How Does An Online Curriculum Differ From Conventional Schooling?

Recently, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of students undertaking online courses. A study on distance education revealed that over 6 million learners are participating in an online course. Online learning is becoming popular among learners because it provides a unique learning experience different from traditional schooling and has its fair share of advantages.

But even with the growing popularity of online courses, many find themselves wondering if it is an effective option that could propel their careers forward.

Online curriculums are just as effective as traditional education in imparting the relevant skills to the learner. However, the course experience may be different according to the following factors.

How Does An Online Curriculum Differ From Conventional Schooling?

Classroom Experience

Traditional learning involves students convening at a particular venue and time to attend the classes or lectures. The learners also participate in discussions, form study groups, and occasionally have one-on-one sessions with the teacher or instructor. The classroom delivery is often dependent on the competency of the teacher or instructor in terms of knowledge and expertise.

In online courses that use a similar paradigm to the one above, students get general class sessions as well as discussions with the teacher or instructor. Nonetheless, the other online programs give the learners the flexibility of deciding when they are most convenient to study. A good example is the Online Special Education Program.


To succeed in online programs, learners must have basic computer skills. Their instructors must also be knowledgeable in using the given resources to impact skills on learners. They should guide students on using the resources for learning purposes. A common requirement is a basic knowledge of operating search engines, web pages, social media, and webcasts.

In traditional education, the classes typically happen in the classroom. However, technology skills may still come in handy for learners, especially when creating documents and researching the internet.

Tuition Fee

Different institutions have different approaches in charging fees for online and traditional curriculums. Some may have the same prices for online and conventional programs, while others may have different prices depending on the institution’s policies. The tuition fee is often based on the credits in the course or as a general fee that covers all the expenses of a given semester.

It is also common to find institutions removing payments like lab charges that are irrelevant to online learners. However, other institutions may charge an extra fee for online programs that is considered a maintenance cost for the online resources used by the learner.