Online vs. Offline: The Best Way to Learn Tech Skills

on November 29, 2018

This blog is also in Chinese here.


Face-to-screen classes or face-to-face classes, what would you prefer?


Instead of going to the classroom, millennials are now sitting in front of their screens to gain more knowledge. Whether you want to know how to write a certain piece of code or learn how to analyse certain statistical data, the internet is undoubtedly a massive resource for knowledge.


Surely, advancements in technology and at-home video production have changed the way new skills are learned. But when it comes to tech skills, the limitations of online learning remain.


How can you solve a problem when you don’t even know what questions to ask?


With more individuals willing to achieve a competitive edge in their careers, the quest of finding the right platform is unnerving. Other than people who already have a software background, investors, entrepreneurs, managers, graphic designers, content writers, and even teachers want to know how to code to stay relevant with the times.


In a recent research, a known education researcher found out that the completion rate of online courses is only 15%. This means that most people drop in between and some never even start the course.


So, should you learn coding online or take the tutorials through an offline medium? Can online Python tutorials help in gaining end-to-end knowledge of the language? You might struggle with a plethora of such questions. Let’s look into some of the common debate points.


Check whether you should go for offline or online coding courses.


Online Vs Offline Learning: Which One Should You Choose?


In offline courses, you actually have to go to the class but online courses give you an opportunity to just walk to your study table and learn from any corner of the world.

Learning Python or any other language online comes with the flexibility of keeping your convenience first. But, offline coding is often more intuitive, interactive, and effective. There are one-on-one sessions, new challenges, and different activities in offline courses.

Let’s dig a little deeper and evaluate the difference in online and offline learning closely.


1. Enhanced Guidance

Imagine sitting at home, studying the material of your online course. Suddenly, you have a doubt and you don’t know how to find a solution. You search for the support or try to interact with your online coach. Sadly, you can’t receive the response immediately. Hence, you have to wait to move forward with the studies, which often causes a loss in momentum.


Now, change the setting to an offline classroom. You have a doubt but it can be quickly resolved at that moment. If you are unable to understand even a small concept, you can ask the tutor immediately and receive real-time feedback.


2. Focused Learning

Both online and offline courses have a certain time designated for completing studies but for online courses, this time is flexible and extended. This means you always have an option to delay studies and give the final exam in the next slot.

It is believed that on average, every online course student should study 2-3 hours for one credit hour. If you take 6-15 credit per semester, you need to study at least 15-30 hours in one week. And factoring in a hectic lifestyle, it is easy to miss a study session. In fact, any average student gives up to 12 hours to study in a week, which is still less than what is required.


Anything from a Netflix binge, a long day at work, or even an impromptu invite from a friend for dinner can put you off studies!


For offline courses, however, it is all well-planned. When you actually attend classes on a designated time, the motivation and accountability to complete course on time is enhanced.

learning with people


3. Collaborative Environment

Did you know that coding is more successful when the whole team collaborates? The team including coders of various skill levels, designers, and software testing professionals all contribute to the effectiveness of the code.


While you can certainly collaborate online, there is nothing like an energetic brainstorming or a troubleshooting session alongside your peers in the classroom. Particularly, in a classroom setting, it is easier for teachers to prepare activities that promote teamwork and collaboration. This means you are already half-ready for the professional world as you know how to collaborate with different teams and work in synchronisation.


4. High Impact Learning

It is easier to lag behind in online learning. You don’t know how peers are performing and you are not interacting with the teachers face-to-face. This reduces the motivation for carrying forward. During offline courses, individuals are constantly encouraged by the efforts everyone else is putting in. Further, teachers can actively detect students who are lagging behind and motivate them to work harder. Teachers can even equip these students with the problem-solving skills they will need to self-troubleshoot in the years to come.


Career Movers: What Does an Online Process Lack?

A Udemy Instructor, Doru Catana, wrote on [Quora] (https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-courses-completion-rates-at-Udemy) how the drop rate of his courses is high. He says that 70% of people who register for his courses never even start it. The people who start learning only watch 30% or less content.


Further, online development courses and tutorials have high acceptance level when it comes to learners but low acceptance when we are talking about recruiters.


learning online or offline


It’s important to understand why!


Online courses have less to offer for first-time learners. A person who is studying coding for the first time needs extra guidance from the instructor. The situation is more complicated when the person is not from a technical background. Making them understand coding aspects is a little harder than what online courses can offer. It should also be noted that managers and team builders hold team-based collaborative experience in high regard.

With that being said, recruiters don’t find an online degree a perfect tool for learning something as complex as coding. This leads to aversion during hiring.


Best of Both Worlds: An Offline Model Integrated With Technology

One model that is actively evolving is an online-offline medium of learning. This setting can be done in various ways which involve classroom learning plus online sources for extra knowledge. Students have the access to material and tutorials online as well, which helps them catch-up on missed classes. This is a method we proudly utilize in our Xccelerate learning environments. Hybrid learning at its finest!


Offline Learning for Coders

Today, every course is available online. There are various sources for acquiring a degree easily without even going to the class. But, courses such as programming, data science, and machine learning require more interactive sessions. It is not possible to understand the very essence of the course through an online medium only. Hence, to gain advanced knowledge, consider offline coding courses or immersive bootcamps for learning every aspect of the language.

Since tech-skills are the most preferred for gaining a competitive edge in your career, Xccelerate offers an array of learning courses. Whether you want to become an expert in artificial intelligence and blockchain or data science, you can take a bootcamp for understanding the fundamentals. For more knowledge, visit the website and check out our upcoming courses and events!


  career development
  coding
  data science