The two long years of the global pandemic have taught us a lot. For example, we’ve learned the value of friendship, how to bake bread at home and how to turn any corner of the house into a home office. It has also shown us that studying from home is a realistic option these days. So, as the world returns to normal, people are asking whether they want to return to the classroom or continue with online classes. Most training providers and colleges provide both options and they each have their pros and cons. We have produced this brief guide to help you decide which works best for you.
Most of us have attended a course at a training centre. It’s only when we try learning through other channels that we discover the strengths and weaknesses of in-class training.
Of course, the main advantage to in-class learning is the presence of other people in a classroom with you. You get to meet new people, socialise, learn together and practice together. It’s a great way to learn and you might even make a few new friends! All of this can be exciting and fun. In fact, many people will always prefer in-class courses due to their social nature. Not all of us like sitting in a room on our own while studying. Moreover, an in-class experience allows you to ask questions and have conversations with your lecturers or tutors. As a result, you may learn more and understand things faster as you are in the same room as the person teaching the course.
In-class studying may simply not work for people with busy schedules. As we grow older, flexible schedules and free time become more and more scarce. To attend real-life classes, you need to have time on your hands which can be an issue for many people. Also, once you are registered for an in-class course, you are bound to a specific place and time - there’s not much flexibility involved. If you can’t make it to the class, you have to skip the lesson or course altogether.
Online classes are increasingly popular these days. Most of the advantages are quite obvious - you get to study from home or wherever you are at any time (usually). You can also take courses that are being run anywhere - any country or any city.
Flexibility about where and how you want to study is perhaps the main advantage of online classes. You get to choose when you take your course. Also, you can set a preferred pace of studying, so you won’t fall behind or get bored because the class is going too slowly. We all learn differently and this gives you the chance to find the time and pace that works best for you.
Often you will be on your own when you take an online course. If you fall behind it might be quite difficult to get motivated to catch up. Not all courses give you the opportunity to ask questions or ask for clarification on a particular point. Some online courses have group chats that can provide support but some do not. You are likely to have to learn how to be more self-sufficient in your studies. Sure, you still can find specialists online to provide assistance with things such as “can you write this essay for me?” when you need help but in many cases support is not as immediate or responsive as on an in-class course.
So we have taken a brief look at the main pros and cons of both in-class and online study. To decide what works best for you, think of your personal priorities and circumstances when choosing a course. Is it important to you to study at your own time and pace? Will you miss learning with other people in a classroom? Do you want to commute to your classes every week? Do you like to ask lots of questions? Are you happy learning on your own? Each one of us will make an individual choice. We hope this brief overview helps clarify the questions you should ask yourself. On-going education is vital in today’s fast-changing world so it’s important to get this decision right. Good luck!
by Katerina Urbanskaya | 13 Dec 21
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