We'll discuss the similarities and differences between online learning and elearning.

Online Learning vs eLearning: Are They the Same?

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Confused about online learning vs eLearning? We don’t blame you!

Learning online is a vast landscape. If asked, most of us would describe learning online in one specific way: learning on a computer. online learning and eLearning actually have more complex definitions that involve several components.

There are some people who use these terms interchangeably while others have distinct meanings for the same term. The terms online learning and e-learning both imply the use of technology in education, but how students interact with the technology is somewhat different.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about online learning vs elearning definitions, similarities, and differences so you can decide which one is best for your needs.

Online Learning vs eLearning Definitions

The following definitions for online learning vs elearning are the most common, and in our professional opinion, the most accurate and up-to-date definitions.

The first step in understanding the difference between online learning and elearning is to understand their definitions.

What Is Online Learning?

Online learning, also called remote learning or distance learning, is defined as “the process of delivering education to students who are not physically present in a classroom.” It is the main element of online courses is to have a learning experience by using an internet connection. The students have to use certain techniques to get this learning experience. In other words, online learning can be described as the combination of blended learning and e-Learning as it generally uses online video conferencing software like Zoom and Classin etc. for learning the course.

In summary, online learning is:

  • Same structure as elearning.
  • Specific purpose is to attract students from all locations.
  • Students typically only have access to the content during learning time.
  • Can provide instruction to someone learning in a different time and place than that of the teacher and other students.

What Is E-Learning?

eLearning, on the other hand, is defined as “the use of electronic media and information and communication technologies (ICT) in education.” In eLearning, the students and the teacher interact fully online in this type of learning.

This form of learning involves the students taking a course from the teacher without physically visiting an actual classroom, face-to-face with the teacher. Both of them communicate and learn the courses online even if they are on the same premise.

Though students can use offline materials like paper to send their response they are connected with their teacher through an internet connection only. They can send the picture of their response online to their teacher.

In summary, elearning is:

  • Elearning utilizes digital tools for teaching and learning, and the technology facilitates the learning process.
  • Can be used online or in a classroom setting.
  • Students take a course from a teacher but only interact with the teacher online.
  • Students have unlimited access to the content.
  • The course completion, program, or degree is distributed online.

Now that we know the definitions of online learning and eLearning, let’s discuss the key similarities and differences between the two.

Similarities Between Online Learning and eLearning

Though online learning and eLearning differ in their definitions, there are several similarities between the two.

Though online learning and eLearning differ in their definitions, there are several similarities between the two. Both online learning and eLearning use technology to facilitate the learning process.

They can be used in a classroom setting or online. And they have unlimited access to the content. The course completion, program, or degree is distributed online. These factors make online learning and eLearning very similar to one another.

Now that we know the key similarities between online learning and eLearning, let’s discuss the key differences.

Key Differences Between Online Learning and eLearning

There are several key differences between online learning and eLearning. One of the main differences is that online learning is often done in real time between a teacher and student(s) while eLearning is done in a pre-recorded, self-paced setting.

Additionally, online learning is done synchronously (in real-time) while eLearning can be done either synchronously or asynchronously. This means that online learning requires all participants to be logged in at the same time while eLearning does not.

Another key difference is that online learning requires a high degree of interaction between the teacher and student(s).

This interaction can happen in real-time through video conferencing or by phone. eLearning, on the other hand, is a more independent learning experience and therefore has less interaction between the teacher and student.

Finally, online learning is often used to supplement traditional classroom learning while eLearning is used as a replacement for traditional classroom learning.

Background of Online Learning

It only took one generation for online learning to be born, evolve, and become the future of higher education. Students today expect professional certificate programs to have at least an online component, if not to be completely online.

Of course, there are certain advantages and disadvantages to both online learning as well as e-learning. It is up to the teachers to help learners maximize the former and minimize the latter of both online learning as well as e-learning.

With a firm grasp on concepts and terminology associated with online learning, teachers can be better equipped to help students succeed.

By 2021, the number of users enrolled for various online learning certifications is estimated to reach 9.6 Million.

However, through the process of overcoming challenges and rejection, online education has come a long way. Technological progress is accelerating at an exponential rate all over the world. And it was in this digital learning environment that online education was born.

Online Learning vs eLearning Platforms

There are a few online learning platforms that have become popular in recent years. Some of these platforms include Zoom, Classin, Google Classroom, and Blackboard.

eLearning platforms, on the other hand, are designed to be used in a more independent learning setting. Some popular eLearning platforms include Coursera and Udemy.

Pro Tip: The Tutor Resource is compatible with online learning platforms and is also its own eLearning platform!

When deciding which platform to use for your online learning or eLearning needs, it is important to consider your specific needs and goals.

If you are looking for a platform that will allow you to interact with your students in real time, then a online learning platform like Zoom or Classin would be a good choice.

If you are looking for a platform that will allow you to create and distribute your own courses, then an eLearning platform like the Tutor Resource is a great option.

No matter what your online learning or eLearning needs are, there is a platform out there that is perfect for you!

Do Students Prefer Online Learning vs eLearning?

There is no easy answer when it comes to whether students prefer online learning or eLearning. It really depends on the student’s individual learning style and needs.

Some students prefer the structure and interaction that online learning provides. Others prefer the flexibility and independence that eLearning provides.

The best way to figure out which learning style is right for your students is to try both online learning and eLearning and see which one they have the best results with.

Pro Tip: The Tutor Resource has both online learning and eLearning courses available as part of our learning management system (LMS)!

No matter what your students’ needs are, online learning and eLearning can provide a great learning experience.

Which One is Better: Online Learning vs eLearning?

Now that we’ve discussed the key differences between online learning and eLearning, you might be wondering which one is better.

The short answer is neither is better. In reality, the answer to this question will be different for everyone. It really depends on your specific needs and goals. If you are looking for a more interactive learning experience, then online learning might be the better option for you.

Choosing between them is a personal decision. Virtual learning can be useful to those who want more interaction. It’s the most realistic way to experience a classroom without actually attending one.

If you’re confident in your student’s abilities to learn independently, eLearning could be a great option for you.

These courses are perfect for those who want to dip their toes into web-based education, or for people who just want to brush up on existing skills. Plus, they can save you and your students time and money!

If you are looking for a more independent learning experience, then eLearning might be the better option for you.

Related Learning:
How to Start an Online Tutoring Business
20 Ways to Find Students for Online Teaching
The Role of Teacher Self-Reflection in Online Teaching

Conclusion: Online Learning vs eLearning

Much has altered in the realm of education over the past century. In days gone by, the only way to gain an education was to attend class in-person, which for many meant relocating and footing school-related expenses.

Nowadays, however, students are far more independent, start learning earlier, and don’t procrastinate. They are very motivated to take their education into their own hands.

With technology at our fingertips tips—specifically the internet—learning can now take place anywhere learning takes place via various means.

Therefore, it is important to understand how online learning vs eLearning compares before making a decision on which form better suits your needs.

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