8 Key Differences Between Online and Remote Education

Members of the Young Entrepreneur Council share insights into the key differences between online and remote education that students should keep an eye on.

Published on Jul. 27, 2020
8 Key Differences Between Online and Remote Education
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Headshots of contributing YEC Members
Top, from left: Jacob Tanur, Jack Tai, Solomon Thimothy, Matthew Capala. Bottom, from left: Kelly Richardson, Kalin Kassabov, Matthew Podolsky, Cody McLain.

With so many schools investing in digital class delivery, the industry has unsurprisingly taken off in growth. Within this space, students will come across both remote and online education opportunities. Whereas remote education typically tries to move analog education to a digital environment, online education denotes courses designed for electronic delivery that present students with a different experience, so students need to understand the differences between them.

When trying to figure out the best fit for their needs, students will have a number of elements to consider. Here, eight entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council sound off on the differences between online and remote learning, and how students can be aware of them amid the boom in educational technology that weve seen in recent months.


1. Accountability System

One distinction between remote and online education is that the remote option provides a system to hold the student accountable to follow a predetermined curriculum. Online education, however, requires a motivated individual seeking out their own sources of information and build their own curriculum. Jacob Tanur, Click Play Films

2. Engagement Method

Remote learning is not a type of course. Instead, its an engagement method. COVID-19 caused classes to quickly shift to remote learning without a strategic curriculum adjustment. In contrast, online education is a digital-first experience where instructional design is digitally focused. The most useful edtech is digital by design, rather than trying to replicate the classroom experience. Jack Tai, OneClass

3. Engagement Levels

Remote and online education vary at the level of engagement. Students have to examine the curriculum to see what would best fit their learning style. If they learn through experience, it is better to have the more engaging curriculum offered by remote education. Online education usually promotes a holistic digital learning experience with pre-recorded materials, which is better for some. Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

4. Instructor Interactions

An important distinction to consider when it comes to online versus remote education is the interaction you’ll have with the instructor. Remote learning offers more flexibility, whereas online learning gives you greater access to your instructor. Prior to signing up for any course, consider your learning style and ability to commit. No electronic course is valuable if your comprehension is better in person. Matthew Capala, Alphametic

5. Comfort Levels

Comfort that’s the thing that separates online learning, where one can educate themselves at their leisure, especially during times like this. And there’s always room for recording and revisiting the concepts they have missed or need more clarification on, which wouldn’t be possible with remote learning. Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

6. Use of Digital Tools

Online learning has been specifically developed to work using digital tools and to meet the needs of people who either prefer or have to learn online. Remote learning more often turns a traditional learning experience into an online one out of necessity. In many cases, there arent the same tools or resources for remote learners because the curriculum wasnt really designed for that purpose. Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

7. Schedule Flexibility

The schedule differs. Students have largely appreciated online learning over the years for its flexibility. Users can watch class lectures at any given time and the speed at which students complete courses can even vary. Remote learning removes some of this flexibility by hosting scheduled classes remotely. Be sure you understand what your schedule will allow and choose accordingly. Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

8. Volume of Knowledge Retained

Remote education is likely to lead to more knowledge retention in the long run because it is run just like a school, but online. Youre often expected to attend scheduled class times, take tests and have the benefit of connecting with peers taking the same class. This is in contrast to online education, which often consists of pre-recorded lessons that one can take, but it doesnt provide social accountability. Cody McLain, SupportNinja

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