Classroom or online learning: which is right for me?

Wed 11 May 2022

Group of people working on laptops.

During the pandemic, many people discovered the benefits of online learning for the first time but there is no denying that some elements of classroom-based learning simply can’t be replicated in a virtual environment. 

With restrictions lifted, learners once again have a choice to study either online or in-person – so which route is right for your learning style and subject area?

Online Learning

Benefits of online learning

Flexible and Convenient Timings

One of the biggest gains from choosing to study online is having the freedom and flexibility to study when, where and how you want. While this doesn’t mean the workload is any less, you can control when you study and for how long. 

Online learning means you can study when it’s most convenient for you and you can fit it around your work and other commitments. You can also begin your studies at any time regardless of when tutors are available to take you through your modules. 

Learn in a way that best suits you 

Typically, classroom tutors will only assign a set amount of time to each topic before moving on to the next, which is great if you understand it but not everyone does.

Online learning allows you to spend as long or as little as you need to understand the syllabus, meaning you can spend a little longer digesting certain topics that you find difficult.

Online learning allows you to study independently and absorb information based on your own personal learning preferences. You can control how you learn the syllabus, whether that means repetitively writing out your notes, speaking them out loud or re-watching recorded webinars. Similarly, you’ll have the freedom to adjust your style and harness your learning strengths.

Feel less intimidated  

One size does not fit all when it comes to studying so online learning is ideal for students who find classroom environments intimidating. Instead of being worried about having to speak in a classroom environment, you can choose whether you’d like to speak, provide written contributions or just listen or read content in online webinar and forum environments.

Is online learning right for you?

Online learning is best suited for you if you need a highly flexible schedule (e.g. to balance childcare and work) or if you’ve recently completed other training programmes and know your own personal learning style. 

Online learning is great if you feel relatively confident in your subject and are gaining qualification to substantiate your experience or refresh your knowledge in a particular area. 

What subjects is online learning best suited for?

With more flexibility and the freedom to process information at your own pace, online learning is best for subjects with highly complex learning materials such as the legal aspects of Property Management courses or Conveyancing courses

It’s also a great option if you’re studying Project Management or Management and Leadership as it gives you the space to develop your own management style that incorporates the principles learned on the course. 

Classroom learning

Benefits of classroom learning

In-person tutor support 

It can be difficult to pinpoint when you’re struggling if you’re learning alone – and then it can feel daunting to reach out for help. One of the biggest benefits of classroom-based learning is that your tutor can pick up on when you’re struggling and intervene. It can also feel easier to ask even the smallest questions when your tutor is there in person rather than having to reach out virtually. 

Stay accountable

Motivation can be an issue if your course is completely flexible. With a set schedule for lessons and coursework, you can stay accountable, stick to deadlines and complete your course in the timeframe available.

Form bonds with other learners

Classroom-based learning means you’ll be studying alongside others with similar goals. Your classmates can form an integral support system throughout your learning experience, something that can be difficult when studying online. Not only that but they’ll be able to empathise and support you with any career and personal challenges that arise during your studies

Is classroom learning right for you?

Classroom learning provides an additional level of support so is ideal if you’ve not completed a learning programme in a while. If you know you’re prone to procrastination, classroom learning could be a great way to ensure you get your course completed on time. 

It could also be a good fit if you’re looking to mix with other people – especially if you’re working remotely or living alone - as well as if you’re looking to learn from the experience of others in the industry. 

Want the benefits of accountability and interaction with others, but with slightly more flexibility? We offer a Live Online study option with timetabled live interactive webinar sessions with your tutor and peers.

What subjects is classroom learning best suited for?

It’s well suited to courses focused on people professionals like Human Resources or Learning and Development. 

We’re excited to be bringing back our classroom-based study options for our CIPD HR courses and CIPD L&D courses. 

UK based learners can meet, interact and network with their tutor and peers, with a clear timetable and structured workshops.

You’ll get:

•    All the support you need in face-to-face sessions with tutors and fellow learners 
•    Start each unit with engaging, topic-based workshops to set you up for success
•    Live webinars so you can consolidate your learning

Register for your course now or call one of our Qualifications Advisors on 03452 032 103 to answer any questions you have!

Register for our HR courses

Register for our L&D courses