Online learning vs. Traditional learning | Easy LMS (2023)

Table of contents

  1. What is online learning?
  2. What is traditional learning?
  3. What are the differences between online and traditional learning?
  4. Are there any similarities?
  5. And the winner is …?

What is online learning?

Online learning is exactly what it sounds like: it takes place over the internet. It is a form of distance learning. It’s interchangeable with the term e-learning. An LMS typically stores the training content, which is accessible anywhere and anytime.

What is traditional learning?

Traditional learning takes place in a classroom setting

Traditional learning takes place in a classroom setting. There is a trainer who moderates and regulates the flow of information and knowledge. Then, the trainer expects the employees to deepen their knowledge through written exercises at home. Nowadays, technology is incorporated in the classroom more and more. However, in face-to-face instruction scenarios, the primary source of information is still the trainer.

(Video) Online Learning vs. Traditional Learning #onlinelearning #traditional learning #e-learning

What are the differences between online and traditional learning?

If you are deciding between online or traditional learning, it can be helpful to consider the below comparison:

Online education

Traditional education

It happens online

It happens offline

Anytime, anyplace

Forced in a schedule and place

Flexible pace

Imposed pace


Together with your colleagues

Supports an independent learning style

Learning from and with each other

The primary source of information is online content

The primary source of information is the trainer

Limited interaction

Extensive interaction between trainers and colleagues

These are the obvious differences, but there are also differences in terms of costs and participation rates. Let’s expand a bit on these points:

(Video) Why e-learning is killing education | Aaron Barth | TEDxKitchenerED

Participation rates

Although high priority may be given to continuous education in organizations, many times, it is not fully implemented. Employees who take part in the training set up by their managers can feel rushed. Why? Because time is limited, especially given our to-do list that grows each day.

Online learning then comes to the rescue. In fact, a survey [1] of over 700 corporate learners, found out that 87 percent of them preferred to take online courses during work hours. It takes less time than face-to-face learning, and they can easily squeeze it into their daily tasks.

(Video) Classroom vs LMS

Online modules are often more affordable than in in-house training


Setting up traditional training is valuable, but also expensive. Online modules are often more affordable than in in-house training. Why? You don’t have to deal with additional costs like travel expenses, training facilities, hiring a trainer, or printing training materials that come with in-house training. In 2019, U.S. training expenses amounted to $83 billion! Of this, 29.6 billion was spent on these additional costs. The overhead to operate online training programs is much lower.

The economic argument shouldn’t be de only decisive factor in whether you choose online training over traditional training for your company. Read more about the other compelling advantages and disadvantages of online learning.

(Video) Traditional LMS v THRIVE Learning & Skills Platform

Are there any similarities?

Although there are more differences than similarities between face-to-face and online learning, what they have in common is that they are both effective.


Online learning is a full-fledged alternative for classroom training

We can’t say that online learning is more effective than traditional education, or vice versa. It certainly depends on the learning topic and how its effectiveness has been measured. But overall, it seems that online learning is a full-fledged alternative for classroom training. There is good and ample evidence that employees generally learn as much as online as they do in traditional training.

(Video) Overview of Online Learning and the Significance of VLE and LMS for Blended Learning

And the winner is …?

We would love to call a winner, but we can’t. It wouldn’t be fair to either of the learning methods because both have their pros and cons. Which learning method is right for your employees or organization depends on many factors:

  • What’s your budget?
  • What’s the learning topic? Is it practical-based or knowledge-driven?
  • What do you want to achieve with the learning? Improving skills or keeping your employees up-to-date about company standards?
  • How much time do you want to spend on training as an organization? And how much time can employees spend on training?
  • What’s your employees’ motivation level?
  • Do you have employees of various ages? Do you primarily work with millennials, or is the majority of your workforce from the baby boomer generation?

Maybe choosing one over the other is too rigid. If you want to combine the best of both worlds, then you should certainly consider blended learning.

