We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Online class VS Traditional class

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

As technology progresses substantially, it has bearings on every area of our life, even on the way of learning. At present, we could either attend traditional classes in brick-and-mortar learning institutions, or virtual classes in online universities and colleges. Despite sharing some superficial similarities, the differences between a traditional class and an online class are remarkable. Both types of learning require instruction from teachers, and have comparable method of assessments. Though, they differ from one another in terms of scheduling, learning process, and communication.

The first distinction between a traditional class and an online class is scheduling. Traditional class requires a fixed place or environment for learning and teaching. This restricts the number of students that can study at the same time. Number of students would depend on the size of class and learning institution. Furthermore, traditional class is not flexible as it requires the students and teachers to attend a particular place at specific times. For example, students of traditional class have the responsibility to show up for class to meet attendance requirement (Quality Distance Education at your Fingertips, n.d.). Therefore it is not convenient for full-time workers since they would have difficulties in arranging free time to attend the class. On the other hand, online class allows unlimited number of students learn at the same time, which only requires connection to the network for accessing into the virtual class. It is also possible that students from different countries gather in one class.

Students can allocate their time easily to pursue their studies in virtual classes. This is because online environment does offer distinct opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning. Logan, Elisabeth, Rebecca Augustyniak, and Alison Rees (2002), as cited by Driscoll et al. (2012), says that within online class, students are required to take responsibility for their own education and are forced to be proactive in the learning process. In short, flexibility of online classes allows students to attend classes at anytime and anywhere, whereas students of traditional classes need to comply with rigid time table for completing their studies.

Learning process is another aspect that differs online class from traditional class; nevertheless they are similar in term of way in accessing for information. For traditional class, students would need to go to brick-and-mortar learning institution for pursuing their studies. Traditional class would be more book-approached. Materials like lecture notes, tutorial notes, reference books, and text books are necessary for traditional classes. Library is the place which students could find more information about courses. Journals, reference books, dictionaries and dissertations are available in library which students can turn to. By contrast, the learning process of online class basically relies on the computer and Internet. All materials of studies are basically available in online classes and other external websites. Distance learners should be independent and highly-discipline in order to achieve outstanding online learning (Kokemuller, n.d.).

Only perseverance can promise for the success of online learning. James and Gardner (1995), as cited by Diaz and Cartnal (1999), mentions that students that favour of reliance on independent learning skills would be more suited to an online class. Besides, online class can frequently schedule real-time discussion to do their assignment or project while traditional class discussion normally required participants to show up. Blackmore (1996), as cited by Diaz and Cartnal (1999), recommends that the thing teachers can do to aid the learning process is simply to be alert that there are diverse learning styles in the student population. However, students of both types of classes could reach to same platform to access for information, which is the Internet. Both types of learning need students to surf Internet to gain more knowledge regarding on particular matters of subjects. Therefore, students can feel the distinction between traditional classes and online classes in term of learning process, yet Internet is the common ground for students of both classes to gain more knowledge on course.

There is considerable distinction in term of method of communication between traditional class and online class, yet both of them share same objective, which is delivering the information to the student. Traditional class applies face-to-face learning method that allows teacher interact directly with students. For instance, students could meet up with the instructors either in class or during consultation hour. Students could also have informal communication with peers as they could meet up with peers in person frequently in traditional classes. On the contrary, online class is devoid of direct interaction between students and teacher. Usually, formal communication takes place in virtual classes. Students would need to communicate with instructors and peers via e-mail, social network, or in class discussion forum.

According to Clark-Ibáñez and Scott (2008), instructors of traditional classes could observe their students by looking and interpreting students’ facial expressions or signs of inattention, in which they could then react immediately to rectify matters that may have gone amiss, unlike online class. In contrast, the online environment could provide a more comfortable venue for participation among students who are shy or lack of confidence and who may be intimidated by the public setting of a face-to-face classroom (Driscoll et al., 2012). Nevertheless, both types of communication are necessary to convey message to students so that students can gain more knowledge in their studies. Hence, communication in both traditional class and online class is significant although communication in traditional class is more direct and informal than online class.

