E-learning is getting all the attention because it is fronted to acquire 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. An institution or teacher can use the different types of e-learning individually during a session or combine them to deliver the best results.
Text Driven E-Learning
As the name suggests, this method involves the use of written materials. The learner downloads 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 learner’s initiative to look for the right 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. The method is perfect for learning theoretical work. In case the course does not require a lot of demonstrations, the method works 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 can print the materials for use away from the gadget. It allows the learner to carry materials when away from gadgets, like during a holiday or traveling.
The learner can highlight difficult paragraphs and sections for future reference. Students can copy other notes on the pages to enhance revision, unlike videos or audio materials where footnotes are almost impossible.
The challenge with text-based e-learning lies in the fact that the student has to rely on a single learning format. If a student prefers animated content, the digital text content will not suit him or her. The student also needs 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 restrictive form of learning 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 students’ participation in the learning process. Such contact with the teacher and strict learning hours helps a student to enjoy the psychological-formal learning environment.
Teachers can record the interactive e-learning sessions as proof that a student attends 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.
Learning materials for simulation sessions are available in formats that are accessible over the phone and other computerized devices. The students can use the video and audio files offline and 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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