(Video) NEO LMS: The benefits of online learning and teaching

What we do know is that we can offer you a complete LMS to set up continuous training in your organization. With Easy LMS, you can create and manage effective training courses, check their knowledge with exams, and generate custom certificates. Our tool will help you keep track of your employee’s progress, and our automation options will save you time.

Useful resources

  1. Athabasca University
  2. Training Mag
  3. Harvard University
  4. eLearning Industry

Frequently Asked Questions


Are online classes easier than traditional classes? ›

Online courses can be wonderful educational opportunities for students whose schedules or situations do not permit them to attend classes in classrooms. However, they are generally not easier than in-person classes and are often more difficult.

Which is better traditional learning or online learning? ›

More Social Interaction and Collaboration:

The traditional education model allows students to interact with each other in and outside of school. But those are mainly face-to-face or telephonic interactions. Online learning model allows further interaction by providing an online platform for discussions.

What is the difference between online learning and a traditional learning classroom setup? ›

The classroom environment is usually more dynamic and allows active debates and participation, whereas online learning may not have this much engagement. Online classes usually have one-way communication, in which the teacher provides required materials and instructions to the students.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of online learning compared to the traditional learning? ›

Online Classes Pros and Cons
They offer custom learningThere is a lack of interpersonal skill development
They support lifelong learningThere is a lack of student motivation
They cultivate self-discipline skills
They cost less (for both parties)
3 more rows
Sep 14, 2022

Are online classes easier or harder? ›

For some people, online programs are easier because they offer a flexible schedule. In addition, people with great time management skills and a sense of responsibility can excel in online classes. However, online education may be more challenging for those who enjoy learning in a classroom environment.

Why online classes are more difficult? ›

Lack of Motivation

Due to the lack of face-to-face interaction, some students find it hard to focus during online classes. The physical absence of teachers or classmates takes away the sense of urgency and motivation that students need to attend classes on time, meet deadlines, and make progress.

What are disadvantages of online learning? ›

Disadvantages of Online Learning
  • Online Learning May Create a Sense of Isolation. Everyone learns in their own manner. ...
  • Online Learning Requires Self-Discipline. ...
  • Online Learning Requires Additional Training for Instructors. ...
  • Online Classes Are Prone to Technical Issues. ...
  • Online Learning means more screen-time.
Dec 26, 2022

Is online learning more effective? ›

Students Gain More Knowledge Than In Standard Classes

Because online courses provide students with full control over their studies, they can work at their own pace.

Do students prefer traditional learning? ›

2. 70% of students agree that online classes are better than traditional classroom settings. A report from the University of Potomac has found a large percentage of its students prefer online learning over a traditional learning setting.

What are the disadvantages of traditional learning? ›

Disadvantages of traditional education
  • Schedule stiffness: There's no flexibility to create a personal calendar in order to combine studies and personal or work life.
  • Higher costs not only of money but also of time: as previously mentioned, commuting demands an economic expense.

What is the difference between online learning and learning management system? ›

An LMS is a software application that enables users to create, design, and deliver their own course content through a website or a mobile app. eLearning platforms, on the other hand, are web-based applications that allow users to design online courses, then deliver/share them with learners.

What are the similarities and differences between online learning and traditional learning? ›

What are the differences between online and traditional learning?
Online educationTraditional education
Anytime, anyplaceForced in a schedule and place
Flexible paceImposed pace
AloneTogether with your colleagues
Supports an independent learning styleLearning from and with each other
3 more rows
Jul 22, 2020

Which method of learning is better for students? ›

Assignment-based learning fosters deeper understanding of the concepts than in traditional class-room learning, and improves in developing creativity among students. Assignment-based learning engages students to get over the boredom of normal lessons and common exercises.

What are two advantages of e-learning as opposed to traditional learning? ›

Advantages of E-Learning

One can learn at one's own time. Students can study anywhere, with no restrictions on areas. Easy to choose subjects and topics. Students can interact with their teachers via social media, emails, SMS, etc.

