E-learning is getting all the attention because it is fronted as the solution to acquiring skills at a reduced cost while circumventing the need to go to a physical campus. Learners and teachers need to embrace different types of e-learning to enjoy the maximum advantage that the format offers.
Knowledge of the different types of e-learning helps the teacher and the student to make the best choices. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The types of e-learning can be used individually during a session or be combined to enable an institution or teacher to deliver the best results.
Text Driven E-Learning
As the name suggests, this method involves the use of written materials. The learner will download notes in written format for review and revision. The text used for this format is crafted in a simplified version such that the learner can understand the content.
Some of the manifestations of text-based e-learning are the use of e-books. It is the initiative of the learner to look for the right books or materials for his or her course. A student will not interact with the teacher or author. Text-based learning may also involve reading from websites and other credible portals.
Text-based e-learning is the most common and traditional e-learning method. It has been used for a while and is common for arts, social sciences, and humanities. The method is preferred where a student is learning theoretical work. In case the course does not require a lot of demonstrations, the method will work perfectly.
Text-based e-learning is flexible because it allows a student to learn from any location. The instructor will only require the student to sit for an examination based on the materials provided. A student is in control of his or her schedule and can learn from a remote location at his or her pace.
A student can print the materials for use away from the gadget. It allows the learner to carry school materials when away from gadgets, like during a holiday or while traveling.
The learner can highlight difficult paragraphs and sections for future reference. Other notes can be copied on the pages to enhance revision, unlike videos or audio materials where footnotes are almost impossible to add.
The challenge with text-based e-learning lies in the fact that the student has to rely on a single format in the process of learning. If a student prefers animated content, the digital text content will not suit him or her. The student will also need a phone, tablet, or computer with a wide screen to ease reading using these materials. Long hours spent reading through the materials may also damage the eyes.
The student and instructor will engage virtually. It takes the form of live streaming and podcasts. This method is also referred to as synchronous e-learning. Learning takes place in real-time through such mechanisms as a virtual classroom, video or audio conferencing, webinars, chats, instant messaging, and application sharing, among other options.
Synchronous e-learning requires the student to be available at the time agreed with the instructor. The teacher can share information or ask questions in real-time. An instructor may also demonstrate ideas through video conferencing.
Interactive e-learning requires the presence of both the teacher and the student. This is a restrictive form of learning that may not suit some people because of technical barriers and conflicting schedules. The reason people choose e-learning is to overcome the challenge of strict learning schedules. Forcing the student to return to such a schedule defeats the purpose.
However, a student will find direct and instant solutions to some of the tough questions he or she could be facing in the course of learning. He or she will be interacting with the teacher during the lesson. A teacher can demonstrate tough concepts, and the student will seek more clarification.
Interactive e-learning also allows the teacher and education administrators to track the participation of a student in the learning process. Such contact with the teacher and strict learning hours helps a student to enjoy the psychological-formal learning environment.
Interactive e-learning sessions can be recorded as proof that a student attended class. Further, the student can review the lessons to get more details or clarification about the subject taught. This makes the method one of the best e-learning strategies. In fact, it can be combined with text-based learning to provide clarity in case the written materials are difficult for a student to use.
Simulation e-learning relies heavily on graphics, videos, and gamification, among other forms of delivery. Institutions or tutors develop the materials. This type of learning is animated because the videos or audio materials feature demonstrations. It is one of the best formats to use when explaining complex ideas because the student can follow through your explanations.
The materials are edited to ensure accuracy and precision. Learning materials for simulation sessions are available in formats that are accessible over the phone and other computerized devices. The video and audio files can be used offline, enabling the student to learn anywhere and at any time.
It is rare to find a school or tutor using a single method of e-learning. A student may also go looking for learning materials produced in other formats. The use of one type of e-learning or the other will depend on suitability based on the situation at hand.
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