What is E-learning?

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E-learning is structured learning conducted over an electronic platform. But can generally be broken down into two categories: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous e-learning occurs in real time with participants actively communicating with each other. Synchronous e-learning might be conducted by way of a webinar or a tele-video conference. Asynchronous e-learning does not occur in real time. Usually it involves an interactive learning tutorial or information database posted online and accessible at participants’ own convenience.

E-learning is learning done over an electronic platform that allows participants to learn almost anytime from anywhere.

E-learning can be done either synchronously or asynchronously. Synchronous e-learning requires simultaneous participation of all learners and instructors at different locations. Asynchronous e-learning does not require simultaneous participation of learners and instructors. There are advantages and disadvantages to adopting either a synchronous or asynchronous platform.

Synchronous e-learning is any learning event delivered in real time to remote learners.

Synchronous e-learning allows real-time interaction and fosters a sense of community amongst learners.  Synchronous e-learning can take a variety of forms, such as: 

  • Multicast webinars
  • Tele-video conferencing
  • Chat

Asynchronous e-learning refers to learning situations in which the learning event does not take place in real-time.

Instruction is available on-demand and often offers participants greater control over the learning process.  Asynchronous e-learning can take many forms, including: 

  • E-mail and listservs 
  • Public electronic bulletin boards like Blackboard and Moodle that allow collaborative forums for discussion
  • Downloadable learning materials
  • Company intranets that distribute training to employees
  • Interactive tutorials posted on the Internet
Click to open interactivity Asynchronous v. Synchronous

Asynchronous v. Synchronous

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