A driver’s education course helps you learn the rules of the road and prepares you to pass your licensing exam. It also teaches you valuable skills that can make you a safer and more confident driver.
While driver's ed courses were once only available in person, today, a number of states allow you to take driver’s ed online or by using an app on your mobile device. While this is certainly convenient, you may wonder whether it's the right option for you. Here's a look at the differences between each option and some factors to consider before making your decision.
In-Person Driver’s Education Courses
In-person driver’s education courses are taught by licensed instructors in a classroom setting. The information is typically presented through lectures and slideshows.
Depending on the state where you live, your driver’s education course could last several hours or 36 hours or more. When taking in-person classes, you’ll need to commute to the classroom location, attend each class at the scheduled time, and remain in the classroom for the duration of each class. Some people find this inconvenient or may have difficulty focusing in a classroom setting for a long period of time.
In-person classes also tend to be more expensive than an online driving school. However, some students appreciate the structure of a classroom setting and the ability to interact with an instructor in real time.
Online Driver’s Education Courses
Online driver’s education takes place entirely online, usually through asynchronous lessons. It gives you the flexibility to take classes at any time and in any place that is convenient for you. You can also rewind and pause classes whenever you want, allowing you to work at your own pace.
Rather than focusing on lectures and slideshows, students who enroll in online driver’s ed can learn through video, audio, graphics, and other media. Not only does this make learning more interesting and engaging, but it may also be more effective. A study by Thinkimpact found that on average, students retain 25% to 60% more information when learning online versus an 8% to 10% retention rate in a classroom setting.
One potential drawback of taking a course from the comfort of your home is that it's common to face many distractions. You may find it challenging to stay focused or have trouble finding the motivation to complete your courses. However, if you follow best practices for studying and commit to a schedule, it’s often easy to overcome these issues.
Which Type of Driver’s Education Course is Right for You?
If you’re not sure whether an in-person or online driver’s education course is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
What kind of learner are you? Online courses are best for visual learners, while in-person ones favor auditory learners.
Do you prefer to learn in a group setting? Solo learners will love taking a course online.
Is having real-time access to an instructor important to you? In-person classes make it easier to ask questions.
Are you self-motivated to complete courses on your own? If you need structure, an in-person class might keep you on track better,
Are there in-person classes available in your area? Not every area has classes — but online classes are available everywhere!
Are they at convenient times? Online classes are available any time, meaning you can fit them in with work or school.
What is the cost of in-person classes vs. online courses? Usually, online courses are more affordable.
Also, make sure that your state allows online driver's education courses and that you choose a course from an approved provider. Aceable offers a number of state-approved certified online driver’s education courses. They're interactive and fun, helping you learn the skills you need with bite-sized lesson plans. They’re also very affordable. Take a look at our available course options now to learn more.