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Choosing a Modality: Online vs. On-ground

September 07, 2018

When making the choice between enrolling as a traditional student, and going the online route, there are many factors to consider.

Read on to see which modality works best for you!

Qualities of a good online student

Not Easily Distracted

If you're someone who sometimes loses focus or daydreams during a regular class, an online education is probably not for you. An ideal online candidate should be able to give their undivided attention to their courses.


No one will be monitoring you to see if you're paying attention, and deadlines for certain projects can be more lenient. You have to have the drive to want to succeed for the sake of learning, not just for the grade.


You won't have constant reminders for when things are due, and "showing up" for class is on you. An online student should be organized, dedicated to asking for help when needed and able to juggle their other responsibilities, while devoting a certain amount of time per week to their classes.

Thrives in a Flexible Enivronment

If you have a busy schedule, hold a job during the day or enjoy studying from the comfort of your home, the library or in a coffee shop, online learning might be for you.


The experience of taking class online for a very outgoing or extroverted student can be intimidating and less enjoyable. Independent workers or students who like more quiet, controlled environments can thrive in online classrooms.


Online courses come with a certain amount of freedom, but can you handle it? An online student should be good at self-pacing, and able to balance a proper amount of classwork with studying, test preparation and review.

Qualities of a good on-ground student

online-learningEasily Sidetracked

If you sometimes get distracted during class, stay in the traditional classroom! You'll have other students and a teacher to help you get your head out of the clouds.

Thrives with Structure

If you like knowing that you need to be somewhere at a certain time, the traditional route might be for you. There is something comforting about having someone hold you accountable for showing up.

Requires Deadlines

If you are a procrastinator, on-ground should be where you stay! Procrastinators do well with fixed deadlines, and will suffer in an online course. Why generate stress and anxiety when you don't have to?

Likes Working with Others

Do you enjoy the company of other students? A traditional modality lets you collaborate with others, ask them questions and gives you a healthy dose of socialization.

Enjoys Immediate Responses

Do you hate waiting for a response from your instructor? When you're confused, are you okay with sitting it out until your professor emails you back? Sign up for on-ground classes if you are an impatient individual.

Needs Face-to-Face Time with Instructors

Are you the type who wants to walk up to your professor to ask for help? Do you feel like an in-person session is more helpful when you need tutoring? You might want to go ahead with the traditional route.