How Many Types of Online Education?
How Many Types of Online Education?

In the last 20 years, the Internet has grown from being nearly non-existent into the largest, most accessible database of information ever created. It has changed the way people communicate, shop, socialize, do business and think about knowledge and learning. Much more than just a new twist on distance learning, online schooling is changing the face of traditional classrooms and making education more accessible than ever before.

Online education is a form of education where students use their home computers through the internet. For many nontraditional students, among them all those who want to continue working full time or raising families, online graduations and courses have become popular in the past decade. Often online graduation and course programs, some of which are conducted using digital technologies, are provided via the online learning portal of the host university.

How many different types of Online Education?

Again, these are not "book" definitions by any stretch of the imagination but are cobbled together based on what I've seen recently.

1. Online learning

Definition

Education that takes place online or via an app; broad term.

Examples

Probably the overarching umbrella term that covers any and all websites, apps, or learning platforms on or through which a student can learn.

For instance, BrainPop and Code.org as online learning portals, Duolingo as a learning app, our Online Private Lessons as more of an online tutoring session for kids, etc.

2. Virtual learning

Photo: fpt
Photo: fpt

Definition

Similar to online learning, but perhaps a bit more formal, and incorporating internal software platforms/portals. With virtual learning, you are taking an in-person element and making it available online.

Examples

A key differentiator here may be the fact that virtual learning is taking an in-person element and putting it online. Or, taking something that was originally built to be an in-person experience and putting it online.

Meaning, sites like ABCMouse.com were built with the goal of being a pure online destination. Yes there is learning, yes the environment models a classroom, but getting kids to learn online has been the primary purpose.

On the other hand, look at our Virtual Tech Camps. They are taking elements of the in-person summer camp experience and putting them online for kids to enjoy and benefit from. This means the instruction and student interaction that would normally take place physically at camp is now “picked up and moved to” an online learning platform. The same goes for a virtual after-school program, and even virtual tutoring.

3. eLearning

Photo: lehongphongtamky
Photo: lehongphongtamky

Definition

Probably your typical online learning platform that offers self-paced activities and games for kids to click through.

Examples

Using the example above, ABCMouse.com wouldn’t be considered “virtual learning” but would definitely fall more in the bucket of “eLearning” and could be considered a provider of EdTech tools for kids. I’d also consider code.org to be an eLearning portal.

4. Remote learning

Photo: ymcachicago
Photo: ymcachicago

Definition

Perhaps less applicable to kids and school? Traditionally more of a corporate training method. Either way, a more formal learning program is implemented by organizations and educational institutions. Less available to the general public and used more to describe singular programs reserved for a specific organization’s members.

Examples

As mentioned in the definition above, you typically see “remote learning” attached to corporate training methods, and less with kids and online learning.

So, imagine a sales organization with teams of reps across the country. With remote learning, all can access online training and materials, regardless of physical location.

5. Distance learning

Photo: KnowInsiders
Photo: KnowInsiders

Definition

Most similar to remote learning; or at least Google seems to closely connect the two as synonyms. That doesn’t mean they are the same, but just an observation. Distance learning does seem to describe more of a “separation” between teacher and student in terms of when and how often they interact.

Examples

I think if you were to ask people about distance learning before the COVID-19 arrival, you’d probably understand it to be a synonym with remote learning.

But now, we’ve all grown accustomed to “distance learning” being used when referring to the different programs schools are rolling out to their students. These programs can include online resources and assignments, or even non-digital instruction.

6. On-demand learning

Photo: schools
Photo: schools

Definition

As in “right now.” Some online learning can be on-demand, but not all. For instance, you might have to schedule an online learning session a week out or a day in advance, where a true on-demand product, say, like your cable streaming, can be more “click and you’re off.”

Examples

You can say on-demand learning is closest to online learning in the way of it not being attached or run through an organization or educational institution and is instead available for the general public to build skills wherever they please.

Given that, one person can say most informational sources on the internet can provide on-demand learning, or the YouTube video you pull up right now to watch and learn how to make a hobby in Roblox could be considered on-demand.

