How Is Online Learning Different From Traditional Learning

It’s almost impossible to ignore how the online learning model is evolving, so how does it differ from the traditional learning system?

How Is Online Learning Different From Traditional Learning

Over the last couple of decades, the relationship between traditional learning methods and “online learning” has increasingly played a role in student learning. While the content used for the class may have always been different, the medium for creating the course materials — traditional means such as print — has become almost identical for everything on the internet. Students still have to take notes through their website or device, and much of what’s presented online still has to be placed together on a screen.

And while the above examples of the course materials can represent a great deal of high-quality learning content, they are only scratching the surface of what online learning has to offer. The technology and platforms that facilitate online learning can go beyond just the content, introducing innumerable additional capabilities and advantages that might help students see the most out of their learning experience.

So, as online learning increasingly becomes a part of everyone’s everyday lives, here are some examples of the ways in which online learning is different from traditional learning.

Online Learning Can Allow Students To Go Back And Learn Again In Many Forms

The internet provides students with the tools to embark on seemingly endless journeys of research, and there are many ways to go about it in a way that is both enjoyable and beneficial. Whether it’s downloading a Google Doc, reading an online course, connecting with a professor, or waiting for class to begin, online learning can give students almost unlimited access to develop new skills and learn from content they find interesting.

Not everything online can be educational, however. While online learning can play a role in education, it can’t replace the individualized attention and quality of learning that comes with a traditional classroom. Getting back to the basics at work, for example, doesn’t seem like an interactive experience. There’s no lack of possibilities, however. As online learning continues to increase in popularity, the multitude of new platforms and options is bound to widen the avenues that learning can take on.

Online Learning Can Create Events Within The Class

The way in which online learning creates events that occur within the course means it can be used in ways that are both novel and useful. For example, while a lot of assignments are time-limited, most of them would still involve students doing something regularly, and this could be something as simple as scheduling a stop and being assigned with a task. This doesn’t necessarily mean a collection of activities; it could just be anything to give students something to do while they’re thinking about their lesson for the day.

And while making teachers an active participant in the classroom isn’t always the best thing for traditional learning, online learning could sometimes feel more interactive. This is because the different types of learning content can be chosen from a wide variety of perspectives, and the conditions under which you are assigned to assignments can also be different.

Online Learning Can Build Upon What You’ve Already Learned

No matter how great a teacher you’ve already been, using online learning isn’t going to change all of the lessons you learned. In fact, there’s a good chance that you might have already learned a lot within the course itself. What online learning does, however, is potentially let you learn more about the material in a way that can take you into a completely different world. A teacher might decide to bring on a guest lecturer to lecture, for example, who could be another student who’s currently studying the material and adding to their knowledge.

An example of this type of learning is learning through a digital textbook; rather than simply having a print copy, a digital copy of the same material is created just for the online course. If you’re interested in the book, you can simply flip through the copy, find the passages you want, and click on the word that you want to study. This way, you can dive right into a book rather than start and then put it aside for a while. And while you’re still looking through the book, you can also gather some of the information within that file and recall it to use when you start the next day.

Online learning can give students a number of advantages over traditional learning — whether that’s allowing students to adopt a “do over” scenario when it comes to assignments, go back and retrieve information that they might already have stored in a textbook, or learn and use new perspectives and even new types of content. This is exactly what makes online learning so effective, and one of the key reasons why it could continue to take off in the years to come.

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