen interest in how emerging technology can help the world become a more just, equitable, and kind place. He enjoys interviewing CEOs of tech startups asking them what they are doing to bring greater opportunity and equity to our society.
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