The evolution of technology coupled with the numerous educational institutions, each providing a number of courses or degrees, has led to a confusing variety of terms in the field of distance education – distance learning, e-learning, online learning, virtual education, blended learning, flexible learning, etc.
What do they all have in common and in what way are they different? If you’re considering pursuing an online course or a distance learning degree, you will first need to understand what each type of learning offers. That way, you can make an informed decision and avoid any mix-up.
e-Learning can refer to the situation where the interaction between the students and the teacher is done online. Basically, the students receive the training and are taught through an online medium, even though the teacher may be in the same building with them. It is simply students’ and teacher’s choice for instruction. The students and the teacher interact online in this type of learning. In this form of learning the students take a course from the teacher without physically visiting an actual classroom with him. Both of them communicate and learn the courses online even if they are on the same premise. Though students can use offline materials like paper to send their response they are connected with their teacher through an internet connection only. They can send the picture of their response online to their teacher.
Online learning In online learning, the key element is the use of internet and is described as the learning experience that is realized with the use of some technology. Online learning can encompass both e-learning and blended learning, as it generally refers to the idea of using online tools for learning. The main element of online learning is to get learning experience by using an internet connection. The students have to use certain techniques to get this learning experience. In other words, online learning can be described as the combination of blended learning and e-Learning as it generally uses online tools for learning the course.
The arrival of e-learning or online based learning is known to everyone. Till the early 2000’s, education was typically carried out in a classroom, under the guidance of teachers. Physical presence in class both of teacher and student was necessary.
Then came the internet and the rest is history. E-learning is a fast-growing industry and its impact can be traced back to the late 1980’s and when considering distance learning and televised learning, even before that.
Many important developments have occurred in education with the arrival of the net. Nowadays, even the youngest of persons are able to effectively use smartphones, internet, text messaging etc. Thus, implementing an e-learning course has become an easy matter. Social media, message boards and other forms of online communication allow learners to stay in touch and conduct discussions on course materials, thus giving a feel of a community.
E-learning is a fast-paced system where technology is constantly changing to make learning exciting, new and fresh. Course content can be updated quickly and effectively for learners to keep up with changes. This type of e-learning is particularly useful in corporate training where employees need to be updated on latest industry developments. This is why many businesses are providing training via e-learning-as also to save on costs and enabling employees to learn at their own pace. And in the end, it’s all just learning. I’m optimistic that we’ll get to the point where the only distinction will be whether you’re face-to-face or not; digital will be the norm. and has emerged as a better alternative that is affordable, faster and more effective.
Article by: Busayo Tomoh