Though the number of people who are taking online courses is on the rise, there are still many misconceptions about online learning. Some people believe that online courses cannot compare to traditional in-classroom instruction, while others think that online learning is only for people who cannot attend a traditional school. The matter of the fact is that both of those statements can be true.

In this article, we will discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of taking online courses.

Lack of Interaction

One of the main disadvantages of online learning is that there is a lack of interaction between students and instructors. In a traditional classroom setting, students can ask questions and receive immediate feedback from their professors. However, in an online setting, communication is often asynchronous, which means that there is a delay between when a question is asked and when it is answered. This can make it difficult for students to get the help they need in a timely manner.

Additionally, online learning can be isolating. Some students may feel like they are not part of a “real” class because they never meet their classmates or instructors in person. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Technical Issues

Another disadvantage of online learning is that there can be technical issues. For example, if an online course is not designed properly, it can be difficult to navigate. Additionally, if there are technical problems with the school’s website or learning management system (LMS), it can be difficult for students to access their courses or submit assignments.


Finally, some students may find online learning to be monotonous. If a course is not well-designed, it can be repetitive and boring. Additionally, if a student is taking multiple online courses, they may find it difficult to keep track of all of their assignments and deadlines. This can lead to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.

To combat this, it is important to choose online courses that are interesting and engaging. As well as that, students should try to create a schedule or system that helps them keep track of their deadlines and assignments.


One of the most significant advantages of online learning is that it offers a great deal of flexibility. Students can choose when and where they want to study, as long as they have access to a computer and an internet connection. This is especially beneficial for students who have full-time jobs or other commitments that make it difficult to attend a traditional bricks-and-mortar school.

Additionally, online courses often have more flexible deadlines than traditional courses. This can be helpful for students who need extra time to complete assignments or who want to take a course at their own pace.

Lower Costs

In most cases, online courses are also cheaper than traditional courses. This is because online schools don’t have the same overhead costs as traditional schools (e.g., buildings, grounds, utilities). Additionally, many online students are able to take advantage of free or low-cost resources, such as open-source textbooks.

Additional learning materials can be found online, as well, often for free or at a much lower cost than in traditional learning.


Another advantage of online learning is that it is generally more convenient than traditional instruction. Students can attend classes, complete assignments, and take exams from the comfort of their own homes. They also don’t have to worry about travelling to a physical campus or dealing with parking and other logistical issues.

As well as that, they don't have to worry about having to remember to bring the right material to class, as everything is always in the same place. Notebooks, notes, RTO materials, and other assignments are easier to locate and will always be available during class, simply because the student is at home.

Asynchronous Learning

One of the advantages of online learning is that it can be asynchronous, meaning that students and instructors do not have to be online at the same time. This can be beneficial for students who want or need to learn on their own schedule. Additionally, asynchronous learning can be helpful for students who live in different time zones or who have difficulty attending live online classes.

If students have other obligations like work or family, asynchronous learning can make it easier for them to balance their commitments.


Overall, there are both advantages and disadvantages of online learning. However, the advantages generally outweigh the disadvantages. Online learning can be more convenient, lower-cost, and flexible than traditional instruction. However, there is a lack of interaction between students and instructors, and technical issues can be a problem.

Additionally, some students may find online learning to be monotonous. Ultimately, the decision of whether to take an online course or a traditional course is up to the individual student and their needs.

Author's Bio: 

Mia Johnson is a writer from Sydney.