Skip to main content

Theoretical Vs. Practical Learning in Online Classes

Learning is a process. And learning online is no different than learning in a traditional setting. There are two main components that contribute to learning and when learning in a remote environment, these components take on a different life. Learning is meant to produce changes in an individual whether it’s acquired through taking classes at academic instructions, online courses or trainings. Theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge are gained from going through the learning experience whether it’s massage school, cosmetology, esthetics training, etc. All of these applications have something in common – they require both types of learning.

What is Theoretical Learning?

Theoretical knowledge teaches the why. It helps you understand why certain techniques work and why others fail. Theory exposes you to the entire concept and this helps to build context and strategy when approaching certain problems. The theory is an important part of any learning experience because it truly illuminates the process behind the topics you’re learning about and teaches you by using the experience of those who came before you. Theoretical knowledge often leads to a deeper understanding of a concept by revealing the why behind the process.

What is Practical Learning?

Practical knowledge focuses on more specific techniques that may be used in your day to day activities. This applies to things you’ll be doing in job fields like massage, esthetics, cosmetology or aesthetics. Some things can only be learned through experience. The theory covers situations in a vacuum; however, practice is learned through life experiences. Practical knowledge is useful because it leads to a deeper understanding of the concept through performing activities. Personal experience is extremely important in any trade because being knowledgeable on a topic does not necessarily guarantee that you will be able to execute it. In order to be truly proficient at a trade, you need to have a mix of both theoretical and practical knowledge.

How Does This Apply to Online Learning?

Remote learning has continued to gain popularity over the years, but it has been met with criticism from those who believe certain skills cannot be taught online. Courses that cover topics like cosmetology, massage and esthetics have been traditionally taught in person, however advancements in distance education have allowed more people to learn trades online. Theoretical knowledge is quite easy to learn online due to its focus on the reasoning behind certain topics. Practical knowledge is a different story as it relies on personal experience and day-to-day activity. This has been addressed in many online courses as video instruction has become more advanced. It’s now possible for a student to perform activities in-person while the teacher observes over video and this technique has been effective in teaching cosmetology, massage and esthetics.

Overall, both practical and theoretical knowledge are extremely important when it comes to succeeding in any career field. Online courses have steadily evolved over the years, allowing more people to gain access to programs that have traditionally been taught in-person. Practice teaches you how to solve a specific problem and theory helps you apply it to different problems.

Kickstart Your Future at Avenue Five Institute

A job in the cosmetology industry is exciting and offers a whirlwind of unique opportunities. It all begins when you enroll in Cosmetology School.

Avenue Five Institute offers two vibrant locations, one in North Austin and one in South Austin. Our hands-on cosmetology program has so much to offer, learn more or book a tour at one or both campuses – we look forward to meeting you!