The democratization of information and knowledge is one of the wonders of modern times. Knowledge isn’t held captive behind university and school walls anymore, it is spreading throughout the world via online & digital learning. Students don’t have to search for learning, online learning can come to them.
Although e-learning and online learning are used interchangeably in most cases, the two modes are different in many aspects. Let’s learn the difference to make the right choice.
Making Sense of the Jargons: The Definitions
- Online Learning
Online learning is a broad term that means that the majority of the coursework will be instructed via the internet – through forums, shared documents, email, chat, etc. However, online learning doesn’t imply that there is no face-to=face interaction between students and the teacher. It can include taking exams, and assignments at a distance, so long as communication is online.
E-Learning, also known as virtual learning refers to professional certificate programs entirely over the internet. The teacher and students do not get to interact or meet. All the coursework and communication is handled via email, forums, chat, or video conferencing. Some universities and institutions refer to this type of course as a fully online course.
The Overarching Difference: The Purpose
How to make the right choice?
Online learning gets the nod when you have to teach specific skills or impart in-depth knowledge on a subject. You choose e-learning to support an ongoing learning process where the learner needs quick access to bits of information or study material.
How They Work: Modes of Interaction and Delivery
E-learning allows the students to interact with their teacher only via the internet. They cannot learn or communicate with the tutor in any form even if they are on the same platform. Online learning, on the hand, allows live and interactive learning through video chat and messages.
Lookalikes: The Design
E-learning and online learning are almost similar types of learning facilities as both allow the learners not to attend the classroom physically. They can use the internet for learning and studying their coursework without moving out of their place.
Keeping an Eye on Time: The Duration
The duration of e-learning and online courses certification programs depend on the coursework and the platform it is available on. The duration of courses can vary from days to months and even years. If you are a working professional who doesn’t have a lot of time, consider taking online professional certificate programs since these allow learning on the go. You can access your study material at any time, from any place, be it work, home, or while traveling. E-learning, on the hand, doesn’t allow this conveniency.
Online Learning: The Present and Future of Education
It only took one generation for online learning to be born, evolve, and become the future of higher education. Students today expect professional certificate programs to have at least an online component, if not to be completely online. Of course, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to both online as well as e-learning. It is up to the teachers to help learners maximize the former and minimize the latter of both online learning as well as e-learning. With a firm grasp on concepts and terminology associated with online learning, teachers can be better equipped to help students succeed.