8 Distinct Differences Between Online High Schools and the Traditional Ones

Anyone who has tried signing up for a class knows how crazy it can get to choose the right institution. With numerous online schools to consider, it’s no longer a must for students to attend a brick and mortar traditional classrooms.

For anyone who’s currently considering what to opt for – online or traditional schools – this post will highlight the significant differences of each variant. Hopefully, it will make it easier for you to decide.

Learning Style

One of the most attractive features of an online platform is that it caters to individuals who prefer independent learning with minimal supervision.

E-learning is entirely different from the traditional classroom. Since learners rarely know their peers, they have to be motivated to study the subject and finish their homework on time to proceed to the next level.

It’s an excellent setting for anyone who can manage a couple of responsibilities without slacking on their schoolwork.

Since an online setup requires self-control and discipline to succeed, learners have to go out of their way to cover topics they find challenging. If essay writing is a struggle for a busy student who is also a full-time worker, it may be wise to hire research paper writers from time to time.

The Setting

One of the critical components to consider when weighing the options of online vs. traditional is the classroom setting. In the case of online learning, students have the power to pick their study time and place. This is compared to a traditional setup where the teacher and the system in place controls when and how the class functions.

In the case of an online course, learners can either be in groups or have one-on-one sessions with the educator. The main distinctive difference is that online classes are more student-driven and flexible.

Social Interaction

Another significant difference between online and traditional schools is social interaction. In essence, e-learning caters to people who have a busy schedule or don’t have time or the possibility to commute to a particular place.

Indeed, this results in social interaction with the parties involved. Since students are on their computers during class, it’s difficult to build friendships with other learners. Though this is also not impossible in a highly digitalized world of today.

Unlike a traditional setting where learners have an opportunity to mingle with their peers, an online class is an opposite. So, for anyone who prefers an active social life, a brick and mortar setting might be a better option than the other one that will work well for introverts.

Safe Environment

Unlike traditional schools where students might bully their peers, e-learning provides a safe platform where learners don’t have to go through any act of intimidation.

Not all brick and mortar schools have bullying, but it’s a significant issue that most, if not all, parents are trying to avoid happening to their kids.

With e-learning, parents can create a secure platform where the learners interact within the school website. This helps avoid social media, which is an excellent avenue for cyberbullying.

In as much as parents might block sites and monitor their kids’ online activity, they must teach their children ways of safeguarding themselves online as well.


The debate about which option is better between online and traditional schools usually boils down to which is more expensive. There are e-learning platforms that charge almost the same sum as traditional schools. On the same line, there are many options with cheaper online programs.

One should also consider the cost of resources and the learning structure they have in place. Some of the features that might make traditional education expensive include programs with:

  • lab work;
  • fieldwork;
  • accommodation costs, etc.


Another significant difference regarding traditional schools is that they have a treasure trove of reading materials. When it comes to e-learning, all the materials are usually in digital format, which means a vast online depository of content.

In a traditional setting, kids can share their books and reading materials, which might not be the case in an online setup. But there are fully equipped e-learning platforms that provide sufficient resources to any students. So, it’s always worthwhile for learners to check the available resources a school offers before enrolling.


For a busy person who has to juggle tons of activities and still make time for school, an online platform is the only possible option.

Students can study at any time of the day or night. There is no restriction as to when or where one gets to learn. All that’s required is for learners to have access to the material and complete their homework on time.

In a traditional classroom, teachers expect students to follow a specific routine and show up for class as required. If a person with a busy schedule enrolls in such a school, the experience might be frustrating.

This is due to the fact that many tutors cannot or won’t try to meet each student’s needs. A brick and mortar setting is great for learners with a freer schedule and fewer responsibilities.


With a one-on-one interaction, it’s easy for teachers to monitor the progress of the student and provide personalized help when required. Any learner who has gaps can work in collaboration with the educator and find an appropriate solution faster than in an e-learning setup.

In an online classroom, it might take a while for teachers to provide feedback. This may affect the rate at which an educator identifies the strengths and weaknesses of a student.

A traditional class favors real interaction and feedback between a teacher and student, which might not be the case in an online setup.

As much as e-learning fall short when it comes to one-on-one interaction, teachers provide feedback through different channels like:

  • Email;
  • Messaging;
  • Chat rooms;
  • Video conferencing.

Final Words

To sum up, choosing between a traditional and online school depends on personal preference. Since there is no clear cut conclusion that one option is cheaper than the other, it boils down to the lifestyle and schedule of the student.

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