Thanks to the rapid advancement of technology, online learning is a part of many institutions' course offerings around the world. From Schools, Colleges, Universities, PHD's or even a basic Education Institution can now offer their own platform for impactful online learning and everything in between, learning online has never been so easy!
Online learning offers you all the perks of attending regular institute, with the added convenience of a learning experience tailored to students schedule.. Institutions can make courses available in almost every subject, and flexible timetables, also students are increasingly turning to online learning as a viable alternative to on-campus study. It can allow you to study abroad remotely, at a university not in your home country!
Advances in technology now allow students to study entirely online while still socializing with classmates, watching lectures and participating in subject-specific discussions.
While some consider online learning to require a greater degree of self-motivation, institutions recognize that educational support is just as important as tutor feedback, and take great care to ensure that their students receive the same levels of support that they would receive on campus.
School or course instructor will determine the format for each individual course and will select delivery methods that are best suited to your course or program. What a Biology major needs to learn successfully online will differ from what an Art History major needs!
Online learning may be a completely new experience for you. If you're coming from a more traditional learning background, read on to discover how to make the most of the resources you may encounter in your online learning journey!
These written materials are essential resources in almost every course you'll take when learning online.
Using the reading list for each course, or on the advice of your course instructor, you'll need to dedicate the amount of time you need to reading and understanding the topics in the literature. The main advantage of using this medium (particularly eBooks) is the fact that they are completely portable, allowing you to study on the go from your computer, phone or tablet.
When you’re researching a course or program, remember to check whether your textbooks are included in your tuition fees! You may have to pay extra for your textbooks, or they may be available as eBooks from your institution's library.
An essential way of absorbing a large amount of information in a relatively short amount of time, lectures are a staple of online and campus-based learning. With online learning, you can attend lectures from your bedroom!
If you can, make notes throughout your lectures; this will make it easier to review for exams, and any assignments you'll need to complete throughout your course.
The greatest challenge an online education provider faces is how to replicate the face-to-face interaction and in-person discussions that on-campus institutions can easily provide.
The solution? Online degree programs often use a combination of discussion forums and interactive question-and-answer sessions to give you the interaction with other students and instructors you need.
Before beginning an online discussion forum or interactive session, make sure you read the rules and requirements; some institutions may require you to create posts that have a minimum word count.
"For institutions using 100% online resources, students can expect to study using a combination of cutting-edge technological resources with no need to travel to attend lectures, exams or in-person discussion sessions."
Online students often think that their learning resources will be delivered via email, or even by snail mail! Most online institutions are moving away from this unreliable method of delivery.
The course or module’s learning resources will be delivered via the institution’s online learning environment or platform. The learning platform will vary depending on the software used, but it will usually consist of a central online platform that students can access from their personal PC, mobile or tablet.
One of the major benefits of utilizing resources that are hosted entirely online is unending flexibility!
As an online student, you can choose to access your course information and complete your assignments at any time. This allows you to fit study time in around your work, family and other commitments. This also means that students who wish to continue working while studying do not have to put their careers on hold. Get the best of both worlds!
Students taking a degree program or an individual course online will still be tested at regular intervals throughout their study period to assess their understanding of the course materials.
For those new to online education, this process can be intimidating. But there's no need to worry! Online institutions are experienced professionals, they'll ensure that your assessments are fair, comfortable, and designed to help you make the most of your learning experience.
Discover the assessment types you're likely to encounter when taking an online degree program or course:
These are probably the method of assessment that students will have the most experience with. For each assignment, you’ll receive your topic, deadline and word count. You'll be required to produce a structured, reasoned argument within the boundaries set out by your course instructor.
Face-to-face discussions between friends and colleagues is something that we all do every day. However, an online academic discussion requires a different set of skills, and might not come as naturally when your first start your online learning journey. Not to worry, you'll get the hang of it!
These activities will differ depending on the institution, but your course instructor will generally start each discussion off with a question or topic for debate. Students then need to research the topic and post their responses to the task demonstrating their own knowledge and understanding. Often, you'll end up in a debate with the ideas and views posted by fellow students.
Like discussion boards, journal activities tend to be specific to online courses. A journal entry is an ongoing update giving you the opportunity to reflect back on what you've learned during the period under review, and how you'll apply what you've learned in the future. Online learning doesn't take place in classrooms, and journal entries are straightforward ways for course instructors to get a grasp of how you're progressing through the course and if you're gaining knowledge in the right areas.
Unlike other assignments, it is acceptable to use a subjective, personal style of writing in journal entries and refer to yourself in the first person. Think, "Over the last week, I've learned how to ..." Journal entries are often required, but ungraded - be genuine!
Although they can be nerve-wracking, exams are a key way to test your learning.
Institutions may choose to allow students to complete their exams on their own personal computer, in a location of their choosing. Because tutors have no way to oversee a virtual exam or test, they are typically open-book and open-note. As a viable alternative, many institutions will offer the option of completing 'take-home' examinations in the form of an essay or final assignment. Some institutions may use exam software like virtual proctors, or tools to monitor if you visit new web pages.
Misinformation abounds that online students can simply cheat their way to success by purchasing assignments or using revision materials during virtual examinations. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Online learning doesn't mean easier learning! Online institutions should adhere to the same standards of excellence as brick-and-mortar institutions. As online learning technology has developed, virtual institutions have perfected digital processes to prevent cheating and/or plagiarism.
Course instructors and online institutions work hard to ensure that cheating is almost impossible in an online course. By making use of advanced plagiarism detection software, all submissions you make for your online course, from examinations to assignments are scrutinized electronically using anti-plagiarism software, and then will also be subject to additional checks by your instructor.
