Live Classes vs Recorded Classes: The Better Option?

It is time to settle the never-ending debate of “live classes vs recorded classes” once and for all. Some surveys have already...

Written by Sara Illahi Panhwer · 3 min read >
live classes vs recorded classes

It is time to settle the never-ending debate of “live classes vs recorded classes” once and for all. Some surveys have already declared the results. But have people really made peace with the results of those surveys? Well, we don’t think so. Therefore, it is time to manifest the differences and let the audience quantify and then decide for themselves.

Live Classes vs Recorded Classes πŸ‘©β€πŸ«
Let’s see which is the better option:


1. Mode of study πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“

This recorded classes vs. live classes dichotomy is simplified by a significant difference – the mode of study. Yes, it is indeed the mode of study that draws the line between both.

Recorded classes are more like independent study. In recorded classes, the instructor or trainer themselves are not present. However, you have access to all quizzes, worksheets, assignments, discussion posts, etc.

On the other hand, live classes are exactly like an in-person cohort-based class, except live classes are delivered via digital devices. When it comes to assessments, live classes have the same types of submissions as recorded classes – but the responsibility of completing them varies.

2. The Accountability πŸ€Ήβ€β™€οΈ

One difference that is clear between live classes vs. recorded classes is the sense of accountability. In recorded classes, since they serve as more independent study projects, there is little to no accountability. It solely depends on you; you can either watch all the lectures in two weeks or two years. Nobody can ever penalize, and this won’t affect your final grade, if there is any.

πŸ‘‰ Read: The Definitive Guide to Cohort Based Courses

In live classes, on the other hand, you can’t skip classes unless they are being recorded. You are expected to complete all of your coursework in a given time frame. Failure of not turning in the assessments in time may result in a penalty. The penalty/no penalty also greatly depends upon the course policy.

Nevertheless, live classes have some accountability. This is done in order for you to learn instantly and manage to catch up with the coursework.

3. The Engagement Level 🧡

When it comes to imparting knowledge, how clearly you communicate and how skillfully you engage with a certain audience matters a lot. And when it specifically comes to recorded classes, while the majority of them are perfectly edited, designed, and scripted, many lack this aspect. The latter category of recorded classes fails to engage with the audience most of the time.

On the other hand, live classes have a lot of opportunities to make the classes more engaging. This can primarily be because of two-way communication. As an audience, you can shoot a question if you find a difficulty or give on-spot feedback. If the trainer/instructor is going too fast or too slow, all you need is a raise of the hand and a few words to have the instructor/trainer on the same page as you.

Moreover, if it is a cohort-based live class, there is generally more engagement in the form of debate, questions, discussions, etc.

Read: 5 Methods of Online Teaching to Get the Best Out of Students

4. The Flexibility πŸ„β€β™€οΈ

In this live classes vs recorded classes debate, another factor plays a pivotal role. It is flexibility. Recorded classes at the end of the day are recorded. Meaning there can’t be changing in a recorded class. The instructor or trainer won’t sense either the audience is getting bored or enjoying the lecture.

Therefore, recorded classes are fixed and to-the-point. This, in a way, is not bad because there are naturally lesser chances of derailing and irrelevant discussions. However, at times, specifically, when an instructor teaches a dense topic, it is important that the instructor knows that the audience is on the same page. If not, a little break or an activity to refresh can help. But this aspect of flexibility is majorly missing in recorded classes.

Read: How To Improve Your Confidence To Record Course Videos

In live classes, on the contrary, it is quite the opposite. There are relatively more chances of derailing from the main point, which is a disadvantage. However, the audience and the teacher tend to be on the same page. Live classes, because there is two-way communication in them, tend to be more flexible. Live classes promote a sense of community. Moreover, there is a lot of room for dialogue, discussion, and debate in live courses. This is helpful because this aspect of online teaching is missing in recorded courses due to the lack of flexibility.

But, if in both recorded and live classes, a set of topics ahead of the classes are decided, you can easily curb the extra and irrelevant flow of information.

Final Verdict πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ

Mentioned above are some of the differences between live and recorded courses. It is indeed a tough call. In live classes, however, it is usually beneficial for the instructors/trainers because they can showcase their command on a subject. Moreover, there is real time interaction with the audience which not only boosts an instructor’s confidence but also helps the audience learn better. So, having walked you through both, have you decided which is the better option?

Leave a comment below and let us know! πŸ˜πŸ‘‡ And read some more?

Written by Sara Illahi Panhwer
Constantly striving to help course creators become a monumental part of the billion dollar ed-tech industry. Profile

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