In-Person vs. Online Learning: How to Get the Best of Both
October 24, 2023 | Acceleration Academies
When it comes to completing high school, there is no “right” way to finish. Every student has their own needs, and traditional high school tracks can’t always fill those needs. Each school year, students everywhere pursue alternative education options to obtain their high school diploma. And in the age of rapidly advancing technology, the pool of choices keeps growing.
Online learning is an increasingly popular option for students needing support outside a traditional high school experience. It’s accessible, lends better to busier schedules and can help students who have trouble focusing in a classroom setting.
But when it comes to picking your educational experience, you want to be sure you’re making the best choice for you.
If you’re wondering whether in-person or online learning will better help you achieve your academic goals, find out below what each option offers and how to use both options for your benefit.
Online Learning in High School: What Does it Look Like?
Online high school gets you the same education as in-person classes in an environment better suited for your needs. How does this work day-to-day? Fully online learning in high school means you’re completing coursework and classes exclusively online. There are two kinds of online class modes:
- Synchronous: Synchronous classes allow you to watch lessons live in real-time and participate in discussions with your peers as the class is happening. Synchronous schooling gives a lot of the structure of in-person education without the distractions of a classroom or the demanding full-day schedule.
- Asynchronous: Asynchronous classes provide tools like pre-recorded videos and discussion boards to use on your own time. Assignments and discussions have due dates, but you work on them at your own pace. Asynchronous schooling involves less of a strictly timed schedule.
Being online often allows for more flexibility in your schedule. You don’t have to spend a certain amount of time in the classroom each day, and there’s usually space for you to work on assignments at your own pace, making online schooling an ideal choice for a busy life.
In-Person Learning: What Does it Look Like?
In-person learning is the traditional learning environment for high school students. This means attending a high school campus daily, following a class schedule and learning in real-time with peers. In-person learning is excellent for students who thrive off of face-to-face interaction with people.
However, in-person learning can be difficult for students who need help focusing, and the set schedules can sometimes make meeting responsibilities outside of class time difficult. For those with personal obligations or different learning needs, in-person learning can be challenging.
Getting the Best of Both Worlds: Blended Learning
While both in-person and online learning can benefit students, some students do best when they have the option of both. There are elements to each learning style that make combining them the ideal learning experience for students. This is called blended learning.
Blended learning gives students in-class time to complete their work and meet with teachers while taking advantage of online course materials and the flexibility of working at their own pace. In blended learning models, students come to campus for a set amount of hours on days they’ve worked out with their teachers.
This approach to scheduling helps students with jobs or family commitments still prioritize their education. It also helps students feel supported in both their learning strengths and challenges.
How Will I Know Blended Learning is Right for Me?
Blended learning paths have a lot of benefits, but if you want some help deciding if it’s the right education path for you, here are three things that can help you determine your learning path:
- Look at your schedule. See if you need more time for work and family commitments. Consider if you’d like more time to work on particular subjects or if you’d like to work ahead on anything. If the answer to any of these is “yes,” blended learning might be a great fit for you.
- Think through how you learn best. Blended learning helps students get more personalized assistance from teachers. They can work alone in the classroom or in groups of their peers. It’s a customized learning experience, so consider what environment you need to do your best academically.
- Ask some students. Look for resources that show real-life students participating in the blended learning model. The best way to learn about an experience is from those who have lived it!
Make the Most of Your High School Education: Acceleration Academies
Acceleration Academies exists to deliver fulfilling educational experiences to every student we serve. We are dedicated to meeting students where they are, and creating a personalized learning plan that’s best for them.