Online education is a relatively new concept as opposed to traditional education that has been here in quite similar format for centuries. The online education format has been here for long enough to help us understand the advantages and disadvantages of both traditional and online education format.
One of the advantages of traditional education system is higher quality of interactions between the instructor and the students. In addition, the students are also more likely to interact with each other. The traditional education system also enables the instructor to understand and develop relationships with the students in more effective manner than online education. One of the disadvantages of traditional education is cost because the format requires investment in buildings, classes, and other physical infrastructure. Another disadvantage is size because physical classes can only accommodate so many students.
Online education is not constrained by distance. Students can attend online classes from anywhere in the world as long as they have a computer and internet. Online education is also cheaper due to economies of scale. The disadvantage of online education is the difficulty of the instructor to monitor students’ conduct. Online education may also offer very limited opportunities for student discussions as compared to traditional education.
Overall, traditional education format is better despite being more expensive. It results in more productive learning experiences because class discussions, class exercises, and other similar activities are as important to learning as lectures. Traditional education is also better than online education because it is easier to monitor individual student’s progress as well as address them in traditional education format as compared to online education format where the sheer number of students may make the task quite difficult if not impossible for the instructor. However, there are circumstances when online education is the only option available to certain group of students due to reasons such as finances and geographical constraints.