Learning is process of acquiring new experience, knowledge, behavior or skills. In humans, learning starts from birth and continues throughout their lives. Learning brings the change in an existing behavior of an individual.

We all are aware about classroom learning, isn’t it? We sit in a classroom, listen to the teachers, raise our hands, attend to our roll calls, interact with classmates and ask our queries.

Do you know the difference between e-learning v/s classroom learning?

Virtual learning, also known as e-learning classes, you need your laptop/desktop/smartphone/tablet with web connection and you are in your classroom. These days people are preferring e-learning compared to classroom learning as it is new and inexpensive.

Due to the impact of the internet, more and more people are choosing to stray from outmoded classrooms and take their courses online. The online and traditional classes each suit a particular requirement. Each option will provide its own benefits. However, e-Learning v/s classroom learning, is debatable, as both have their unique features. Some like real –time interaction while others like the versatility that e-learning offers.

In this article, we will try to understand how e-learning is different from traditional classroom teaching.  Now, let’s talk about e-learning vs traditional learning;

Student-Teacher Interaction

student-Teacher Interaction

Class room learning involves that face to face interaction among students, instructors and colleagues. Students in class room learning, actively participate in asking questions and getting their queries resolved. It provides the dynamic learning experience. Dialogues among individuals leads to flow of conversations and provides opportunity to share their experiences. 

On the other hand, in e-learning this kind of interaction is not there but it is possible through emails, chats, forums and webinars. In e-Learning, students study in confinement and needed to be self-motivated. An online course provides lessons, and the student learns terms, acronyms, definitions, and the methodological side of some tools.

What goes missing, is any practical experience such as activities or illustrations, which are evaluated and practiced real-time. When it comes to attending the courses on the internet, you will not be in a discussion environment. It is likely that you will not often have any interaction with peers. Therefore, if you have a query, it is more of self learning, you will need to go back and find the solution on yourself, or ask a trainer via email or chat.

Time and Place where you learn

School/college days reminds us when we did not want to get up early in the morning but we had no choice. To attend a class requires lot of time in getting ready and reaching college or school.

Therefore, in e-Learning v/s classroom learning, the major difference is presence of physical classroom in traditional set up. While in e- learning you can sit in any corner of your house and start/stop or replay the study material whenever you want.

 E-learning provides us lot of time as we don’t have to go anywhere so, it saves lot of time in travelling. Students can utilize that time in other extra-curricular activities in turn it helps them to maintain a balance between academic and non-academic sides. Further, it will prevent them to feel burdensome.

Flexibility in learning

e-Learning v/s classroom learning

In e-learning v/s classroom learning, another difference is that e-learning provides the flexibility to students across globe. In addition, e-learning appears to be organized with more and smaller parts which are easier to consume and operate in a busy schedule as well.  

Students can study at their own pace and give tests at their selected timings. There is no pressure for student to stay in a class. If an individual, who is in e-learning medium, having any issues with a method or understanding a course material. They can always go through their course material or replay the video recording to find a solution of any query.

While traditional learning has fix timings and one teacher manages limited numbers of students at a particular location.

Consistency in Delivery

e-learning v/s classroom learning

Another important aspect in e-Learning v/s classroom learning is that in traditional way of teaching, teachers come with their own teaching style and content, to be delivered. Content and consistency can be a concern for the classroom learning.

In e-learning, the course design and implementation is exactly the same every time. Further, the process is simplified and consistent in delivery of content which may be difficult to achieve in traditional way of learning. But class room learning can be fun by arranging group activities, assignments where students, work together. Such exercises, provide a chance to actively engage in the process of learning. Students may exchange ideas among themselves and thus make the learning process more interesting, which is not possible in e-learning medium.

Medium for instructions

e-learning v/s classroom learning

Let’s discuss another feature of e-learning vs traditional learning.  In classroom learning, a professor delivers the lecture verbally or with help of their visual aids/power point presentations. On the other hand, in e-learning wide ranges of tools are used like videos, graphs, presentations and various visuals to make the instructions clear to the students. 

In traditional classroom requires a physical presence of teacher/student but virtual set up demands the tech-savviness.  E-learning vs traditional learning, has other aspect where monitoring of students’ progress. In traditional set up tracking is done manually and verbal instructions are given.

On the other hand, in e-learning it can be done by Learning Management Systems (LMS). Though it’s very difficult to monitor the learner in virtual environment as they attend lecture online while listening to music, playing games etc. These things are difficult to happen in the traditional classroom due to physical presence of both.

Difference in Cost

Cost differentiation

In education one of the most important factors is cost. In e-learning v/s classroom learning, e-learning is most cost effective than traditional way of learning. Due to decrease in travel costs and logistics requirement.  Traditional classroom requires teacher each and every time when the course is supposed to be delivered.  Further, in formal education school or college fee is spilt into several categories like tuition fee, library fee and other costs.

Debate on e-learning vs traditional learning will perhaps never end. While there are still some people that have a preference for traditional approach to learning, while others appreciate the online or virtual environment, due to ease and suitability.

E-learning is more flexible, consistent and cost effective. If the student has time, budget can take the classroom training for hands on practical exposure. If the student is lacking in time and budget may use the virtual set up.  Traditional way of learning has many benefits like teacher-student interaction which plays an important role in the process of learning. 

Well, it important for the institutions to adopt the blended learning approach where they can include the traditional learning along with the online mode of teaching. 

Now, let’s summarize the key points we have discussed in the article

e-learning vs traditional learning
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I am passionate about learning new things having strong academic background and diverse professional experience of 15+ years in the area of Textiles and Clothing. I am a result driven optimist person, passionate about my responsibilities and with good Management Skills. My key focus areas have been: - Research - Training/Skill Development and Education - Content Development and Presentation - Team Lead - Management

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