What’s the difference between an ‘online course’ and a ‘virtual course’?

What’s the difference between an ‘online course’ and a ‘virtual course’?

Updated: Apr 8

Well, quite a big difference actually! Here’s the low-down.

What is an online course?

Online courses generally involve modules or lessons which you do by yourself, in your own time and at your own pace. This usually involves watching videos or reading content, then perhaps doing a few worksheets or assignments. Progress is often self-graded by way of an online tick-the-box test. If you don’t get it right, it gives you the option to go back and try again. Occasionally assignments are graded by a tutor, and feedback is emailed to the student. Generally speaking, there is very little interaction with the trainer, and no interaction with classmates.

What is a virtual course?

Virtual courses are conducted LIVE AND IN REAL TIME so are in fact face-to-face classes. They are conducted in exactly the same way that an in-class course is conducted, and students get to interact not only with their trainer, but also with their classmates. Trainers are able to give immediate feedback, as well as encouragement to their students, call on them to answer questions, pair them or assign them to ‘rooms’ to do group work and interact in exactly the same way as they would in a classroom. This is the way that universities are handling classes during the lockdown period, as the lessons and therefore the quality of the qualification are not compromised.

So given the choice of an online or virtual course, which should you do?

Well, here are some pros and cons of each in order to make an informed decision.

So under the current CoVid-19 situation and social distancing being the norm for the immediate future, what does Destination TEFL offer until such a time as our in-class courses can commence?

We are offering a VIRTUAL COURSE hosted from our training centre in Siem Reap. The advantage of this virtual course (aside from the benefits mentioned above) is that it is a combination of a virtual course, with deferred practicums and job placements later when travel bans are lifted.


The virtual part of the course is 3 weeks, and includes a detailed module on ‘how to teach online’. At the end of the virtual course you will receive 2 certificates: one for a 100-hour in-class TEFL/TESOL course, and one for a ’20-hour Mastery of Online Teaching’. These certificates will allow you to apply for online teaching jobs.

Once the travel bans have been lifted and the skies reopen, you’ll come to Siem Reap for two weeks of practical training where you will teach real students at NGOs and businesses in the area. At the end of your practical training you will be presented with our full ‘140-hour accredited in-class TEFL/TESOL course with observed practicums’.

So while the world is in lockdown, don’t put your dreams on hold. Rather be proactive and start your virtual course, knowing that when the world returns to normal, you’ll fly over and do your practicums and then start your teaching career with our placement assistance. Lockdown is easier to cope with when you have something to look forward to!

Don’t compromise your qualification – our virtual course gives you the SAME QUALIFICATION as our in-class course.


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