Types of E-learning

You might have heard a little something about e-learning this past month or so?

These are the 10 different types of e-learning:

  • Computer Managed Learning (CML)
  • Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI)
  • Synchronous Online Learning
  • Asynchronous Online Learning
  • Fixed E-Learning
  • Adaptive E-Learning
  • Linear E-Learning
  • Interactive Online Learning
  • Individual Online Learning
  • Collaborative Online Learning

Synchronous Online Learning

Synchronous online learning enables groups of students to participate in a learning activity together at the same time, from any place in the world. Real-time synchronous online learning often involves online chats and videoconferencing, as these tools allow training participants and instructors to ask and answer questions instantly while being able to communicate with the other participants.

Asynchronous Online Learning

In the case of asynchronous online learning, groups of students study independently at different times and locations from each other, without real-time communication taking place. Asynchronous e-learning methods are often considered to be more student-centered than their synchronous counterparts, as they give students more flexibility.

For these reasons, asynchronous e-learning is often preferred by students who do not have flexible schedules, because it allows them to utilize self-paced learning. They can set their own time frames for learning, and they are not required to learn at specific time intervals together with other students.

Fixed E-Learning

Fixed e-learning is a fancy name for something you are likely already familiar with. “Fixed” in this context means that the content used during the learning process does not change from its original state and all the participating students receive the same information as all the others. The materials are predetermined by the teachers and don’t adapt to the student’s preferences.

Adaptive E-Learning

Adaptive e-learning is a new and innovative type of e-learning, which makes it possible to adapt and redesign learning materials for each individual learner. Taking a number of parameters such as student performance, goals, abilities, skills, and characteristics into consideration, adaptive e-learning tools allow education to become more individualized and student-centered than ever before.

Linear E-Learning

When referring to human-computer interaction, linear communication means that information passes from sender to receiver, without exception. In the case of e-learning, this becomes a very limiting factor, as it does not allow two-way communication between teachers and students. This type of e-learning does have its place in education, although it’s becoming less relevant with time. Sending training materials to students through television and radio programs are classic examples of linear e-learning.

Interactive Online Learning

Interactive e-learning allows senders to become receivers and vise versa, effectively enabling a two-way communication channel between the parties involved. From the messages sent and received, the teachers and students can make changes to their teaching and learning methods. For this reason, interactive e-learning is considerably more popular than linear, as it allows teachers and students to communicate more freely with each other.

Individual Online Learning

Individual learning in this context refers to the number of students participating in achieving the learning goals, rather than the student-centeredness of the material. This type of learning has been the norm in traditional classrooms for thousands of years. When practicing individual learning, the students study the learning materials on their own (individually), and they are expected to meet their learning goals on their own.

Collaborative Online Learning

Collaborative e-learning is a modern type of learning method, through which multiple students learn and achieve their learning objectives together as a group. Students have to work together and practice teamwork in order to achieve their common learning objectives.

Computer Managed Learning (CML)

In the case of computer-managed learning (CML), also known as Computer Managed Instruction (CMI), computers are used to manage and assess learning processes. Computer managed learning systems operate through information databases. These databases contain bits of information which the student has to learn, together with a number of ranking parameters which enables the system to be individualized according to the preferences of each student. As a result of two-way communication between the student and the computer, determinations can be made as to whether the student achieved their learning goals on a satisfactory level. If not, then the processes can be repeated until the student has achieved their desired learning goals.

Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI)

Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI), also sometimes referred to as computer-assisted learning (CAL), is another type of e-learning which uses computers together with traditional teaching. This could mean interactive software for the students or the kind of training software used by Patrick Suppes of Stanford University in 1966. Computer-assisted training methods use a combination of multimedia such as text, graphics, sound, and video in order to enhance learning. The primary value of CAI is interactivity – it allows students to become active learners instead of passive learners, by utilizing various methods such as quizzes and other computer-assisted teaching and testing mechanisms.