Traditional and Online Styles of Education

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In the digital age, the influence of the internet on higher education has become more prominent. Many universities are focusing on adapting their curricula to the changing environment by incorporating technologies into their teaching methods. Nowadays, students often choose to apply to online universities to obtain a college degree, while the pandemic environment impacts traditional universities to search for ways to blend conventional education with online teaching techniques. This essay will examine the similarities and differences between traditional and online styles of education in the context of college.

Students in Traditional and Online Institutions

Traditionally, most students apply to conventional universities after completing their high school education which is one of the potential career pathways. In turn, researchers have found that Brazilian students who attend online universities which provide higher education digitally are primarily individuals who have previously studied and worked and are aged between 31 and 40 years old (Isaias et al., 2020). According to Isaias et al. (2020), such a student background leads to higher dropout rates of 26% to 50%. Therefore, one of the major differences between traditional and online universities is the student makeup. Traditional universities are mostly focused on preparing high school graduates.

The development of online teaching techniques gave access to education to those students who had previously been unable to obtain a degree. For example, being a more flexible teaching method, online education can accommodate students who are employed full-time or have children to look after, and, therefore, are unable to attend in-person classes (Isaias et al., 2020). Similarly, online educational techniques allow for more autonomy and independence as the program adapts to the needs of each student. Traditional learning, on the other hand, does not allow for such extensive flexibility to assist a variety of students.


Communication is an important element of education that might become a factor in the quality of teaching. Compared to conventional education, digital methods of providing knowledge have such advantages for instructors and students as “being able to correspond from a distance, and the communication being immediate, accessible, and affordable” (Isaias et al., 2020, p. 75). However, there are also certain disadvantages to this form of education. For example, there is a potential lack of face-to-face communication in digital learning. Isaias et al. (2020) argue that this issue can be resolved by incorporating video platforms that allow students and teachers to communicate via a screen in a face-to-face format. Therefore, considering the recent technological advancements, online education is similar to conventional teaching in its ability to provide a high quality of communication.

Motivation to Study

In the current environment, online learning might become a better alternative to the traditional forms of education. However, compared to traditional education, online teaching encourages students to engage in more self-directed learning. In digital education, students have more control of their learning process meaning that pupils are responsible for directing their progress and need to take more initiatives to achieve their goals (Isaias et al.,2020). This suggests that the efficiency of online education highly depends on students’ readiness to study. This factor is individual to every learner, and not everyone can stay motivated without the help of their teachers. In turn, traditional education incorporates in-person lectures and discussions which allow for more teachers’ control over their students’ learning progress.


In traditional education, teachers provide information mostly in the form of prepared lectures and seminars. Such teaching methods might not allow for the individual approach to students’ education. Online learning, however, allows for increased personalized assistance for each student (Isaias et al., 2020). In-person teaching is focused on providing information to a large group of students, and class time is not always enough to engage instructors in the individual approach. In turn, digital forms of education incorporate such tools as online assistance which permits access to information and communication with instructors at any time of day.

Adaptive Learning

Online teaching is a rapidly growing field of providing learners with knowledge. Educators constantly search for methods to enhance students’ progress. One of such tools that online education is focused on incorporating into its curriculum is adaptive learning (Isaias et al., 2020). Such a method uses technology to adapt to the needs of the individual students by changing the teaching program during their learning process. This technique reduces the overall dropout rates and enhances the quality of individual education by helping students to achieve their goals easier and faster (Isaias et al., 2020). In traditional learning, where the program aims at providing a large number of students with the same information, there might not be enough time or space to consider the individual differences and needs of each student.


In the era of digitalization, education becomes heavily reliant on technology, and such alternatives to conventional teaching as online learning become more prominent. Online education can increase the overall student experience by providing learners with more individual and adaptive teaching techniques to serve specific needs. Furthermore, digital forms of teaching can provide information to those students who are unable to attend regular universities for various reasons. Online institutions, however, place more responsibility on the student to control their learning process, whereas, in the. traditional classroom, instructors can help students by closely monitoring their progress.


Isaias, P., Sampson D. G., & Ifenthaler, D. (2020). Online teaching and learning in higher education. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Traditional and Online Styles of Education'. 21 July.


ChalkyPapers. 2022. "Traditional and Online Styles of Education." July 21, 2022.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Traditional and Online Styles of Education." July 21, 2022.


ChalkyPapers. "Traditional and Online Styles of Education." July 21, 2022.