On the other hand, to tighten things up a bit, on-demand learning should probably be attached to a particular product or “extra” service that one registers for and/or subscribes to.

Think of it like your cable, where movies and shows can be accessed “on-demand.” Yes, you can tune into any channel to watch TV live, or you can select the exact show you want and have complete control of the playback “on demand.”

To apply that to learning, there are a number of on-demand tutoring sites and apps, where, say, your child is stuck on a problem or topic, can get in touch with a real person right then and there who can help them through it.

To try and formulate what this all means, here are a few examples of how online learning types are being rolled out and presented.

How many types of Online Learning?

There are different kinds of online learning models that the students can use according to their preferences. Each of these types is fully and well-featured. With due respect here are some of the types of online learning are portrayed underneath:

1. Synchronous Online Learning/Live

Photo: elearningindustry
Photo: elearningindustry

In this type of learning, communication between the taking an interest people happens instantly and the members can get to the information in the meantime. A portion of the examples of synchronous e-learning incorporates virtual classroom or video/sound conferencing and ongoing graph implemented by ezTalks Video Conferencing. One of the real attributes of synchronous online -learning is that it offers instant feedback of the member's performance.

This type of learning additionally quickens the formation of teaching groups for booting a more elevated amount of connection to empower better understanding of a specific subject. The best thing about synchronous online learning is that it empowers more noteworthy inclusion of the members.

The main disadvantage this type of learning brings about is simply the way that it doesn't offer self-managed learning and the logistics of planning. Also, it requires the administration of students' accessibility at different time zones.

2. Asynchronous Online Learning

Photo: catlintucker
Photo: catlintucker

This is otherwise called the store and forward online learning, wherein the communication between the members does not happen instantaneously. A portion of the examples of asynchronous learning incorporates - taking up a self-managed course, presenting messages on different discussion gatherings, and trading email messages with at least one coach. Asynchronous e-learning offers accommodation, availability, and greatly fancied self-guided learning.

In any case, one of the real disadvantages of asynchronous online learning is that a student may feel isolated or less persuaded on the grounds that in this procedure, there is no open door to ongoing cooperation with different members.

3. Blended Online Learning

Photo: edubai
Photo: edubai

This is more often called the blended method of learning, a blend of regular up close and personal addresses, workshops, and instructional exercises with learning online through exercises like messaging, discussion through discussion sheets, tests, quizzes, and declarations.

In this type of learning, students get their feedback from online quizzes and tests, which cause them to identify provisos in their knowledge and ways to fill them. All of the presumed online foundations offer blended learning for the general advantages of the learning communities.

How many different types of Online Classes?

1. Video Online Course

Photo: learningrevolution
Photo: learningrevolution

Let’s start with a famous one, video lessons. They have been used for years for a few reasons. First, multimedia content is liked by most people. Second, you don’t need to set up any advanced technological platform or anything. They resemble normal lectures or presentations in most cases, which make them easier to make and digest for most people.

Of course, many like to add graphs, videos, and others to spice things up, but you can show them as a normal lecture.

Besides, people working close to the arts of the body will find this type very useful.

Now, as a short example, imagine you got a course about making cookies. You got 10 tips and tricks as well as recipes. You then just prepare your script (could be short) and record yourself talking about it/showing it. That is pretty much it!

2. Interactive Online Course

Photo: KnowInsiders
Photo: KnowInsiders

There are many reasons why you would opt for this type of course. One major one is learning only from video, especially for technical skills, could be challenging. Besides, interactive courses keep your audience learning and engaged. You don’t want them about to fall asleep in the middle of your videos!

Also, this method of learning does not need you to personally grade their progress as if you were a teacher. You can set up a system of multiple-choice answers, and let technology do its job!

One great example of an online course is inarguably Duomly. It offers a broad range of courses that are well structured from top to bottom. Each section is divided into small parts, that test your learning as every new important concept is introduced.

Besides, it is suitable for people with short spare time since they can progress as they see fit. There is no need to expend 1h watching a whole lecture!

