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26th of May 2024
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In today’s day and age, two of the most common types of learning include classroom based and distance learning. Classroom learning is the traditional approach to learning, which most people are familiar with from school and college. In comparison, distance learning is a form of education where learning is separated by space, such as online learning. Below is a table highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of classroom and distance learning:

Distance Learning




  • Pace of learning – Each student has their own pace of learning, and with distance learning the student can study at their own pace. This means they can spend more time going over areas of difficulty and less time on concepts they find easy.


  • Flexibility – Learning can be fitted around existing commitments, allowing people to gain their qualification while maintaining a job and family life.


  • Comfort – A student can study in any environment they wish to, whether it’s in their room, at the library, or with friends. There’s also the saved cost of travelling to a classroom.



  • No teacher around – A lot more independent learning is required to better understand areas of difficulty.


  • Less social interaction – Studying is more reclusive, with students often not meeting others on their course.


  • Access to resources required – Students need access to a computer, appropriate software, and the internet in order to do their learning.

Classroom Learning



  • Group learning – Students can meet and interact with different people. Working with peers and discussing problems together can help develop better understanding.


  • Enhancing skills – The group setting enhances interpersonal skills and confidence, which is can be transferred to a work environment.


  • Learning from a teacher – A teacher guides and supports learners to gain a better understanding of areas of difficulty.

  • Set learning plans – Classroom learning has more of a rigid learning structure, where the learning is dependent on the teacher’s plans.



  • Expenses – Classroom learning can work out to overall be more expensive, with the costs of course material, tuition fees and travel expenses.



  • Fixed timetable – Learners need to be committed to the hours of the course, with other priorities fitting around their education.


Many training providers offer a blended learning approach, incorporating distance and classroom-based learning. This aims to minimise the disadvantages and enhance the benefits of both approaches. The above table shows general pros and cons of both forms of education, but something else that needs to be considered is an individual’s learning style. It is recognised that learning styles vary dramatically, what suits one person may not suit another. Some learners may get bored and frustrated in a traditional classroom environment, whilst others may feel isolated with distance learning. Certain students learn better with visual means, others with auditory means, and some prefer a hands-on approach. It is beneficial for students to recognise their learning style so they understand how best to study.


Deciding on whether to chose a classroom-based or distance course depends on a range of factors. This includes personal circumstances, outside commitments, and learning styles. Having looked at the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches, learners must decide the most effective route to suit their individual needs.