Types of Online/Distance Learning
Over the years, people have used various terms to refer to distance education - correspondence education, independent study, distributed learning, flexible learning, and open learning. Earlier and presently also in distance learning, the student receive course materials including textbooks and other course materials through the post. Students can complete their work at their own pace, finishing the course according to their work and life schedule. Now today with the introduction of technology into distance education, newer terms are cropping up - online learning, e-learning, computer-based training (CBT), Internet-based training (IBT), or web-based training (WBT). Distance education is learning through technical media (printed material, audio material, video material, digital material) when there is a separation or distance between the teacher and the learner. The pandemic Covid-19 pushed almost everything online and this distance learning also replaced online learning which is good as it has so many advantages.
There are many advantages of online learning, such as making permanent professional contacts, a greater amount of teacher support, and a multimedia educational experience. With the advent and improvements in computer, digital, and Internet technology, the shift from the traditional classroom experience to online or distance learning only seems natural.
There are a variety of ways to structure online learning courses. The format depends on the purpose of the online course. Here we will understand how many types of online learning.
Video Conferencing: - Video conferencing is traditionally and the most common type of online learning where two or more participants use video to connect over the internet with the help of App or software. Video conferencing is the best way of one-to-one interaction between the student and the faculty. You need high-speed internet for flawless video conferencing.
Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Education: - Synchronous means “at the same time" and Asynchronous is just the opposite that is “not at the same time”. In Synchronous Distance Education, you can communicate live with your faculty and others by online or teleconferencing and solve your queries at the same time.
In Asynchronous distance education, students are free to complete their work at their own pace. Asynchronous distance education possesses a cluster of time-bound deadlines like weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Asynchronous distance education is best for big assignments and projects.
Open Schedule Online Courses: - Open schedule online courses fall under the asynchronous category. In this type, students are allocated with the greatest sum of freedom to complete the course. For this, the student will get online textbooks, bulletin boards, emails, and some reference study materials. Open scheduled online courses are extremely valuable for the students who love to work independently but it requires significant self-discipline, self-time management, and motivation.
Hybrid Distance Education: - Hybrid distance education is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous methods. It means, students are free to complete their project in some subjects and some subjects are time-bound.
Computer-Based Distance Education: - In computer-based distance education, students need to go to a classroom or computer lab at a designated time each week.
Fixed Time Online Courses: - This is the most common type of distance learning. Today every student is learning with this type. Teachers fix a time for online teaching and students need to log-in to their online for learning. These activities often include chats and discussion forums. Fixed time online courses encourage student interaction.