What are the advantages of e-learning over traditional learning? ›

5 Benefits of Online Courses vs. A Traditional Classroom
  • Schedule flexibility. There is an incredible amount of flexibility that online courses can offer. ...
  • Cost-Friendly. ...
  • Boost Career Advancement. ...
  • Self-Discipline. ...
  • Course Variety.
Oct 22, 2019

What makes online learning easier for students? ›

Students can access their courses at any time of day or night. Further, they have continuous access to lectures, course materials, and class discussions. This is particularly convenient for those who may need to reread a lecture or take more time to reflect on some material before moving on.

Is it easier to learn in-person or online? ›

Physical Learning Offers More Hands-On Experience

This provides opportunities to learn firsthand through seeing and acting. Face-to-face interaction is essential for greater clarity and understanding than online training.

Why online learning is better than in-person? ›

More Equitable, Accessible Learning

Online courses allow students to learn at their own pace on their own schedule, which is an approach to studying known as asynchronous learning. This format empowers students to take notes, review lectures, and go over other course materials in a way that works best for them.

What is the biggest challenge of online learning? ›

Here are some of the biggest challenges of online education today.
  • Lack of Motivation in Students.
  • Infrastructural Problems.
  • Digital Literacy and Technical Issues.
  • Lack of In-person Interaction.
  • Lack of EdTech and Online Learning Options for Special Needs of Students.
  • Course Structure and Quality.
Apr 10, 2023

Why is online learning less stressful? ›

Online education is less stressful because of the natural flexibility built into the programs. There's no waking up for 7am classes or rushing through traffic to get to class on time. The programs are designed to be flexible, which allows students to learn at their own pace.

Are online classes less stressful? ›

Study shows remote students face more stress, exhaustion than those in classroom. The survey last fall of more than 10,000 students in 12 U.S. high schools, including Yonkers, found that students who'd spent time in the classroom reported lower rates of stress and worry than their online peers.

What are the disadvantages of LMS for students? ›

Disadvantages of a Learning Management System

Administrative costs and setup time – Learning how to implement an LMS system may take a considerable amount of time. Converting all of your instructors to e-learning will require a transitional period.

What are the disadvantages of LMS in education? ›

The drawbacks of LMS
  • Traditionally, LMSs tend to be course-centric rather than student-centric. ...
  • Managing and administering an institution wide LMS requires a reasonably high level of technical expertise that most classroom teachers do not possess.

Why is face to face learning better? ›

The Advantages of Face to Face Learning in the Classroom

You can access more information and richer understanding through teacher and other students' body language and voice. You have the opportunity to connect with, problem-solve, and network with other students from a wide range of backgrounds.

Is online school better for mental health? ›

Learning from home may allow students to learn in a more comfortable environment. Students who experience bullying, anxiety, discrimination, or harassment may find that online learning benefits their mental health.

What is the success rate of online learning? ›

Success rates tend to be higher in face-to-face classes. In Fall 15, face-to-face classes had a success rate of 69% versus only 60% in online classes, a gap of 9%. However, this gap has been decreasing, with only a 3% gap in success rates in Fall 19 (70% in face-to-face versus 67% online).

Which e-learning platform is best? ›

Best Online Learning Platforms – Starting Off on the Right Foot
  • Udemy Business.
  • Skillshare.
  • LinkedIn Learning.
  • Coursera.
  • edX.
  • iSpring Market.
  • Kajabi.
  • Podia.
Mar 6, 2023

Do professors prefer online learning? ›

More than three-fourths of the teachers preferred online teaching during the pandemic, and most preferred both physical and mixed teaching in the post-pandemic era.

What is the most common preferred learning style? ›

The most popular learning style preference is the kinesthetic category. These students prefer to be taught in a concrete way with real life examples and exploration. They learn best through all of their senses. A student with a kinesthetic learning preference will want to physically show or demonstrate their learning.

