Face-to-face Vs Online Learning – Which one is Better?


With the advancement in technology, the idea of online education surfaced and gained popularity with time. Due to the numerous advantages that online education offers, the number of online learners have almost tripled in the last few years. Although face-to-face or the traditional way of education has its own advantages and is still the dominant mode of learning, it’s not the only way of education now. Let’s take a deeper look at the advantages that each learning mode presents.

Benefits of Online Learning

Imagine someone who has to commute long distance due to the absence of a nearby or quality learning center. Or someone who desires to pursue education while doing a full time job. For them, online learning is the best option. Here’s how:

  1. Flexible Learning Schedule & Environment:

This is one of the most appealing aspects of online learning. It frees you from the hard and hectic routine of the traditional or on-campus learning. Take, for example, LearnReadQuran.com, an online Quran tutoring service. It gives you the flexibility to choose your own convenient schedule to take Quran classes. It also lets you learn at your own pace. Also, you can create a learning environment that works best for you. Whether you are comfortable in your bedroom, study room, café or anywhere else, just go online and start learning. Awesome, right?

  1. Lecture Revision Flexibility:

In traditional classrooms, once a lecture is done, it’s done. You can’t review it. Online lectures, on the other hand, have audio or video recordings which you can review again and again whenever you need to.

  1. Instructor Availability:

In traditional education, it’s difficult to get hold of an instructor if you need to ask anything. They have set and very limited hours for questions. Online instructors, on the other hand, are available 24/7. You can ask them questions during the lecture, email them or use any other online mode for interaction.

  1. More Learning Choices:

Online learning does not limit you to one course or one instructor. You have access to an unlimited numbers of courses and highly qualified instructors. You can learn any language of the world without being restricted by the relevant material or trainer.

As mentioned above, face-to-face learning has its own perks which can’t be replaced despite the recent surge in online education. Face-to-face learning has got the following edges over distance learning.

  1. Greater Engagement:

Engagement and group discussion is the key to improved learning. Face-to-face learning allows greater engagement and student-teacher as well as peer to peer interaction. This contributes to building strong relationships among students and fostering their confidence.

  1. Networking:

This is a key edge of face-to-face learning over e-learning. Human interaction and networking is of sheer importance. You learn a lot from others. Although online classrooms do have chat rooms, their networking is not as real and effective as in face-to-face classrooms. Physical classrooms provide students with more opportunities to interact and network. Students can have group discussions and real conversations which are essential for personality development. It makes students more social and open to ideas.

  1. Focus:

Since in physical classrooms, you can see the instructor and the instructor can see you which does not let you lose focus. In online learning, anything can easily divert your attention as there is no body to look over or monitor you.

  1. Individual Attention from Instructors:

In face-to-face learning, instructors can see you. They can guess from your facial expressions and body language whether or not you have understood. They can understand each student individually from their habits, behavior, and other traits and cater to their requirements.  They are also able to give you customized explanation and examples.

It is obvious that face-to-face learning will never fade away and the same goes for online learning. As discussed in this article, online and blended learning can be a good complement for face to face courses, but nothing can replace the expertise of a good teacher.