Modes of Pre-Service Teacher Education: Face-to-Face, Distance, and Online with Merits and Limitations

Pre-service teacher education refers to the education of teachers before they enter into service as professional teachers. Pre-service teacher education facilitates learning among teachers or individuals who want to enter into the professional field of teaching. It is the specialized application of skills, knowledge, and attributes that are designed to offer unique services to meet the educational needs of society and of the individual too.

It is an educational program that prepares and trains freshers for the professional field of teaching. It helps in crucial learning and enables future teachers to develop a holistic learning environment for learners. It offers knowledge, attitude, and skills so that the teachers can conduct classes effectively.

There are three main modes of pre-service teacher education which are as follows:


Face-to-face learning refers to teaching a group of teacher trainees through the institutional method using learning material and course content. This type of teacher Education involves live interaction between the instructor and the learner and the trainees can learn from one another too.

Merits of Face-to-Face Education

Real-time interaction

Face-to-face teacher Education facilitates real-time interaction between the trainees and the instructor.

Improvement Of Social Skills

Attending live classes allows trainees to improve their social skills and build skills such as confidence and cooperation.


Traditional classrooms motivate trainees to learn as opposed to virtual classrooms where the instructor cannot be sure whether the trainees are paying attention or not.


Not all trainees may have technological devices which make face-to-face classrooms more feasible and accessible.


In face-to-face classrooms, a proper time schedule must be followed allowing the trainees to organize their tasks and manage time effectively.

Limitations of Face-to-Face Education

Unsafe Environment

The classroom environment can sometimes be unsafe particularly when there is a crisis like the recent pandemic.

Lack Of Flexible Learning

The face-to-face classroom does not support flexible learning.

Transportation Expenses

Face-to-face learning means that one has to go to physical classes every day and this may increase transportation expenses.


Since the face-to-face classes are time bound and follow a specific timing, not everyone may be able to cope with the same.


Since face-to-face classes require a lot of interaction and participation, not everyone may be fine with it and they may feel pressurised.


Distance teacher Education refers to a program in which lectures and lessons are conducted through correspondence without any need for the trainee to go to the physical classroom.

Merits of Distance Education

Earn and learn

Distance learning gives teacher trainees the chance to learn while at the same time, earning by working somewhere as well.

Save Money

Distance learning does not require one to attend physical classes or go to college every day which allows them to save money.


Distance learning is also time-saving because trainees are not required to go to college which saves their time and they can utilize the same in something more productive.

Learn at a personal pace

Distance learning allows one to learn at their own pace rather than depending on the learning pace of others.

Accessible and Convenient

Distance learning makes the teacher education program highly accessible and convenient to all whether they have other jobs or work as well.

Limitations of Distance Education

Hidden costs

Distance Education is comparatively cheaper than regular education but sometimes, there may be some hidden costs involved.

Complicated technology

Distance learning leads to overdependence on technology which can be a major drawback.

Quality of faculty

The quality of faculty in regular education is much better than the faculty in Distance learning and trainees might have to compromise on the same.

Questionable credibility

One can never be sure about the credibility of Distance Teacher Education as some of them may not be accredited and may be indulging in fraudulent practices.


Since one cannot be around faculty members and other classmates in Distance learning, there may be a lot of distraction and a lack of interest among the trainees to learn.


Online teacher education refers to learning that occurs through the online mode or through a virtual learning environment.

Merits of Online Classes


Online classes are highly convenient as the trainees do not have to travel every day allowing them to learn from anywhere they are.


Online classes also give one the flexibility to learn from anywhere and to choose a time to study according to their comfort.


In online learning, one does not have to rely on a physical location to complete the course. One can learn from their home itself making the program more affordable.


Since it eliminates the need for one to travel anywhere, online classes are highly time-saving.


Online learning is mostly self-paced. Therefore, trainees can learn according to their own pace as per their schedule as well as their levels of understanding.

Limitations of Online Education

Lack of Concentration

Since there is no one to supervise the trainees, it is easy for them to get distracted and lose concentration.

Sense of Isolation

Many trainees may find isolation in a learning environment where they can learn in the company of others and the same cannot be facilitated by online learning.

Requires Self-Discipline

As opposed to following a schedule in physical classes, there is no such fixed schedule in online classes and hence, the trainees must be highly self-disciplined.

Technical Issues

In online learning, technical issues may be prevalent and particularly when there are connection issues, the online lesson may get disrupted.

More Screen Time

Excessive screen time during online education can develop various illnesses such as headaches, eye fatigue, poor posture, and the like.

These are the various merits and limitations of the different modes of pre-service teacher Education which include face-to-face interaction, distance, and offline mode of learning.