For students and teachers who have been a part of the online education system, differentiating between online classrooms and online courses is important. Both of these teaching and learning tools of the online education system are equally important and are similar in various ways but also have a lot of differences. They are different in how they are conducted and where they are conducted. There is also a difference in who can conduct the classes and who can attend these classes.

The type of study material and course content shared is also often different in these two types of online learning spaces. Some similarities between the two would be that both are conducted online, as the name suggests. Both of these support learning and development of the students.

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Both online classrooms and online courses are online teaching tools that offer multiple features to enhance the online teaching experience. Online teaching apps of different types are used in both of these methods of online teaching. Other than these, there are many other similarities and differences between an online course and an online classroom. Both of these are important tools for online education and students and teachers must know well about them to find the platform that suits them the best.


In this article, we will be discussing the differences and similarities between online classrooms and online courses. This will help you find the right type of platform and tool that you wish to choose for conducting a class that also suits your students. We will also look at the different purposes of each of these types of online teaching and learning tools. We will try and identify the types of subjects and topics that these learning tools can be used for and how each type of tool benefits the students and teachers.

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The online education system came into effect with the imposition of worldwide lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fast-spreading infection that was deadly. This education system gained popularity among teachers and students. The online education system gave rise to online teaching through mobile which in turn made online courses a better-known concept and a practical option for various types of teaching and learning activities. Online classrooms, online courses, teaching via mobile apps, sharing course videos and study material all fall under the umbrella of the online education system and form a part of this wide system.


Let us take a look at how these two types of online education tools are different from each other. Online classrooms are virtual spaces where a teacher and a group of students co-exist in real-time to be part of a class. This type of classroom is very similar to the traditional offline classroom and allows teachers and students to have an experience familiar to the one that they have known. This type of class is usually conducted for schools, colleges and coaching or tuition centres to ensure group learning. These classes can only be attended by the students who are enrolled in the school or college or coaching centre and only teachers who are employed at these places can conduct these classes.


Online courses on the other hand are digital courses created and uploaded for sale by teachers across the world which can be accessed by students from anywhere in the world and be completed at any time. Not only can tutors run their courses on online platforms meant for these courses, but professionals from any field with experience and knowledge that they wish to share can venture into teaching and the education field by creating and selling their online courses. Anyone can log in to a platform meant for online courses and subscribe to the course of their choice and start learning as per their convenience.

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Another major difference between an online course and an online classroom is the flexibility offered by them. Online courses allow teachers to create their course content once and make it available for students to use multiple times as and when convenient for them. Online classrooms are often conducted in the live mode and hence the teachers and students need to be present together at the same time to be able to attend this type of class.

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