Traditional Education vs. Online Education

The controversy over whether online or conventional education is better has sparked heated debate. Traditional education is the oldest form of learning that takes place in a classroom environment. Teachers are given a certain amount of time to complete their coursework. A face-to-face approach was used in conventional education, where students and lecturers converged in a classroom for a period of time specified in the school curriculum (Rivera, and Rice, 2002). Online education, on the other hand, is a result of conventional education, with technology serving as the platform's primary engine. Computer technology is mainly used in online learning where the passage of knowledge is through a medium, for instance, internet (Larreamendy and Leinhardt, 2006). This form has come to gain popularity with human civilization and globalization.

Online and traditional education has attracted attention for debate over which suites the education sector. It is for this reason that I have found interest to research into understanding the depth of two significant distinctions of online vs. traditional education. In addition, little has been told about the two, therefore, forming a reasonable basis for which research can be initiated. Major arguments have been put forward trying to showcase which of the two, online and traditional education is best for delivering knowledge. Below are the arguments that have been put forward trying to understand the components of the two forms of knowledge.

Traditional education.

Traditional education is a mode of learning that uses a classroom. The classroom forms the unit environment where the teacher and the students interact freely in exchange for knowledge. It traces its history back in years when schools, colleges, and universities began. When a school was composed, buildings were constructed to define the learning environment. It has been in use in many corners of the world before the coming of computers. Traditionally, students and lecturers used to apply the approach of face to face method to communicate their ideas. This approach was the only medium since there was no other method of delivery.

In this approach, students would engage their teachers one on one and feedbacks given back on the same floor. Illustrations and examples would be given to help the students understand the concept of topics being taught as per the school program. Traditionally, education was marginalized as one could only access what was on his/her premises unless otherwise, arrangements made to travel to another premise for an academic trip. The trips would be an adventure to learn from another facility what is not on your own.

Traditional education is praised for being cohesive. This means that unity within a classroom would be established incoherent manner where students and lecturers engage one another face to face. This will also tend to create a level of confidence as answers from the lecturers are given at the same time or even minutes later after the question is raised. The mode is glorified on being lively (Rivera and Rice, 2002). The classroom environment is live, and everyone can observe or perceive what is going on without relying on another medium. The classroom setup is such a way that the lecturer is a few meters in front of the students, and this makes it lively and more amusing to engage one another.

The approach is praised for being articulate and straightforward. On being simple, it just requires a shade and writing material and the attendance of the lecturer and the students to formalize and commence the education. It is also articulate and straightforward on the fact that everyone onboard can see and engage the source of teaching and affiliate with it as learning continues. The level of confidence is high on this as whatever the lecturer is teaching can be expressed lively to students thus creating a degree of certainty. Students can question their dissatisfactions at the point of noticing it and thus getting clarifications immediately.

On the other hand, traditional education has shortcomings as well as advantages. The disadvantages include:

Time-consuming- traditional training is time-consuming as much time is needed to elaborate a concept and ensure every student in the classroom is satisfied. There is also the issue of seeking clarification as for if all the student goes for it; there will be much time consumed which may end up compromising the program as fewer concepts will be covered.

Costly- traditional education is expensive as classrooms need to be constructed to make learning conducive. This raises the cost burden as the facility must be in such a way that it will harbor good learning environments and there are standards supposed to be met before learning commences.

Repetitive leading to fatigue and boredom- traditional education by virtue of being a face to face method of delivery, there tends to be repetition and as a result fatigue. This emanates from the fact that clarifications by the students is sought and if some students find it, therefore fatigue will be experienced from both the students and lecturer (Hughes, Brown, and et al. 2007). Consequently, traditional education has been there years before the coming of computers and technologies related to computers. It has been the bedrock over which knowledge has been shared from the era in history to another. In addition, it has not been without pros and cons as argued here above.

Online education.

