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Should you study in-class or online?

Safeera Sarjoo

Safeera Sarjoo

Adult Learning Editor, IDP Connect

First published on April 24,2017 Amended on April 24,2017

As time has progressed, education has become increasingly flexible. Whether it’s the array of subjects you can study, the qualifications you can work towards or the environment you can study in, it’s never been a better time to get back into learning.

A common dilemma people find themselves pondering over is whether they should be studying in-class or online. Technology has added that real-time, on-demand element to our lives and this includes access to learning.

The question is, do you want to structure your life around your studies or your studies around your life? This will inevitably determine which form of learning is better suited to you.

Studying in-class

Along with engaging with other students and being in a physical setting which can help you forget about outside distractions, in-class lessons are normally more interactive, so you can expect workshops and materials to keep you motivated. You also have the chance to engage with your tutor one on one. Of course, you’d be able to ask questions if you’re studying online, but a face to face discussion with your teachers works better for some people in terms of solidifying their understanding of a question or topic.

Although the idea of studying in-class gives you that relational experience, it will also require you to stick to a timetable, which may not always work if you have a busy life. Commuting to your class will also take up some of your time and outside factors like delays can add to your journey.

On the other hand, you may find that you need to schedule your studies around your commitments. In this case, you may be better suited to online courses.

The pros and cons of studying online

Choosing to study online gives you a lot of flexibility, the chance to learn at your own pace and closer support as classes may be smaller in size compared to in-class numbers.

You’re able to commence learning in an environment that you’re comfortable in. This could be the comfort of your own home, a library or a coffee shop. Materials are all usually provided online so there’s no need to worry about taking stacks of books to your classes.  

Even though the cost of taking an online course can be more affordable than in-class courses, it is worth noting that there is less interaction when taking an online course. As most of the work is done independently, there is less of a classroom feel and so communication between yourself and other students and tutors will be done over email.

Self-motivation is often a big hurdle when taking an online course as most of the work is done independently. Without that classroom feel where you’re able to interact with other people it is often down to yourself to keep yourself engaged and motivated to persevere with an online course.

It’s an impossible task though and no matter how you study, Floodlight is sure to have the ideal course to suit your learning requirements!

Safeera Sarjoo

Safeera Sarjoo

Adult Learning Editor, IDP Connect

Safeera is Editor of Whatuni and a journalist from Kingston University. Always the inquisitive, her writing spans across a number of areas such as sustainability, fashion, lifestyle and now education. Her belief that you never stop learning and passionate nature has taken her to New York City as part of her degree and across the airwaves on national radio talking about the issues that matter to her.

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