Essay Unit 4 Final - Copy

Nowadays, earning educational degree becomes possible in many different ways. Students
can choose between attending traditional universities and online universities depending on what
is more suitable to their lifestyles. In traditional universities attendance is required at the campus,
but online universities are more flexible and attendance is not required. In traditional
universities, students can interact with their professors and classmates face to face. On the other
hand, students in online universities will communicate virtually with their professors and
classmates by email and virtual class rooms. In addition, the cost of the traditional education is
higher than online education because it has an actual campus with classrooms, libraries, and
student dorms which require extra expenses. Traditional and online education differ in many
aspects in terms of time flexibility, students’ interaction, and costs.
Time Management and Flexibility:
One of the most important factor that students could rely on to choose between traditional and
online universities is time flexibility. People who have full time jobs and a busy life will enroll in
an online education program because it will allow them to study and work on their assignments
in their convenient time. In addition, online class allows an unlimited number of students to learn
at the same time, which only requires connection to the network for accessing into the virtual
classes. It is also possible that students from different countries gather in one class. Students can
allocate their time easily to do their studies in virtual classes because the online environment
offers a flexible student-centered learning. Rebeeca Augustlyniak and Alison Rees, (as cited by
Driscoll, Jicha, Hunt, Tichavsky, & Thompson, 2012), say that within online classes, students are
required to take responsibility for their own education and are forced to be proactive in the
learning process. On the other hand, traditional education requires a fixed place or environment
for learning and teaching, which restricts the number of students in the class. Student numbers
would depend on the size of the class. Also, students are required to show up for class to meet
attendance requirements at the campus and to adhere to the university’s yearly terms schedule.
Usually students who finish their college or high school studies in the age range of 18-22 will
attend traditional universities as they do not have any family commitments or responsibilities
(Adams & Corbett, 2010).
Social Interaction:
Student’s social interaction with professors and class mates is different between traditional
and online universities. In traditional universities, the communication is face-to-face, students
can ask their professors questions directly and get immediate replies, classmates can argue about
different points of view, and therefore develop new debating skills (Ni, 2013). In addition, they
can participate in group activities, such as cultural or athletics events.
Unlike traditional learning, the communication in online universities is limited to emails, chat
groups, and virtual online classrooms. The relation between students and professors can be
through electronic dashboards where students can ask their professor or discuss a topic among
each other through replies and feedbacks are not instant nor direct as in traditional methods.
Moreover, students can engage and participate in group conversations more freely since they do
not know each other in person, and are more confident to express their points of view (Ni, 2013).
Cost is an important aspect that differs traditional education from online education.
Therefore, students seriously need to take into consideration their own financial status while
deciding their education type. Generally, students in traditional universities have more expenses.
Credit hours are more expensive, not to mention the textbook prices, followed by additional
expenses like annual transportation fees for students who live outside the university’s campus
dorms (Vosganian, 2015). Meanwhile, for students staying at the campus, meal plans and
housing fees are added into their expenses. On the other hand, online education has less
expenses, and credit hours are cheaper and more affordable. Text books and libraries are digital
and can be accessible online, which is cheaper than buying actual text books. There are no
transportation expenses or housing costs as students work remotely from their own convenient
space (Vosganian, 2015).
In conclusion, several distinctions are experienced between traditional and online universities.
Time management in online education is more flexible than traditional. In online communication
versus face to face communication, both have different impacts on students’ approach to learning
and interacting each other. Finally, various costs and expenses could be a key factor which
students could rely on as per their financial status. When deciding whether to choose traditional
or online education, students should consider their priorities connected to their needs and
lifestyle which are mostly centered on these three main factors.
Adams, J., & Corbett, A. (2010). Experiences of traditional and non-traditional college Students.
Retrieved from
Driscoll, A. Jicha, K., Hunt, A. N., Tichavsky, L., & Thompson, G. (2012). Can Online Courses
Deliver In-class Results?. Retrieved from
Ni, A. Y. (2013). Comparing the Effectiveness of Classroom and Online Learning: Teaching
Research Methods. Journal of Public Affairs Education. Retrieved from
Vosganian, E. (2015). Cost Comparison.Online versus Traditional Degrees.
Retrieved from
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