Online Learning

Differences Between Online Learning vs Classroom Learning 

3D Isometric Flat Vector Conceptual Illustration of Hybrid Learning, Studing Both from Home and Face to Face

Today’s parents are always around the topic to discuss the differences between online learning versus classroom learning. COVID19 pandemic is a kind of a boon for the concept of online learning all over the world.

Online learning provides feasibility for the students to learn at their convenience. On the contrary, classroom learning offers teachers the opportunity to guide students to learn according to their way of structured teaching. There has been so much progress that even musical, dance, and extracurricular activities are taught online.

Nowadays, learning has become so easy that one can find a library of books to learn online  (reducing travel time). Talking about extracurricular activities through classroom learning has its benefits.

The debate between online learning and classroom learning is a never-ending topic because every learning has its limitations and liberations for students and teachers.

Let’s chalk talk some of the differences between online learning and classroom learning 

Flexibility in timings

Online Learnings: Online learning is driven by individual schedules. Time flexibility is a big factor in today’s technological world. Keeping precedence of the time, teachers and students can point to their availability and adjust the timetable accordingly.

This helps parents balance their family life around children, where they can keep an eye on the teacher’s interaction with each student. Commute time to the school/college is cut down affecting the time flexibility to have buffer time.

Classroom Learnings: Classroom learnings are designed to follow specific timetables as per the school standards. Classrooms are organized with seating arrangements to maintain uniformity among the students. Physical rooms are designed as per the standards of the classes. School uniforms, shoes, physical tables, chairs, blackboards, chalks, cabinets, bags, pencil cases, etc are the major segment of classroom learning.

Discipline and mannerisms

Online Learnings: Here we see students attend classes as per their schedule. Students get ready just a few minutes before the class and sometimes during class hours they do messy things. Nobody stresses the uniformity of the dress code. No standing owing to the teachers, no proper salutations are focused.

The major focus is on the teachings, where instructors are bothered about the completion of the syllabus rather than focusing on the understanding. There is a lack of regular examinations and tests here.

Classroom Learnings: Here we see students attend classes as per the school’s scheduled time. The school emphasizes dress codes to maintain uniformity among each student. This brings discipline to each individual to maintain certain cultures and manners to lead a better life in the society and as per the circumstances. 

Thorough concept understanding

Online Learnings: Concepts are clarified as per the student’s request. But some cases there is a chance of missing the concept due to the physical surrounding environment around the students/teachers. Missing a single class may lead to skipping the concept of the subject taught on that day.

As there is less interaction between each student and teacher, sometimes there is a chance of students missing the class.

Classroom Learnings: Teacher interaction with the students and a thorough understanding of the concept is the positive end of classroom learning. Here teachers can focus on each student and based on the capability of each of them the teacher can recreate the concepts accordingly.

Teachers having an idea about the status of every student on each concept/syllabus/subject is a positive end of classroom learning.

Physical Interaction

Online Learnings: Teacher-student interaction is virtual and teachers cannot fully understand a student’s physical body language. Interaction with peers is also affected here. As the teachers are virtual, students appreciate the lack of connectivity and run around the house during breaks or when bored.

Classroom Learnings: A class full of students and teachers near the stage describes the symmetric way of learning. Teaching is fun with physical interaction and helps teachers to keep an eye on each student’s physical behavior and body language. The student’s physical presence helps the teacher make corrections to straighten them out when they misbehave.

Learning becomes easy when the teacher and students have a one-to-one connection. Students having doubt can directly talk to the teacher at that instance and get clarification. If needed, some practical examples can also be followed to make the concept clear.

Even friends interaction is seen here, where any doubt can be solved between each other with no or most minor interference from the teachers.

Technology Improvement

Online Learnings: We need an internet connection and some applications to carry on the online learnings. Knowledge about the technology and trending applications for online methods is a must in this case. People need to be up to date to take online learning which is probably not possible for a particular sector of society.

Sometimes to avoid the class, individuals make an excuse the internet connectivity issues( which is the fact of the other side of the learning)

Classroom Learnings: No technology is needed in classroom learning. Technology is only required when the study material demands it, which is endorsed as per the need. Talking about the internet, it is required for the computer-related subject which has usually occasional classes. Internet connectivity also plays an important, but not much, role in relation to online learning.

Practical Activities

Online Learnings: Hands-on activities such as physical exercises / hands-on lab classes are also available online. But when compared with the presence of the instructor near the student and virtual connections differs here. During practical activities, the instructor can not concentrate on each individual to check the correctness of the body language. Laboratory classes can not be managed online as it needs samples to be performed to get the exact reactions/solutions.

Classroom Learnings: Practical activities here can be managed by the instructors as their presence makes a difference. Physical exercises outside the class (in the playground) make the students open to nature with the proper coordination between each one.

Children learn to socialize and exchange their ideas and activities with others. Which is required for the overall development of the students. Students are allowed to perform physical exercises, NCC, Scouts, and Guides, and many more, to improve their mental and physical development.