There are several resemblances between traditional class and online class, apart from the significant distinctions discussed. Teacher instruction is indispensable in both traditional class and online class. Both types of learning fully rely on teaching from professors or lecturers. Instructors play crucial roles in conveying information and guiding students throughout the course. In traditional class, instructors would need to turn up for class and present learning materials. Students would need to attend traditional classes regularly to gain more knowledge regarding their courses. Goodlad (1984), as cited by Relan and Gillani (1997), depicts scenario for “traditional class instruction”: Not “how” but “what’ to learn dominated consistently. Teachers and students were busy covering’ what was set forth in the textbooks and workbooks.

Students were moderately busy on assignments predetermined by teachers. Generally, the subject matter studied appeared to be remote from daily concerns and interests of the students (Goodlad, 1984, pp. 13-14). As for online classes, an online learner can view the learning materials at his or her own convenience as there are several instructors who present the learning materials in live mode, have pre-recorded their lectures, or even interact one-on-one with students (Tucker, n.d.). Nevertheless, instructors should play as mentors of distance learners by providing academic assistance and encouraging students to participate actively in online forum or discussions on the subject of their courses (Stansfield et al., 2004). In short, students are required to interact with instructors and glean information in both traditional class and virtual class. In addition, both types of learning have same method of assessments which comprise of formal tests and assignments (Is Online for Me? Classroom vs. Online, 2013).

Therefore whether online class or traditional class is being chosen, there would be an assignment to be completed and the assignment must be instructed by the teachers. For the traditional class, students can often grade each other’s work or edit each other’s written assignment but online class can hardly to carry out this task, unless students send the assignment electronically to each other. However, peer-review assignment nowadays is not only available for traditional classes, but also for online class. For example, most assignments of online courses available in Coursera, a free online education platform, offer peer assessments, in which students would use grading rubric to rate other assessments from other students (Pedagogy, n.d.). In addition, both classes also have the similarity that tests are conducted to identify what have students really understand from the courses.

Teacher sets the time limits for the test completion and the test can be either closed-book or open-book exam (Tucker, n.d.). Students would have to sit for tests in their respective learning institutions. On the contrary, tests conducted in online class are quite exclusive. For instance, for distance learners of online courses of University of Delaware could take tests through ProctorU.com, a platform which students can complete tests at home online. Webcam and microphone are required for the online tests, and per-exam fee is charged (University of Delaware Online Exams, n.d.). It is very obvious that method of assessments of both traditional class and online class is identical. As conclusion, we could experience several distinctions between traditional class and online class, like fixed scheduling versus flexible scheduling, book-based learning process versus technology-based learning process, and face-to-face communication versus online communication.

Nevertheless, these differences do not extinguish their similarities, in which both types of learning rely on instructions from teachers, and have same method of assessment. Both traditional class and online class have same purpose: to convey information to learners. Learning plays a significant role in our life, and knowledge is an asset for us which could be used to deal with daily occurrences. As we have concerned, only different particular characters would suit to either traditional class or online class. Hence, we would need to identify our personality and preference before making choice between these two alternatives.

Diaz, D.P., Cartnal, R.B. (1999). Online Distance Learning and Equivalent On-Campus. Students’ Learning Styles in Two Classes. College Teaching, 47(4), 130-135. Retrieved June 20, 2013, from Driscoll, A., Jicha, K., Hunt, A.N., Tichavsky, L., Thompson, G. (2012). Can Online Courses Deliver In-class Results?A Comparisonn of Student Performance and Satisfaction in an Online versus a Face-to-face Introductory Sociology Course. Teaching sociology , 40(4), 312–331.doi: 10.1177/0092055X12446624 Is Online for Me? Classroom vs. Online. Retrieved June 20, 2013, from Kokemuller, N. (n.d.). Online vs. Face-to-Face Classes. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/online-vs-facetoface-classes-7270.html Pedagogy (n.d.).Retreived 28 June, 2013, from https://www.coursera.org/about/pedagogy Quality Distance Education at your Fingertips. (n.d.). Retrieved June 25, 2013, from http://roveracademy.com/reviews/online-classes-vs-traditional-classes Relan, A., Gillani, B.B. (1997). Web-Based Instruction and the Traditional Classroom: Similarities and Differences. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from http://www.c3l.uni-oldenburg.de/cde/support/readings/relan97.pdf Smith, N. (n.d.). Similarities Between Online & Traditional Classes. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from: http://www.ehow.com/info_8600066_similarities-between-online-traditional-classes.html Stansfield, M., McLellan, E., Connolly, T. (2004). Enhancing

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59