SolveYourProblem Article Series: Online Degrees
Is An Online Degree Program For Me?


When is In-Person Learning More Effective than an Online Learning?

For some, the advantages of online learning are numerous. Free time, studying at one’s own pace, no time sitting in the classroom, limited student interaction are only a few of the many reasons why people opt for an online degree in anything from business to creative writing. But for others, hands-on learning is better than sitting at home in front of the computer. Both are accepted ways to earn a degree. It is nice to have some choices when deciding on which degree to earn and how one would like to earn it. It is possible to attend a school that is not even in the same state when taking classes online. But for some, this can create feelings of uneasiness and lack of self-confidence and self-discipline. Being in the classroom is the only way they can truly learn and perform well. Knowing this about oneself is a big step. This can prevent a person from making a mistake and taking on more than they can handle.

People who prefer in-person learning are people who enjoy sitting in a classroom discussing projects and other assignments. These people benefit from an instructor who lectures and who assigns group assignments. Many people who prefer learning in the classroom do not possess the discipline to complete projects with no supervision. This is not a bad character trait. This just means that the person needs someone to remind them when projects are due and who prefers working in groups to complete them. In a classroom setting, assignments are due weekly. The instructor will let the students know when the tests will be. In an online degree program, a syllabus is handed out and people are expected to meet all deadlines. There are usually no reminders. In a classroom environment, the instructor will let people know what will be covered on a test. This can help when studying and preparing in advance. Setting a study schedule is easier when attending classes. When under time constraints, many people get their work done. Without having classes, they might leave the work until it was too late and miss a deadline. Having a defined schedule keeps a student on track and learning.

Along with reminders and review sessions, learning in the classroom has other advantages. Being able to contact the instructor during their office hours is very helpful Knowing that the instructor is available to speak in person to discuss or help a student understand what is happening in the classroom is very important to some students. People learn in different ways. Some students need to have further discussions about assignments and like to meet with instructors to clarify anything in the lecture that seemed unclear. Also, many students benefit from lectures combined with projects. This way they have the opportunity to ask questions while learning. They can apply that knowledge to upcoming assignments. Another advantage to hands-on learning for some people is the interaction with other students. Being able to ask questions or to review notes and other material make accomplishing homework much easier. Sometimes just knowing that everyone is having a difficult time trying to learn can make a person feel better about the material. Knowing other people have problems sometimes motivates a person to learn. If they can grasp concepts and complete assignments, perhaps they can teach others to do the same. Group learning is possible if everyone in the group is willing to participate. This can be difficult sometimes since people learn at different rates. Sometimes, however, group projects are more beneficial to the entire group because people learn to work together.

Traditional school settings will always exist. For those who are capable of learning without the much supervision will benefit from an online degree program. But for those that enjoy learning with others and need more structure, a classroom atmosphere is the best place to further one’s education. Making friends and learning through lectures, group work, and other assigned activities can make the class more fun and when people are having fun, they learn more. In-person learning is best for those that can attend class regularly and who have the time to spend outside the class meeting with people while getting the most out of their education.

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