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Pros and Cons of Online Learning

Pros and Cons of Online Learning

School this fall will look a lot different than it has in the past.  Many have chosen to continue with in-class instruction, while others have chosen online learning. There is a lot of information out there and there are advocates for both styles. 

Advantages of In-Class Learning:

  • There is more personalized instruction and interaction with the teacher
  • Students can get questions answered quickly
  • Instruction is real-time as opposed to watching a lecture, video or reading
  • Feedback is more immediate
  • Social interaction during group discussions teaches important life skills
  • Real-world skills are practiced by maintaining a regular schedule
  • Critical thinking skills are enhanced when students are encouraged to use these skills to formulate opinions or arguments.
  • Students feel connected
  • Class participation facilitates students learning to express their ideas in a way that others can understand. When they ask questions, they learn how to obtain information to enhance their own understanding of a topic.
  • Teaching styles can be modified according to the student's needs
  • Collaborative learning increases a student's self-awareness about how other students learn and enables them to learn more easily and effectively.

Advantages of Online Learning:

  • The schedule for learning is flexible; when the school day begins and ends is open
  • Less pressure than a traditional classroom allows more time to think about responses and assignments
  • Learning takes place in the comfort of your own space
  • Increased chances to explore new and emerging technologies
  • Learning is done at your own pace
  • More opportunities to develop your digital skillset
  • A group chat of some kind is how you will participate in class discussions and collaborative work
  • Students are better prepared for secondary educations online classes
  • Students are better prepared for global workplaces


The biggest pitfalls of online instruction are the lack of resources for some students, the reduced level of socialization opportunities and that self-discipline is required to complete online instruction.

The big drawback of in-class instruction is there are a lot of distractions and therefore is not a great fit for some students.

Education is evolving in new directions as everyone tries to find solutions that meet everyone’s needs.  Let’s all find ways to support each other no matter which course we choose.

Tips for Parents Who Have Students at Home:

  • Make a designated space for learning
  • Develop a regular daily schedule, this will help with self-discipline
  • Consider limiting cell phones and other electronic devices during online instruction
  • Promote periodic breaks away from the screen to go for a walk, get a snack, etc.
  • Pay attention to the screen your student is watching
  • Ask questions about content to check for progress and understanding