Traditional Learning vs Online Learning

Visual learning Versus traditional learning

Traditional & online learning – Learning is an indispensable requisite of education. There are myriad ways in which we learn. The education system in our country has been surviving on pillars of traditional ways of learning for decades. With technology taking over almost everything, visual learning is one of the boons of technical advancement. It is being slowly adopted by educational institutions and learners as well.

Before we come to discover the fact which one is better than the other it is important that we know that what do these terms comprise of and how are they different from one another.


Traditional education is defined as teacher-centered delivery of instruction to classes of students who are the receivers of information. Thus traditional learning revolves around traditional practices like maintaining a notebook, copying down study material from the blackboard in classrooms and referring to assigned textbooks.

Visual learning means learning through seeing stuff. Visual learning revolves around the use of charts, pictures, maps, diagrams, internet, technology and videos to transfer knowledge and this method has turned out to a quite effective method of learning.


If we have to talk about which of these methods of learning is more effective we must consider the impact of the method in first place. Let’s say we have to teach about the solar system.

The first method- we can let the teacher in the class read out text from the book and orally explain what it is about.

Or the second method- we can use a documentary or a short film, physical model, pictures or charts to explain the topic.

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, an image has an insightful impact on the brain of a learner. When we are learning through visual means we tend to use a large portion of our mental power. This is because of the fact that a major part of your brain is devoted exclusively to process visual information which makes the information retention easy and effective. Thus our mind will be able to recapitulate a picture faster when compared to simple text.

Engaging capability and concentration

Learning can both be monotonous and fun depending upon the method of learning. It is obvious that any classroom lecture is less captivating than any mode of visual learning. Visual modes bind the learner through graphics and interesting or informational insights which is way more engaging and not monotonous as black and white texts books.

Studies state that concentration level in learners accelerates through visual modes of learning because of its engaging capability which contains the fun element of learning in the process.

  • Retention and understanding

    Learners are able to connect with pictures and videos in a better way than plain text. Hence it becomes easy to understand what is being explained. Retention is in some way directly proportional to the level of understanding. It is a proven fact that we retain what we see better than what we read. So we here again give a bonus point to visual learning.

  • Social interaction

    Social interactions pave way for critical thinking through discussions and intriguing personal opinions which conduces insights to the learner. This factor makes its space in classroom learning but not in some modes of visual learning.

  • Impact of audio and visual tools

    Use of such tools along with different fonts and graphics helps to capture learner’s attention. It also helps in keeping the information transferring process as interesting as possible. The traditional method of learning lacks such tools and visual learning becomes more effective in that case.

    Learning time

    One minute of classroom time does not equal one minute of online training. A visual learning mode can take anywhere from 40 to 75% less time than the traditional form of learning.

    Level of Personalization

    Traditional learning can be more personalized in a way that it allows the interaction with teachers at the point of transfer of knowledge. E-learning under visual modes may not be as personalized as classroom learning.
Teaching in a fast and furious world

Moreover visual learning takes a high road with the of e-learning subsided within. E-learning is one of the best ways to learn and grow. Let’s look at some of the advantages of e-learning:

  • Society is digital, so learning should be too.
  • You never run out of content. Information from all the sources are available at a click, which is time-consuming and practically impossible with traditional learning.
  • You save a lot of time, cost and energy with e-learning and can work out according to your convenience too.
  • If you don’t understand a concept, repeat it as many times as you want. This is not possible with classroom learning most of the times.

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