What is the preferred learning style? ›

YOUR preferred learning style is the way in which YOU learn best. Three learning styles that are often identified in students are the Auditory Learning Style, the Visual Learning Style, and the Tactile/Kinesthetic Learning Style. Read about each of these learning styles to identify YOUR preferred learning style.

What are the advantages of traditional method? ›

It's Sequential

The sequence also makes management and development easier. Traditional model suits best for the smaller projects where requirements are clear and understandable. Every step in the traditional method has a start and end point hence it's flexible to share progress with stakeholders and customers.

What are the pros and cons of the traditional approach? ›

Pros and Cons of the Traditional Approach
  • Simple. Matched existing business processes and functions. Company's were not as interested in funding complicated information sytems.
  • Initially low-cost. Early computing was not viewed as beneficial for large funding. Systems were designed to be cheap in order to save on cost.

What are two disadvantages of being a non traditional student? ›

Common Challenges Facing Non-Traditional Students
  • Becoming a first-generation student.
  • Balancing financial obligations.
  • Learning to use modern technology.
  • Finding the time to work and study.
  • Balancing family commitments.
  • Having the self-confidence to be successful.
Feb 27, 2023

What is the difference between LMS and LMS? ›

In summary, the difference between an LMS and an LCMS is pretty straightforward. An LMS is for the Learners and delivers and manages an organisation's learning content, as well as third party content if required. An LCMS is for your content authors, helping them create and manage your learning content.

What is LMS in online learning? ›

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application or web-based technology used to plan, implement and assess a specific learning process.

What is an example of traditional learning? ›

Traditional teaching

The old-fashioned way of teaching was all about recitation, for example students would sit in silence, while one student after another would take it in turns to recite the lesson, until each one had been called upon.

Can online learning replace the traditional mode of teaching? ›

Traditional schooling and online school learning both have unique advantages. Ideally, people should learn to make the best use of both systems. But school classes should not be replaced by online learning.

What is the difference between online learning and offline learning? ›

Compared to offline classes, online classes give us more free time than offline classes do. Besides that, we can manage time well, and get enough rest. However, if it is online, willy-nilly we need technology both for studying and communicating with each other.

Which type of learning is more efficient? ›

Face-to-face learning is considered effective due to the benefits of live interaction between the instructor and the group of learners and/or students.

What is the fastest method of learning? ›

Here are ten ways, backed by science, to speed up the learning process.
  1. Say out loud what you want to remember. ...
  2. Take notes by hand, not on a computer. ...
  3. Chunk your study sessions. ...
  4. Test yourself. ...
  5. Change the way you practice. ...
  6. Exercise regularly. ...
  7. Get more sleep. ...
  8. Learn several subjects in succession.
Dec 13, 2018

What are the four preferred ways of learning? ›

There are 4 predominant learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinaesthetic. While most of us may have some general idea about how we learn best, often it comes as a surprise when we discover what our predominant learning style is.

Why online classes are better than traditional classes? ›

One of the most significant advantages of online classes is flexibility. Although students have deadlines, they have more flexibility during their day since they can work, run errands, and take classes simultaneously. They can also choose when they want to study, finish assignments, listen to lectures, etc.

Which is more effective online learning and traditional learning? ›

Online education is better than traditional education, debates the most significant element of the online education model. The online education model is basically trying to overcome the disadvantages of the traditional education system, while also providing additional benefits.

What are the advantages disadvantages of online learning? ›

There are advantages of online learning like accessibility, low cost, and convenience. However, online classes also have disadvantages such as lack of human interaction, plagiarism issues, and a disconnect with the instructor.

What are the 3 main advantages of eLearning? ›

Top 10 Benefits of eLearning
  • E-learning Fully Adjusts to Your Needs. Online studying is designed to accommodate everyone's needs. ...
  • Reduced Cost. ...
  • Remote Approach To Various Classes. ...
  • Transfer Credits & Commuting. ...
  • Instant Career Advancement. ...
  • Quick Delivery. ...
  • Scalability. ...
  • Consistency & Teacher Scarcity.