Laboratory classes are conducted at the particular Labs – Chemistry labs( only chemical reactivities are involved), Physical labs (only physics-related theories and practicals are dealt with), Biology labs (only biology-related subject-oriented are involved), and Library (where the books of all subjects, magazines, newspapers, etc.) and there may be many more if we continue. Physical activities with the physical involvement of the instructors are much recommended.


Online Learnings: Creativity can not be learned, it needs to be cultivated by your internal drives to break through the ideas. There are so many sites available online these days which help to enhance your creativity within you. In online learning, some extra effort from the students’ end is required as there can not be much direct involvement of the instructors. 

Classroom Learnings: Classroom full of multiple creative minds encourages each other’s inner consciousness to learn more and more. Students seeing each other’s creativity, automatically demands the growth of mental growth and enhances the capacity and capability of creativity. 


Online Learnings: During online learning, students do not have many interactions with each other. This decreases their competitive behavior in them. “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it” fits here, everyone has a competitive spirit but if you do not gaze at others you can not get into it. Conducting competitions online is possible but the exchange of ideas and learning by others(personally) is a bit difficult.

Classroom Learnings: Students see each other, learn from each other, talk to each other, and exchange ideas, goals, and ambitions. Such kinds of communications and exchanges help grow the competitive behavior in every individual. 

Parents Involvement

Online Learnings: Every individual in this modern world is capable to learn by themselves using mobiles/laptops provided technology knowledge. For teenagers, online learning is very useful and increases their technical understanding. But when talking about toddlers, parents need to be involved to operate the electronic gadgets as and when required.

Taking an example during the COVID-19 pandemic, parents with adult children were not so involved in the online classes. Whereas the toddler’s parents need to take some time off, especially during the class hours. This kind of online learning made parents(especially mothers) take out extra time to spend with the child during classes to assure that the child is not distracted.

Vice-versa teachers also need to be attentive and attractive to grab the toddler’s attention and hold their interest in the concept being taught. But agreeing to the point, parents can know each teacher and their behavior towards teaching students.

Classroom Learnings: During classroom learning, teachers are much more involved on the daily basis. Teachers take the initiative to understand and help the need of educational necessities of every respective student. Regular interaction with the parents is conducted to acknowledge the status of their respective children. Parents are however always required for the child.

Some other points to discuss

During online learning, an individual need to see the gadget more than the required capacity of an eye. This is affecting the eye sites of every student. Constantly looking at the mobile phone/laptop degrades the connection with nature. In the name of online learning, individuals are getting addicted to gadgets lacking social interactions and natural learning.

Above are only some distinctions between online learning and classroom learning. Learning is the self-interest part of life, it has no limitation over the age, and thanks to technology for enhancing the scope of online learning. We can find so many study materials( videos, pictures, etc related to it).

We are now capable to learn ourselves with the least or no interference from the instructors. We find so many websites like google, bing, etc which help to know/understand anything in no time. There are so many applications available where we find interesting topics, books, magazines, and educational games to enhance the learning facilities. 

Generations have passed following the classroom learning and we can see the difference in education during every stage of learning. From children to seniors, there are many learning choices whether it is online learning or classroom learning. Therefore, the use of gadgets involving education and learning has exalted the level of education.

At the same time, classroom learning provides more motivation, encouragement, and better direction. Even if the student misses some of the classes, teachers and fellow friends can help them to cope with the syllabus.


There can be no closure to differences between online learning vs classroom learning. Every individual has their way of learning and educating themselves as per their needs and necessities. Online learning is been needful to bring people from all over the world together in one place. This provides the opportunity to exchange ideas and encourage the growth of technology.

As per the generation demand, people are much attracted towards online learning as they tend to mend with multiple age groups people. Conversely, there are people who still believe that traditional classroom learning is more effective in instilling discipline and socializing.   


Q.1 My kids are more into gadgets, which worries me about their educational learnings.

Ans. You can download some of the educational apps on your gadgets and encourage your kids to learn from them. It can be useful to quickly grasp the concept as your children are more interested in gadgets.

Q.2 Shall I take online classes for music?

Ans. Of course, there are so many applications, even many institutions are offering online music learning. If you can, try to make an effort to at least take once-a-week classroom learnings, that can enhance your grace in music.

Q.3 Is online learning better than classroom learning?

Ans. Any kind of learning is better based on the understanding of the concept.

Q.4 Can I learn cooking online?

Ans. Yes, there are many websites, blogs, and also youtube to help you learn cooking.

Q.5 Which is effective? Online or offline competitions?

Ans. Competitions are always encouraged. You can take it online or offline, however, preparation is dependent on you and your level of understanding.

the authorHarshita
Harshita is a graduate with masters in international policies and has won several awards in University level competitions. A writer by passion who contributes articles for various forums including Best Course News.

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