What are the advantages and disadvantages of online education?

The COVID19 pandemic has changed education forever.

  • The pandemic has shut the schools shifting their classrooms online.
  • The education has changed dramatically, whereby teachers are now undertaking classes remotely using digital platforms
  • Research survey suggests that online education learning has shown a rise, meaning the changes that COVID19 have caused is here to stay for long

Even before COVID19, there has been a steady growth in adopting online learning. The easy access to the “Information and Communication Technology” has facilitated access to the various platforms and areas of online studies. Whether it is virtual tutoring, taking the class through “Zoom”, using video conferencing tools there has been a significant surge in adopting online educational technologies. 

You no longer must physically present in the class to learn. The environment of online education is different from the traditional classroom setup but that does not mean it is less effective.

No doubt, traditional classroom learning will always remain an effective and preferred choice but with the changing scenarios today, universities and schools worldwide are offering course programs so that students and professionals can still earn their degrees, get their certification – perhaps the best way to keep the career on track. 

Online education has its share of challenges both for students and teachers but willingness and adaptability to experiment can go a long way toward meeting them. 

One should realize that online education might not be a feasible choice and may not work for everyone. Below we have listed what are the advantages and disadvantages of online education and understanding them will help you figure out if online learning is suitable or not.

Advantages of online education:

It provides flexibility

For many of us, the primary benefit of online education is about having flexibility. Some course programs are flexible if students want to accelerate the course and finish it ahead of time. Additionally, it makes it easier to fit learning into your day especially if you are a student and doing a job. Because the student does not require classes at a specific time, it gives you total freedom to acquire a degree at your own pace.

It is easier to focus

The studies have shown that studying in a noisy and loud environment makes it difficult to concentrate. Online classes are easier to focus, by sitting in a comfortable environment wearing headphones you are less distracted. Your entire interaction happens online which means you will not wander off the topic.

Easy access to the teachers

In an online class, you get direct access to the teachers for answering your queries. This makes it easier and quicker to get your questions resolved rather than just waiting for your turn to come which happens in a traditional classroom setting.

100% attendance

You no longer have to worry about attending your class irrespective it is heavy rainfall, snowing, or lockdown. When you take classes online, not only are you saving your time but attending it digitally is way easier in letting you have 100% attendance. Additionally, it gives you the flexibility to get your work done in case something comes up.

Low costs

Studying online means that you only will be paying online application fees and your tuition fees which is way less than what you pay for your on-campus degree. Moreover, colleges offering online programs are now proposing merit-based scholarships which overall makes a huge difference to your course program fees. Students also save time and money by eliminating a commute.

Disadvantages of online education:

Lack of practice-based learning

There are specific courses that require several practical sessions such as studying medicine, surgeries, getting practical knowledge learning in a construction field. Such experiences online programs are not able to offer.

Requires self-discipline and time management skills

Self-discipline and time management are always crucial when it comes to online learning. It involves less guidance from an instructor compared to traditional classroom learning.

Diminishes social interaction

Ideally in a traditional classroom, there is interaction happening between other students and teachers. Also, some course programs require doing group activities, these moments do not arise in an online class. It is important to have social interaction between peers and teachers to bring liveliness to boring lectures.

Not suitable for every kind of learnings

For example, learning how to fly an airplane or how to dispose of chemicals under a specific environment needs practical learning. Operative techniques that have complex topics require the physical environment to learn and get practical knowledge. Think, is it safe where you think you will board a plane where the pilot only has theoretical knowledge and never flown a plane?

Stressful for those who are not disciplined

Online education learning is not for the lazy type. If you are never punctual and love postponing your sessions, online classes are a waste of money. Especially in professional courses, there are no tutors to give you a follow-up or make-up session.

 It requires good grasping of the tech skills

Learning from an online class running on Zoom and Skype kind of app requires you to understand about online technology. It is not only about knowing how to start the computer and getting to the online class. You need to know how to navigate the screen. This is very easy for people who have good technical understanding, they can figure out how to maneuver around a video, do online assignments or interact using that platform

If Internet connectivity is a huge problem

When there is a problem with your internet, taking an online class will be a hassle. You will need a decent speed internet connection to run those applications.

After all the students have to analyze both what are the advantages and disadvantages of online education. Their decision greatly contributes to the direction of his/her career path. Students have to decide how they are going to accomplish their goals whether it is online, in the classroom, or a combination of both.

What does it take to become a successful online student?

If you want to know how to study online from home, you only have to carry out a few searches over the Internet. Whether you are a student studying in a school or obtaining a professional degree from a university or any other institute all you need is an internet connection, a computer/laptop, and a desire to study online.

Online education is increasing demand. The pace of our daily lives has made it possible to earn a degree without sacrificing our work.  With less time on hand, online course programs have made it possible to study in the most affordable ways.

Now that you have known what are the advantages and disadvantages of online education, the primary thing is to establish a schedule to successfully carry the online education. Having the necessary resources in hand, all you need is to put determination.


1.   How much time does the student spend in one class every week?

The time students spend on an online class can vary. No two teachers will have the same teaching format and class schedule. Depending on the course program/school time-table the classes will vary.

2.   How is the study material available online?

Once a student gets the username – password, they are able to access the online classrooms, the study material is uploaded, assignments, video links related to the chapter/topics, etc.

3.   How to interact with the teachers online?

Teachers are accessible and responsive to the students. Students and teachers ideally communicate primarily through the website or connect through Zoom, Skype, etc.

4.   Are the tests available online?

Yes. Teachers do assign tests depending on the course curriculum which can be weekly or unit test or quarterly. Students are supposed to give the test ensuring they will not copy or share their exam, and that the person taking the test is the person itself registered as the student will take the test. Tests may be timed, and do not typically allow for open-book responses.

5. Are online classes self-paced or scheduled?

Well, if you are in school/college the online classes will be scheduled. There will be a set time-table for every class. And for those who are earning specific certification, they are mostly self-paced.

6. What if there is a technology difficulty?

Ideally, the educational institute provides the technical support which is available till the classes are cleared for the day. You can easily contact them for any technology struggle.

Online education is totally worth the effort – Closing Thoughts

We just explored what are the advantages and disadvantages of online education. For some students are comfortable with traditional teaching sessions, while others may prefer online educational training. Online education is no doubt a game-changer in today’s scenario but, it also depends on the individual’s choice. It is nowadays easy to earn certification, as online education offers complete flexibility in terms of time and cost.

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