The Differences Between eLearning and Distance Learning
What Is eLearning?
eLearning is any kind of learning that includes technology to help the learner. This can include videos, touch screen technology, online tools, or any other kind of media. What most people don’t realise about eLearning is that it can happen right in the classroom. The term just refers to the tools used. That being said, eLearning can be used when teacher and student are separated too.
What is distance learning?
Distance learning, as the term implies, is where the student and the teacher are separated. This is usually used in more formal settings, and one party is usually present. This is more often than not the teacher, who is delivering a class to the students who are present. This type of learning is particularly useful when one student cannot be there physically, due to illness or distance.
Another example of distance learning can be seen with online writing services. Paul Jennings, a writer from the Academized, describes his role there: ‘I work with people all over the world. We communicate via messages and emails, and I help them write and edit their writing. Thanks to the technology available, there’s no difference between what we do and what a teacher would do in a classroom.’
Can both happen at once?
So, as you can see there is a marked difference between the two types of learning. They don’t mean the same thing, as many people often assume. Does that mean that they’re always separate?
That’s not the case at all. After all, eLearning just refers to how the teaching is delivered. There’s no reason why anyone delivering education could not decide to use multimedia tools with students who are halfway across the world. It’s even easier now, as smartphones and tablets are so common. All you have to do is give your students a link to a video or activity, and they can access it there and then.
As you can see, although there is a difference, there’s no reason to keep the two apart. As an educator, you can use both together to create unique and engaging training courses.
What does this mean for trainers and educators?
If the two concepts are so different, what does that mean for you? Well, it means that you have a lot of options when it comes to creating your own learning materials.
Gone are the days of creating worksheets and relying on PowerPoint presentations. You can now create materials to encourage learners to actually lean in and get involved with what’s happening. That can even happen when your learners aren’t physically with you. Online tools can help you create materials which you can distribute online, no problem at all. They’re well worth giving a try.
eLearning and Distance Learning Tools
Now you know the difference between the two types of learning, it’s worth getting to know some of the best tools out there if you’re creating learning courses. Here’s some you might like to try in the future.
– Scrible: This tool is perfect for learners who need to work together, wherever they are. They can share, annotate and collect articles online in their own library.
– A.nnotate: This tool helps you annotate and reference pieces that you find online. It stores them all for you, so you can search for the piece or quote you’re looking for with ease.
– UK Writings: This tool is great for both styles of learners, as they can work to improve their writing with an expert on their own schedule.
– Cite It In: Important for anyone who writes pieces for their online courses. This tool helps you get the correct citation for any reference you use in text.
– Do Something: This site helps you create engaging, exciting campaigns right from your desktop.
– Schoology: This site helps you assess trainees’ progress, and see where you need to help them.
– Adobe’s Connect 9: This online learning package can help you develop learning materials that can be used anywhere.
So, now you know the difference between eLearning and distance learning, you can put that knowledge to good use. Use the tools provided to create learning programs that trainees can really get to grips with. You’ll see just how much your results improve.