Traditional Education vs. Distance Education

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In today’s world, knowledge is a basic human right. Traditionally, all students physically attended classrooms where the instructor gave directions to the students. However, technological advancements are altering the conventional approach to education. Online education is a recent movement in which students take courses through the internet. The pupil is not required to physically attend the courses. The instructor delivers the class lecture through the internet, and the whole course takes place virtually. Traditional courses have the benefit of student and teacher interaction improving the understanding of the student; however, online classes allow the students to take the course from home saving the costs associated with traveling to school.

The paper will address the benefits of traditional and distance learning and consider the best mode of education with reference to potential to the students.

In traditional education, all students attend the class physically (Kelly, 2016). The teacher instructs the students on face to face basis. Therefore, the students are in a position to improve their understanding by asking the teacher to explain deeply, where the instructions are not clear. Apart from the interaction of the students and the teachers, the students are in a position to form groups and discuss the concepts taught in school. Online education limits interaction between educators and students as well as among the students. The understanding of the students depends on their personal ability to comprehend the course concepts due to lack of an opportunity to discuss the ideas with other students.

Online education is cheaper than traditional education (Orleans, 2014). Students use the internet to attend classes over long distances. The costs associated with the classes include buying a computer and an internet connection. Therefore, the student can work while undertaking the course. Some of the students using the distance education do not have to incur accommodation costs. In traditional learning, the costs are high, since the student must acquire housing within the locality as well as transportation means to the school. Therefore, distance learning is more cost-effective as compared to traditional learning.

Distance classes offer the students convenience and flexibility. The students control their classes according to their favorable schedule. The students choose most convenient time that offers a better chance of better understanding. Due to the accessibility of the course content online, the student can take the class from any convenient location. In the traditional approach, the students have to make a physical attendance to class. The presence makes it impossible for the students to regulate their schedule, since the class timetable dictates the free time (Hudson, Lyn, & Prothero, 2013). The students have to attend the class or miss out on the lecturer. Traditional education limits the flexibility and convenience for the students.

Traditional teaching and distance education vary in their particular benefits to students. In traditional classes, the teacher can monitor the understanding of the student and enhance the teaching methods to match the needs of the students. More so, class discussions by the students have the ability to improve understanding and performance of the student. However, distance learning offers convenience and flexibility for the students. The expenses are also lower, since the student is bale to study from home as well as working while studying. However, due to distance and reduced costs, many students prefer distance learning as the best method of education. The technological inventions are making it easier for the classes due to the provision of computers and the internet, which act as the medium for the classes. Therefore, distance learning is the better channel.


Hudson, R., Lyn, O. & Prothero, S. (2013). Flexible Learning in Action: Case Study in Higher Education. London: Routledge.

Kelly, S. (2016). Teaching music in American society. New York: Routledge.

Orleans, M. (2014). Cases on critical and qualitative perspectives in online higher education. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, an imprint of IGI Global.

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