Online Learning vs. Traditional Learning

By Alyssa Laffitte on October 30, 2017

Online classes are becoming more prominent in this digital age because they are so convenient. You can do the work in the comfort of your own home! How awesome is that?

However, online classes are different from the traditional classes we are used to so you might need to make some adjustments to help you do better in this different system. If you are considering online classes, here are some things to keep in mind.

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Self-motivation and initiative

In a traditional class, you have a professor there in person who can guide you in your studies. It’s easy for them to remind you to stay on track. They can quickly announce before class that there’s a test next week, and sometimes those reminders are much needed.

On the other hand, online learners don’t have a professor telling you in person to do your work, so online students should be self-motivated. As an online student, you will have to keep track of due dates and deadlines. No one will be there in person to remind you that the homework assignment is due tomorrow. For this reason, online classes will be easier for someone who is self-motivated.

If you are the type of person who needs an extra push, be aware that you will have to be responsible for your work in an online class.

Ability to focus

Let’s be honest, it’s difficult to spend extended time on a computer without being tempted to check social media. If you are considering taking an online class, you should be able to focus and resist the temptation. If you have trouble staying on task (there’s no shame in that … a lot of us do!), look at programs that will block your access to social media.

Traditional learners have to focus, too, but in a slightly different way. They need to be focused on listening to a professor for an hour at a time without zoning out.

Both online and traditional learners must be able to focus but in slightly different ways.

Support systems

Online learners need to get their support system from somewhere outside of the classroom since they won’t be visiting a physical classroom. You don’t have classmates next to you to help you study or to discuss a homework assignment with.

On the other hand, if you are a traditional learner, visiting a traditional classroom, you can have your classmates as your support system.

Relationship with a professor

When you are an online student, it’s more difficult to have a relationship with your professor. A traditional student sees their professor at least twice a week, so it’s much easier for them to get to know their professors and ask them questions. A traditional learner can ask their professor for a recommendation letter or for advice.

If you are an online student, be aware that you might not have easy access to a professor.


Online classes are very convenient. You can do your work anywhere at any time, as long as you have an Internet connection! This is especially beneficial if you are an already busy person, like if you have a full-time job. I had a friend who would love to do her work at 2 a.m. in her pajamas, so it was easy for her to do her work then.

Online classes are very convenient options for students nowadays. You can do your work anywhere at any time! But there are some things you should know before signing up for an online class since they are so different from the traditional classes we are used to. For example, know that online classes require much more self-motivation and focus.

22, ISFJ. Biology student. College lifestyle blogger. Avid reader and writer. Dog lover. Nerd. Boyband enthusiast. Superhero in training. Here to help you become the best you can be!

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