Advantages and disadvantages of online courses

Online learning is arguably the greatest revolution in contemporary education. Will there ever be a world without traditional education where everything is replaced by online courses? We will try to answer this question in this article. It will show you the advantages and disadvantages of online courses.

Advantages and disadvantages of online courses

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Advantages of online courses

Flexibility to choose your own time

Are you a morning person or an evening person? What part of the day are you most productive? This is not a question people are asked when they go to school. At school, it's necessary to follow the schedule the teachers have planned.

With online courses, the situation changes. One can decide when it is the best time to study. For instance, a working mother might struggle to find time to take a course in addition to her day job. With online courses, this situation is made possible because there is greater flexibility in when she chooses to spend studying. 

More interaction

Researchers are in disagreement over whether traditional or online learning is better for fostering interaction. Some studies have shown that e-learning can increase interaction for certain personalities.

In other words, online courses offer shy or more reticent students the opportunity to participate in chats and discussion forums more than the traditional classroom environment.


Learners can just stay in their pyjamas while doing their homework and activities for the day. Studying in a familiar environment can make it easier to concentrate and complete assignments. Alternatively, if they have a spare minute on the train, they could also use that time to complete an assignment on their phone or laptop! 

Some learners experience a lot of performance pressure when attending a course with other people. Studying on their own lessens this type of stress and can bring better results in the end. Furthermore, this diminishes the distraction of other learners. 

Lower costs

Online courses save everyone a great amount of money because it requires fewer instructors and books. There is virtually no money spent on classrooms or training facilities. 

Taking that dream course!

This is also possible in traditional classroom settings, but in most cases it involves traveling far from home or even moving permanently to another city.

Picking your dream course might be easier if it is available online. There's no need to spend a huge amount of money on transportation or relocation. 

Tailored to different needs

Participants can learn at their own pace. If someone is faster than the other participants, he or she doesn't need to wait for them. On the other hand, if someone is slower, he or she can take more time. The course creators can also tailor courses depending on their learners varying needs. 

Disadvantages of online courses


Receiving an education in a traditional class is an activity that happens within a social context. Interacting with other people is not the main goal of an online course.

Some people absolutely need an educator in order to learn a new subject. Having an educator in person to answer your questions and solve your problems is only possible in a traditional classroom setting. 

Learning from a computer screen

“You will hurt your eyes.” This is something a lot of parents say to their children when they spend too much time in their computers.

Learning from a computer for hours, without any breaks can cause poor vision, strain injuries, and back problems. Also, some topics require hands-on practice and cannot be taught simply with online lessons.

It requires a lot of self-discipline

If your learners don't have self-discipline, it is very unlikely that they will be motivated to complete their online courses. There is no one around to tell them to sit and get started with their studies.


Online courses are a novelty in the educational world. Will online learning completely replace traditional education? No.

Online courses are not made for every person or field of study. Traditional education will still exist, but online education will become more and more present in our daily lives.

Useful resources

eLearning Industry
Montgomery College

Frequently Asked Questions

鉁旓笍 What is an online course?
An online course is a series of online lectures or lessons about a particular subject, leading to an examination or qualification.

鉁旓笍 What are the advantages of online courses?
Flexibility, more interaction, convenience, lower costs, taking that dream course, tailored to different needs.

鉁旓笍 What are the disadvantages of online courses?
Impersonal, learning from a computer screen, it requires a lot of self-discipline.

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