Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Courses

The unprecedented times like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forced people to come up with new ways of instilling education in students like the online classes. Though the concept of hosting regular online classes is relatively new, learning through online courses is common for many college students. 

Online courses are revolutionizing formal education, and have opened a new door of opportunities for both the students and teachers. Unlike schools where you are forced to follow a fixed curriculum, online courses give you the freedom to learn anything anywhere without being restricted with factors like your age, distance, and subjects. 

These courses deliver a series of lessons to a web browser or mobile device which can be conveniently accessed anytime. Websites like Udemy, Coursera, Code Academy,, and many others provide courses. These courses are either free to access or their subscription comes with a minimal charge. 

An “online course is designed as a built environment for learning. It’s constructed as an experience that can be accessed throughout the designated time period” says Wendy Woon, director of education at the Museum of Modern Art.

However, nothing is perfect. Every new invention or technology has its own pros and cons. The same is the case with the Online Courses. 

Online Courses
Sticky note on concrete wall, Advantages Disadvantages

Advantages of Online Courses


One of the biggest advantages of an online course is that your classroom and instructor are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can learn at your pace and can make your own schedule of completing the course. It is up to you if you wish to complete a course in one month or one week. 


You have the flexibility to study at any time you want or at any place you want. This can be a blessing for those who wish to study something while doing jobs, going to colleges, managing a business, or being involved with their children or significant other. 

Financial Benefits

Online courses are an effective way of cost-cutting. When compared to the regular courses, they charge nothing and sometimes the courses are also available for free on the internet. When attending the online classes, all you need is a working computer or mobile phone and an internet connection. Also, the cost of going out, traveling, formal clothes would be cut. 

No Commute

Sometimes going out daily and traveling long distances to visit your college or school can be taxing. This is where online courses come into play. You can attend them while being in the comfort of your home without being exposed to harsh weather conditions or road traffic. 

Many options to choose from

At present, the internet has an abundance of websites offering remote education or online courses in different fields and subjects. This gives you a chance to explore new things and choose any course which is in the area of your interest after going through the millions of options available. 


Unlike the regular schools, in online courses, there’s no one sitting on your head pestering you to study harder or complete the assignments on time or score good marks in the examinations. Therefore as a need of the hour, you start getting disciplined regarding your schedule and try not to procrastinate as that can prove fatal for your goals. 

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Online courses

Disadvantages of Online Courses

Lack in terms of experience

Online courses refrain you from getting hands-on experience on many things. There are some subjects which require you to obtain practical knowledge while working on types of machinery or special setups. Students attending regular schools have this advantage of being exposed to such things when compared to remote learning. 


As there is no proper time-table like schools and colleges, there can be many times where you don’t study for days. Thus piling up the unfinished work or delaying the completion of the course by a long time. While studying an online course, there is no one to tell you that the submission date is near or the exams are approaching. Only you are responsible for your time learning and results. 

Sense of Isolation

Studying alone in your space while sitting in front of the computer can be terrifying sometimes as there’s no one with whom you can share your opinion or there are no peers sitting alongside you within the same roof with whom you can connect. This can make you feel isolated or alone. The environment that online classes offer is much different. It can take a significant amount of your time to get accustomed to that. 

No immediate clearing of doubts

While being in a class, if you have any doubt or query all you need to do is to raise your hand and wait for your teacher to notice you. However, when pursuing an online course, you have only two options for clearing your doubts. One is writing an email to your online tutor or dropping a message to him on the required platform. The other way is to surf the internet which can take a lot of your time. 

Holds less value

When compared to regular courses, online courses hold less value. While giving an interview for a job, a person who pursued his degree from a regular college would be preferred. Also, there are many organizations that don’t consider the certainties provided by the online portals. While the certificates of websites like Edx, Coursera hold value, there are other online portals that are unrecognized. 

Lack of Social interaction

While pursuing an online course you are practically living in a virtual world in almost no knowledge of your instructor or classmates. It is very rare that you get to chat with the other people learning the same course alongside you. If the interaction is there, it is limited to the doubts revolving around that particular course. Thus, you lose the chance of making friends or having healthy discussions with them. 

At last, we can conclude that online courses are becoming increasingly popular among students and people belonging to the corporate world. It would not be wrong to say that online courses are the “new normal“. Though it is a lucrative prospect, one should indulge in it after weighing both its pros and cons. Rather than going with the trend, one must think about their comfort and level of understanding. Because at the end your decision will make an impact on your life and not someone’s else.

Convenience Lack in Terms of Experience
Flexibility Procrastination
Financial Benefits Sense of Isolation
No Commute No Immediate Clearing of Doubts
Many Options to Choose From Holds Less Value
Self-Disciplined Lack of Social Interaction