3. Written Online Course

Photo: freestudy
Photo: freestudy

You may rightly ask then, “why this one if interactive courses are so great?” Well, one reason is that some people are simply more old school. Traditional good old texts are what they look for. Another is that some topics may be more broad or complex. This makes shortening their explanations or dividing them into pieces, counterproductive. You either create room for confusion or unnecessarily prolong the course by doing this. None of them are recommended.

Another reason would be that simply you got several topics to teach about, but they don’t share a lot in common. In an interactive course, those that are not very related won’t be mentioned. But in the case of written courses, you can definitely add the topic to your platform.

Besides, written texts have this special vibe and connection with the audience that none of the 2 above have.

Duomly, again has a great example of this, Duomly Blog. In it, you will find well-written, concise but well-elaborated pieces that will teach you a whole range of things. It also counts with step-by-step explanations and all types of visual guides like screenshots. All of this and more form part of an overall admirable experience.

4. Webinar

Photo: minara
Photo: minara

Like video courses, webinars are accessible and very famous. One particularity is the option to interact with members of the panel, and with the audience via Q&As. Besides, while it is less flexible than the other ones because most likely you will be showing a ppt, it is friendly for all types of audiences. This is because we, regardless of age/education level, are familiar with presentations. Also, because the format is stricter, you will find it less time-consuming. There won’t be a need to post videos, let alone interactive sections anywhere. But, of course, solid preparation is needed, so it is not necessarily easier.

5. Email Course

Photo: mmgroup
Photo: mmgroup

We are all familiar with emails of all kinds, but their use for courses is largely unexplored.

Emailing is great at this and works like written online courses do. Plus, they offer similar advantages and benefits.

There are a few differences though. For example, they will tend to be shorter. Also, the way of addressing your audience is more personal, you are literally appearing in their inbox. This is different from the normal dynamic of them somehow entering your site.

Lastly, it is also important to note that these types of courses won’t be for everyone. Not only because it works for some type of content better than others. Imagine teaching how to play the guitar by using this method. But also, because getting the email listing is a different dynamic.

6. One-to-One Training

Photo: bizlibrary
Photo: bizlibrary

One of the favorites of those that are learning practical skills. One good aspect of this type is that you got full liberty to structure the class. So, you can ensure a great model considering your and your student’s goals/preferences.

This type can also be used for other types of skills as well, but with certain limitations. For example, say that you are teaching something to someone completely new. No matter how much you both try, there is a learning process in there. You can accelerate it, but don’t delete it altogether, meaning there will be some waiting time.

This leads us to consider these types of classes mostly for specialized students. For example, one great idea would be to have online courses that put everyone from your audience at a certain knowledge level. And then, use 1-1 training to maximize time and overall classes effectiveness.

7. Boot Camp

Photo: kuppingercole
Photo: kuppingercole

This type, of course, is for those that want to get the most out of classes ASAP. The idea is to be short and intense; we are talking a few hours per day/week. It is not pushing it, but only adding the right amount of pressure to maximize learning. Bare that in mind!

Also, remember our previous point about the learning curve. Say, you are teaching quantum physics, in 2 weeks you won’t cover a whole semester. Because almost no one will handle that without getting overwhelmed and burned out.

Lastly, boot camps are great because they are flexible as well. Flexible not when they start but after. You can use everything from books to videos, graphs, 1-1 talks, lectures, etc. And schedule the plan as you see fit. But then, you stick to the schedule for good, something that 1-1 classes can change.

Types of support in online classrooms

Both bent and fully online classrooms may offer supports that fit the needs of kids with learning and attention challenges. These supports fall into two main categories:

Classrooms with “accessible options” provide things like larger digital text size and text-to-speech applications. These supports are largely used to address physical and sensory processing issues — along with reading issues.

Classrooms with “cognitive access” provide supports to help students with learning and thinking differences. Those might include graphic organizers, scaffolding chunking material, multiple displays, and the use of audio and video to share material.

When considering different types of online learning for your child, it’s important to ask these questions:

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