Online vs Offline Degree Programs: Which is Better?

With the advent of newer technologies and an increasingly globalized world, in which the power of the internet has transformed communication methods, the traditional offline campus based education method is no longer the only option for someone seeking to learn. There are various online programs available, that provide pretty much the same syllabus and cover subjects and topics that are not very different from offline courses. 

This became especially apparent as the educational institutions were forced to innovate and adapt due to the pandemic. The states of lockdown and quarantine made regular manners of pedagogy impossible and dangerous even.

There have been many ideas and concerns about these two modes of learning. It is said that even though online programs are attractive and convenient, they are very different from an offline program. It is also worthy of note that many international courses had already moved to a part offline and part online model. Here are a few points for and against both these program types:

Offline degree courses:

  1. Offline programs encourage you to be more serious about the course, by making you keep up with deadlines and time tables. It teaches you time management and commitment.
  2. Allows you to interact with classmates and teachers face to face, which provides a better opportunity to build a relationship and communicate without any barrier. 
  3. Offline courses provide opportunities for better instant feedback and clarifications.
  4. Offline courses are only available for a certain time period. It follows fixed schedules and timetables which means if you want to ask your teacher something or access the library then you can only do so at certain times. 
  5. Offline courses do not offer you the flexibility of studying or attending classes whenever you want. 
  6. Offline courses tend to be more expensive because they also include the cost of buildings, faculty, and resources. 

Online degree courses:

  1. Online degree courses give you the flexibility to study or attend classes whenever you want because there is no particular fixed timing. Often, even live classes can be recorded and viewed later on.
  2. You can message or email your teacher anytime with any questions you may have. You don’t have to wait for a fixed time or appointment. 
  3. Online courses don’t need you to travel all the way to a campus or classroom to attend. This means you save more time and money that would otherwise be used in travel.
  4. Online courses are less expensive, and more feasible for many, especially those people who are differently abled. 
  5. Online courses allow you to spend more time with your family or pursue other commitments alongside your degree program. This is something that an offline program may not allow you to do.
  6. With an online course, you often have flexibility as to how long you want to take to complete the course, or when you want to take up exams and submit your assignments. You also do not have to worry about any stressful competition with your classmates.

An example of an engaging online way of pedagogy is audio visual medium being used as an aid. This might not be something that happens as often or in similar ways offline. For example, a rich and fundamental concept like conic sections has much to gain with elaborate visual teaching. This explainer of conic sections uses 3D illustrations to make the concept clear and comprehensive.  

Overall, both online and offline courses have their pros and cons. If you are busy with an existing job or commitment, and feel like a traditional offline degree program would be too expensive or burdensome for you, then an online program is a great option to get your degree. It provides you with an easier alternative to learn and boost your qualifications. On the other hand, offline courses are always valuable in terms of the group work, social interaction, and other important skills that it teaches you.