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In-Person or Online Education: Which is Better?

Military Boarding School Virginia

Over the past couple of years, the spotlight on online education has prompted serious discussions about its efficacy compared to in-person teaching. After all, every learning institution—from military boarding schools to state colleges—used it during the pandemic. Yet online education receives mixed feelings from educators and students alike. Does it provide an outstanding education? Do students pay attention when they are not sitting in a classroom?

Massanutten Military Academy in Virginia has offered online and in-person education to accommodate students’ needs over the past few years. Although we are in-person full-time now, both mediums factor into our military boarding school’s tradition of helping students reach their full academic potential. We provide a holistic approach to education that helps students grow into well-rounded individuals. Moreover, our focus on character development, leadership, and service prepares cadets for success in all areas of life. Contact us today at (540) 459-2167 to speak with an enrollment advisor!

Below, we weigh the pros and cons of online education:

The Pros of Online Education

Before the pandemic, online education wasn’t a widely utilized option. Post-pandemic, however, many people recognize the numerous benefits of online education, such as scheduling flexibility, increased class engagement, and a focused environment.

  • Scheduling flexibility: Recorded lectures and videos allow students to learn where and when they prefer. This flexibility can support better time management between sports, hobbies, and other activities in students’ schedules.

  • Increased Class Engagement: Surprisingly, many students feel compelled to ask questions in an online environment. They are less intimidated than in a classroom of students watching them. Behind a screen, they feel more inclined to speak up.

    Nevertheless, Massanutten Military Academy values developing responsible cadets who feel encouraged to speak up. Cadets who used our virtual education option had the opportunity to experience the benefits of the online medium. Yet we seek to build an environment where everyone feels comfortable speaking up with questions or comments.

  • Focused environment: For many cadets, a classroom presents hurdles to concentration and productivity in the form of their peers. Online learning provides a much-needed escape from distractions. Students can put on their favorite music, adjust their lighting, grab a snack, and hone in on their work.


The Cons of Online Education

While online education has a lengthy list of benefits, it also has downfalls. We focus on 2 that relate directly to Massanutten cadets’ experiences: reliance on self-motivation and isolation from social interaction.

  • Self-Motivation: Among the character traits we instill at our academy, self-motivation ranks highly. We believe it helps mold responsible young men and women ready to pursue their academic and career goals. However, this trait is learned best through face-to-face interaction.

    At Massanutten, cadets live and work in a structured environment. Each learns their daily routine and finds that they can live up to great expectations. The structure helps avoid burnout, a lack of engagement, and academic fatigue. Frankly, online learning cannot deliver the same organization and infrastructure.

    Our virtual education programs did encourage all students to attend live classes during regular class times. Nevertheless, we believe the most effective instruction comes from daily practice.

    Military Boarding School Virginia

  • Isolation: Our online education provided cadets a private sanctuary when it was necessary. However, in-person instruction gives them social interaction with their peers. Such interaction provides them with the social skills to become well-rounded individuals. Moreover, at Massanutten, interactions lie at the heart of our JROTC program and military structure.

Outstanding Education Available at a Military Boarding School in Virginia

While online education’s pros and cons remain debatable, Massanutten Military Academy proudly offers parents and cadets an opportunity for superior education and college preparation. If you want a personalized, structured education for your young student at a military boarding school, call (540) 459-2167 and ask to take a tour or check out our Fall enrollment.

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