COVID-19 is going to change the way education is delivered around the world. Schools, universities, training organisations and employers are having to re-strategise on how to best train their students and employees.
Unlike many other countries, where the shift to online learning happened in a matter of weeks, in the Philippines, educational institutions were given months of lead time to develop online learning resources.
The new school year starts on August 24th and institutions have officially been asked to prepare for the possibility of having to deliver classes online.
If your educational institution hasn’t already started developing these resources, now is the time.
We’re going to make it easier for you by introducing you to the top 10 eLearning types. Delivered in a two-part series, this blog delves into the first five. By the end of it, you will have a clearer idea of the various options available and how each can impact your learner.
Simply put, this is the closest alternative to delivering classes in a classroom. It’s a form of eLearning where subject matter experts (lecturers, teachers and tutors) deliver classes virtually in real time to students. The teacher has a live feed that students can access from anywhere. Normally these live feeds are accompanied by chat groups that can be moderated by the lecturer to make the class more engaging.
Some of the advantages of this type of eLearning includes higher engagement and social interaction between the lecturers and students. This in turn teaches students the importance of teamwork, communication, and adaptability.
As you might have guessed, this is the opposite of Synchronous eLearning. Instead, the course material isn’t delivered in real time but is pre-recorded and delivered to the student. The student can then go over said material in their own pace.
There are various advantages and applications for this.
For example, if an organisation is delivering a course to all new employees, rather than having the trainer run multiple classes a year, it can be recorded once and delivered countless number of times.
If you’re an educational institution with students of different abilities, you can deliver the same content to everyone and let the student engage with it in a pace that they are comfortable with.
While this form of course delivery might not have the same degree of social interaction, it does teach students other important life skills such as the ability to self-motivate and work towards deadlines.
Trainers also play a different role in this form of eLearning. Instead of focusing on delivering a course, they can focus on the learning outcomes and how students are tracking/engaging with the content.
This is a type of Asynchronous eLearning that’s so significant that it is now its own type of eLearning. These are eLearning courses that use interactive elements to engage with the user and hold their attention.
Such courses can be both linear and non-linear.
Linear interactive courses include features like pop-up quizzes, the ability to skip sections the user might already know, or even dig deeper into sections where additional learning material might be available.
With non-linear courses the interactive elements allow users to change narrative and follow their own path to an end goal. For example, students are given the opportunity to make critical decisions (right or wrong), and learn from the outcomes of their decisions.
Whether linear or non-linear, interactive eLearning decreases passivity, creating learners that know how to adapt, problem solve and put their new skills to test.
This is a form of eLearning that students do completely independently. Students and employees will take these courses up and be entirely responsible for reaching the learning outcomes. Such courses are more suitable for modern learners who are motivated, have a strong mindset and see personal benefit to completing the course.
This form of eLearning is most used by companies such as Udemy, LinkedIn Learning and Udacity. They deliver a large variety of courses with minimal supervision.
Organisations often choose to deliver optional courses to their employees using this method.
Individual eLearning can be used by educational institutions. While it can be slightly isolating, many schools and universities will provide mentorship and online support to students by tracking their progress and providing on-going feedback.
We run across the field, away from Individual eLearning, over the fence and to the other side – the collaborative eLearning space.
This form of eLearning engages a group of students to learn and work together to achieve their goals and objective as a group. While there can be a negative stigma when it comes to group work, learners can make the most out of their learning when each member plays to their strengths and are open to opportunities in learning new skills from one another.
Aside from the opportunity to hone in on soft skills and interpersonal skills, it can also become a platform for sharing content and ideas that are outside the scope of the learning material.
And there we have it. The first five types of eLearning. None of these methods are universally better than the other. Each has its own place. For many organisations, multiple solutions will have to be used to get the best outcome.
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