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Online vs. In-Person Classes: What Are the Differences?

By DeVry University

September 23, 2022

4 min read

If you’ve decided to go back to school, you’ve likely wondered whether online courses or in-person classes are the better option, especially if you’re already working or have other personal or family commitments.
When it comes to evaluating online vs. in-person classes, there are several factors that you should consider. Read on to learn more in the following sections:

Advantages of Online Classes

When it comes to earning your degree, it’s helpful to understand how online classes work, as well as the potential advantages of online classes that might influence your decision. These can include:

  • Greater flexibility

    Because you can watch lectures or complete coursework whenever it’s convenient for you, online classes can be more easily worked into your busy schedule.

  • More time for other responsibilities

    When your schedule is easier to manage, it leaves more time for your social life, family, friends and personal pursuits. It also leaves room for any important commitments you may have.

  • No commute

    Online classes go where you go, so you never have to fight traffic on the way to campus to attend class.

  • Network with peers near and far

    Online classes have the potential to connect you with students from around the country, allowing you to build relationships with individuals outside of your local community.

Advantages of In-Person Classes

For all the advantages of online classes, there are also many potential advantages of in-person classes. Here are a few of the reasons people prefer in-person classes for their degree or certificate program:

  • Fewer distractions

    You may have a difficult time focusing on school when you’re studying remotely. Distractions like the internet, TV, phones and even family members can make it hard to study. In-person classes can be a chance to step away from these distractions and focus solely on learning.

  • More structure

    The routine of attending a class at the same time each week can be a helpful way to learn. Being in a classroom environment may also help you focus better to internalize concepts.

  • Face time with peers and professors

    While online classes offer plenty of opportunities to connect with professors and classmates, you may prefer to learn face-to-face. In-person learning provides the chance to work directly with your classmates or ask your professor questions in the moment, instead of sending an email or posting a question on the class message board. 

Do Online Classes Cover the Same Material as In-Person Classes?

Yes, an online class should cover the same material as an in-person option at the same school. This means that the degree you earn online will be identical to the one that you would have earned by taking in-person classes as well.

At DeVry, for example, all of our online programs cover the same curriculum as our on-campus programs. Online students also receive the same tools, resources and support as our campus-based students.

Are In-Person Classes Better than Online Classes?

No, in-person classes are not inherently better than online classes. What suits one person may not suit another, and vice versa. At the end of the day, what method of learning works better for you is a personal decision that takes into account your schedule, life commitments, learning style and preferences.

Enroll in Online or In-Person Classes at DeVry

At DeVry, we make it easy for you to pursue your education in a way that fits your life. Our degree and certificate programs can be completed 100% online, or as a combination of online and in-person courses with our hybrid format. Classes start every 8 weeks. 

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