What are the 5 biggest advantages of eLearning? ›

Benefits of eLearning
  • Effective at producing good outcomes.
  • Everywhere Learning – not limited by place or time.
  • Fairer – it extends learning to more people.
  • Supports individual learning styles and needs.
  • Self paced.
  • Cost Effective.
  • Time Efficient.
  • Easily adaptable, yet consistent.

Is online school harder than regular school? ›

Probably not. But they are different and those differences can sometimes make them more difficult for individuals. It's important to remember that online education is more self-directed. Students who know how to stay motivated and study at their own pace could find great success in this type of education.

Is online learning harder than face-to-face? ›

Many students are surprised to find that online courses are more challenging than they originally expected. In fact, in our end-of-course surveys, many students actually report that they find online courses to be at least as challenging — if not more so — than their face-to-face courses.

Is learning easier online? ›

Because online courses provide students with full control over their studies, they can work at their own pace. Pupils, on average, work faster and absorb more information in online courses than they would otherwise.

Are online classes more flexible? ›

An online learning or blended learning environment gives students more flexibility than a traditional classroom. In a physical classroom, you are typically expected to attend class and take tests at a specific time and location.

Is online school less stressful? ›

Attending classes online was more stressful than in-person or hybrid instruction for college students early in the COVID-19 pandemic, and teens who learned online reported poorer mental health and lower school satisfaction and academic performance, according to two new studies.

Why is online schooling not as effective? ›

In the online setting, students may have more distractions and less oversight, which can reduce their motivation. Most online courses, however, particularly those serving K-12 students, have a format much more similar to in-person courses.

What is the hardest part of online learning? ›

What Are the Challenges of Online Learning for Students?
  • Ineffective Time Management.
  • Lack of Instant Communication.
  • Not Receiving Timely Feedback.
  • Not Receiving Clear Instructions or Expectations.
  • Share Time Management Apps and Resources for Students.
  • Utilize Educational Technology (“EdTech”)
  • Increase Peer Review.

What are the disadvantages of online learning for students? ›

Disadvantages of Online Learning
  • Online Learning May Create a Sense of Isolation. Everyone learns in their own manner. ...
  • Online Learning Requires Self-Discipline. ...
  • Online Learning Requires Additional Training for Instructors. ...
  • Online Classes Are Prone to Technical Issues. ...
  • Online Learning means more screen-time.
Dec 26, 2022

Why classroom learning is better than online? ›

Enhances student motivation:

There is no denying that face-to-face interactions between students, peers, and teachers motivate them to learn. Discussions in class aid students in expressing their ideas and opinions during arguments. Students get inspired by their teachers to produce better work.

Do students prefer online or in person learning? ›

Student Preference for Online Learning Up 220% Since Pre-Pandemic. According to a recent Educause survey, the number of students expressing preferences for courses that are mostly or completely online has increased 220% since the onset of the pandemic, from 9% in 2020 (before March 11) to 29% in 2022.

Do online classes take less time? ›

Sometimes it is possible to take an online class more quickly than the same class in a traditional classroom. This requires excellent time management skills because you will still need to spend the same number of hours studying as you would if you were in the classroom.

What classes are easier online? ›

Easier Courses to Pursue Online
  • Social Science.
  • Health Education.
  • Art/Music Appreciation.
  • Basic History.
  • General Education Courses.
Jan 8, 2019

Is online learning better than face to face learning? ›

Elearning is consistent – Classroom experiences largely depend on the instructor. The same course material can be delivered by two different facilitators with vastly different impacts on the learners. Elearning online training ensures a level of consistency that is not achievable with face to face learning.

Are online classes quicker? ›

Campus-based degrees programs are usually 16-weeks long, but the fastest online degree programs have classes that are just 8 weeks long. That's half the time!


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