In Person vs. Online Learning: How to Choose What’s Right for YOU

Online learning is rising quickly. According to the World Economic Forum, across the globe there were 21 million registered users of online programs in 2016. That number grew steadily, reaching 44 million in 2019. In 2020, as you may suspect, that number skyrocketed, reaching 71 million. By 2021, the number of global online learners was 92 million.

It’s convenient and often more affordable. But it’s not for everyone.

Whether you excel in online or in-person education programs will depend on both your learning style AND lifestyle.

Luckily, here at Tech Elevator, we’ve created flexible coding bootcamps- both in-person and online – to accommodate both.

How does in-person compare to online learning? And how can you select the right option for your future? Let’s examine the benefits of each so you can make the best decision.

The Proven Benefits of Online Learning

Online learning may not be for everyone, but there are many reasons why you might consider this option for your next education opportunity.

Perhaps the most obvious advantage is the simple fact that there is no need to commute to classes. With online learning, you can avoid the hassle of public transportation or commuting in your own vehicle. You can simply “attend” the courses from the comfort of your home.

Online learning often allows students to learn at their own pace, which can bring numerous benefits. In a 2020 project, researchers surveyed over 600 parents with children in online classes, hoping to identify the main benefits and disadvantages of remote learning. They found that the second-most valued benefit of distance learning was increased flexibility. This survey involved parents of young students, not adult learners, but it demonstrates the significant advantage of learning remotely.

One of the most important questions for online learning is whether or not it benefits or harms academic performance. Do test scores suffer? Does participation increase or decrease? The results are mixed, and it seems reasonable that the answer depends on the student. Some students will struggle with online learning, while others will thrive. The current data, while still inconclusive, tends to show that online learners can perform just as well as in-person students.

A study from researchers in the U.S. and China found that online learning is extremely multi-faceted, and results can vary depending on factors such as gender, the number of courses taken, and previous academic status. At no point, however, is there a claim that online learning is less effective, or that students of online courses are less capable in their careers.

Online learning may increase a student’s overall skills and help them remember important information, which can be critical once that student becomes a professional. Information from the eLearning Industry shows that online learning can increase retention rates by as much as 60%.

There are clear benefits to online learning, but it may not be the right option for all people. How can you possibly know if this is the right choice for your future? Let’s look at some of the benefits of in-person learning to compare.

The Proven Benefits of In-Person Learning

Online learning is not a perfect solution for all students. Despite advancements in technology and techniques for remote classes, there are still clear benefits to learning in person. Many students thrive with an in-person setting; they find that in-person delivers a distraction-free learning environment with more hands-on experiences.

There are a few studies that show some clear advantages to in-person classes. For example, there is evidence that interactive participation in classes creates better educational outcomes. While physical, interactive participation can be created in a remote setting, it’s much easier for in-person classes.

With in-person learning, you can get face-to-face support from instructors, and communication is often much easier. In-person learning allows for more teaching styles, hands-on experiments, and direct conversations with peers and teachers.

Many people are simply happier with in-person learning. In some cases, in-person learning appears to create better social connections, which is a fundamental human need.

How to Know if Online or On-Campus Is Right for Me?

Determining whether online or in-person learning is right for you depends on many important factors. Largely, it’s a matter of self-reflection, and depends on your personality, comfort with software, available technology, and more.

Here are some of the questions to ask yourself before enrolling in online learning:

Am I easily distracted?

When studying online, you need to be laser-focused and dedicated to completing the work. You’ll need to study on your own and hold yourself accountable for deadlines. But, for some (like those with a hectic home life), a dedicated space for study and lecture eliminates distractions.

How do I best absorb information? 

Do you prefer self-study on your own timeline? Or, do you enjoy the ability to interface with instructors in real time with questions and commentary? Also factor in the time to commute to campus as you make a decision.

Do you prefer a structured schedule or more flexibility? 

Do you have a lot of outside responsibilities that dictate your schedule? Consider online or part-time so you can maintain more control over your schedule. Or, does a structured learning schedule on campus make more sense for your success?

Am I organized?

Classroom learning of all types requires organization. You need to juggle assignments, readings, online instructions, and more. You may be helped by classroom professionals, but disorganized students may struggle to complete online programs. Ultimately, however, keep in mind that organization is key in thriving in a coding bootcamp environment.

Online and On-Campus Programs With Tech Elevator

Whether you’re interested in online or on-campus learning, we have several program types to fit your learning style and lifestyle.  Our industry leading coding bootcamps prepare you for a career in the coding industry, shaping you into a job-ready software expert.

  • National Live Remote bootcamps are starting regularly, with start dates virtually every month. During some months, in fact, we have multiple start dates. With Tech Elevator’s online programs, you have access to daily lectures. Every morning, remote students like you can participate in engaging discussions and lectures led by industry experts. Using the best video software, we have created a learning environment where you can easily interact with students and faculty. Note that we also offer a part-time coding bootcamp through our remote learning modality.
  • On Campus bootcamp communities are available in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. You can expect daily lectures in-person, peer-to-peer learning on campus, face-to-face career coaching sessions, as well as in person employer matchmaking. Experience a powerful learning community on one of our campuses!

Develop Your Future with Tech Elevator!

Whether you prefer in-person or online learning, you can change your life with a fast, convenient coding bootcamp at Tech Elevator. We are leading the way in tech education by allowing individuals to up-skill and become experts in software development.

We are excited to offer these high-quality programs to students all across the globe. Complete our free, simple aptitude test to move forward with admissions right away!

Written by Vinny Sanfillipo, Senior Director, Career Development