Online education is a mode of knowledge where technology is the medium through which learning takes place. This style has gained momentum especially with today’s innovations and inventions. The coming of computers gave birth to online education where one can gain access to a website or internet platform and get to learn one or two concepts in a particular field of interest. For instance, one can access libraries across the world through computers from the comfort of your house. This has made education more connecting and opened room for diversification. It has also lead to schooling being global and universal.

It is not a must that a student travel to the physical learning environment but instead he/she can just buy a computer and gain access to the internet and enroll to online education in institutions that have the learning via the internet. This has seen a number of those getting to be educated increase drastically as it is more convenient, affordable, time-saving, reliable and more connecting to a variety of cultures across the world (Bakerson, and Rodriguez, 2006). A case example is that a student at Harvard University can go online and complements his/her quest for education with another university let say Chicago University. This means that diversity is cultivated and the scope of knowledge is expanded as more knowledge is shared online. Online education, therefore, enjoys some advantages as well as disadvantages as argued below:

Time-saving- online learning saves a lot of time. This is the fact one does not necessarily need to travel to the education facility in order to learn. One can learn freely at his/her comfort of the house and get the concepts right. Time is saved as the lecturer can get to reach a large number of students within a span of time. This therefore makes online education a time saver.

Affordable- online education is cost friendly as the pricing of the program does not include costs of buildings and other structural facilities. Here everything is done online, therefore, cutting overall cost. As a result of this, huge numbers tend to prefer online education as the price is friendly to their earnings.

Convenience- the level of satisfaction is high as one can choose when to study and when not to. This is the fact that online education is always available at your convenient time and premises.

Diversity- on this, more knowledge is shared by different people on the same platform. To the consumer this allows him/her to choose from a variety of which suites the cost and preference. With this, more and more students across the globe can enroll and select their best fit and proceed with education quest.


Lack of reliability- online education falls short on security as more scams may emerge in the name of offering the same trining. This is evident with un-identifiable sites and portal which are a scam in their nature.

Costly – online education is expensive in the fact that one needs to have computer skills and knowledge in order to start learning online. This comes with a cost since more money is required to learn the skills of a computer and buy one to help in navigating the education.

Lack of credibility- credibility is a question of concern when it comes to online education. This is co-joined with reliability (Bunderson, Inouye, and Olsen, 1989). The authenticity of the study by online means is a question that requires frequent elaboration to your research especially to your employer after studying. It is evident that online education has both pros and cons. Nevertheless, the complementary approach can be sought to interchange the two styles of teaching to come up with a brand approach to learning.

Articulation of argument.

Online v/s traditional education form a debate for researchers to try and explain which of the two is best and why. This topic is ripe as there is a little resource to it and more inquiries can be made to try and expound on the knowledge behind the two forms of education which both have pros and cons. There is need to complement both of them so as realize a coherent approach that can improve the credibility of education.

In conclusion, the study affirmed that online and traditional education are good, unique, and form basis over which education has developed. They define a variety which one can choose in pursuit of education and results will speak for itself. I, therefore, recommend both of styles since they are complementary and beneficial for one seeking education.


Rivera, J. And Rice, M. (2002). A comparison of student outcomes and satisfaction between traditional and web based course offerings. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 3, 1-10.

Hughes, J.E, Brown, R and et al. (2007). Academic achievement and perceptions of the learning environment in virtual and traditional secondary mathematics classrooms. American Journal,2,4,199-214.

Clariana, R and Wallace, P. (2002). Paper based versus computer based assessment: key factors associated with the test mode effect. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33,5, 593-602.

Bunderson, C. V., Inouye, D.K. and Olsen, J.B. (1989). The four generations of computerized educational measurement. The American council on Education. New York, Macmillan Publisher, 367-407.

Jordan, S. (2009). Assessment for learning: pushing the boundaries of computer based assessment. Research in higher education. 3:11-19

Larreamendy,J. and Leinhardt, G. (2006). Going the distance with online education. Review of educational Research, 76(4): 567-605

Bakerson, M and Rodriguez, L. (2006). The evaluation of internet usage within the graduate level classroom. Theinternational Jourrnal of learning, 13:15-72.

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