Many online institutions are fully accredited institutes of higher learning. Your institution will clearly state the type of qualification you'll gain from pursuing an online program with them - from bachelor to master degrees, graduate certificates, and everything in-between. Use online learning to gain the qualifications you need!
Despite this, students researching online institutions are still encouraged to research their accreditation, the type of qualification you'll earn from an online learning program, and the nature of the online institution itself.
The rules for accreditation and the types of qualifications an online institution is permitted to give students can vary depending on a number of factors, including:
Students use online learning to studying entire degree programs, get particular certifications to take the next step in their careers, or to pursue a practical qualification available online.
No matter why you're looking to learn online, ensure that you have a full understanding of the type of institution you'll be studying at, and how the qualifications they offer will be recognized in your country or by future employers before signing up!
Many online institutions will partner with campus-based universities to create and deliver their online programs. This enables an online institution to benefit from the specialized knowledge and technology that an online provider can offer, while the online institution is then able to offer validated degree courses through the brick-and-mortar institution.
"Students considering online study should not be deterred by old-fashioned ideas about ‘real’ degrees only being awarded by campus-based institutions."
Once you have an in-depth understanding of how your qualifications earned online are recognized in your country, you'll be able to plan how you'll talk about your online learning experience to employers!
Many employers make no differentiation between online degrees and degrees earned on campus - as long as your qualifications are recognized in your field. For some employers, gaining your qualifications online will provide you with a unique skill set to help you stand out from the crowd of other applicants.
Students considering online study should not be deterred by old-fashioned ideas about ‘real’ degrees only being awarded by campus-based institutions. In fact, many employers now recognize that studying online (and part-time) takes a large amount of dedication and commitment. The passion and drive needed to achieve your qualifications online are characteristics of many star employees across industries.
Think studying for an online degree is something uncommon? Think again; the latest statistics show that around 33% of college students are taking at least one course online and “eventually, one - third of college students expect to study online, one - third expect to study only on campus, and one - third will do both.” This increased participation will naturally lead to increased recognition of online learning.Furthermore,
An important aspect that determines the quality of a study experience is the level of support that students receive. Many students worry that online institutions will not be able to provide the support that they need. This concern is increasingly being recognized by online learning providers, and many are working hard to ensure that students’ needs are met in all areas.
The main concern that potential students have regarding support is the lack of face-to-face help that an online course provides; however, by using technology like video calling and the more traditional phone and email, virtual institutions are increasingly bridging the gap between online and on-campus student support.
A dedicated Student Support team often forms the core of online institutions' student support functions. The sole responsibility of this team is to provide pastoral care and support. Online (and part-time) students can experience problems and issues that are unique to this mode of study, and online learning institutions Student Support teams will be experienced and sympathetic to the range of issues experienced by online learners.
Student Support teams are often trained in providing advice on issues from financial troubles to family commitments, and can range from minor technology troubleshooting to major life events like a bereavement.
This isn’t the only support you receive on an online course; your fellow students are also a great source of help and advice. Using online discussion forums provided by the institution, WhatsApp and even Facebook groups, students can create an online community that supports each classmate as they overcome obstacles together as a group.
The role that personal and pastoral support plays in an online student’s success cannot be overstated. However, academic support also plays a vital role in creating a supportive learning environment.
Online institutions vary, but many utilize a combination of in-house and freelance course instructors to create and deliver their courses. These instructors will be qualified subject experts and will be able to give academic guidance and feedback at any point in the course.
Academic feedback can sometimes be tough to receive, particularly if you’ve put a great deal of effort into a piece, but this can often be the first step towards improvement and greater confidence. Your instructors will always provide constructive commentary, giving tips and advice for the future, and this can then lead to improved confidence in decision-making and broader subject-specific understanding.
Depending on the institution, your instructor should also be available for individual sessions, and you should also be able to contact your instructor directly. Individual sessions with your instructor will enable you to ask questions about topics covered within the course, and request further feedback on your progress and areas of development.
Computer-based training, Web-based training, Internet based training, online training, e-learning (electronic learning), m-learning (mobile learning), computer-aided distance education - online education goes by many names and comes in a variety of styles, but at its core:
“Online education is electronically supported learning that relies on the Internet for teacher/student interaction and the distribution of class materials.”
From this simple definition comes an almost infinite number of ways to teach and learn outside
of traditional classrooms and away from college campuses. With online education, students
can turn anywhere with Internet access and electricity into a classroom. It can include
audio, video, text, animations, virtual training environments and live chats with
professors. It’s a rich learning environment with much more flexibility than a traditional
When used to its full potential, online education has been shown to be more effective than pure face-to-face instruction. It can be engaging, fun and tailored to ﬁt almost anyone’s schedule.
It's not easier studying online! Online institutions must meet with the same quality requirements as brick-and-mortar institutions. With the advancement of online learning technologies, virtual institutions have enhanced automated processes to deter fraud and/or plagiarism.
Many online institutions will partner with universities on campus to develop and deliver online programs. This enables an online service, while providing validated course studies through the brick-and-mortar institution, to benefit from the advanced expertise and technology that an online provider provides.
E-learning, also referred to as online learning or electronic learning, is the acquisition of knowledge which takes place through electronic technologies and media. In simple language, e-learning is defined as learning that is enabled electronically”. Typically, e-learning is conducted on the Internet, where students can access their learning materials online at any place and time. E-Learning most often takes place in the form of online courses, online degrees, or online programs. There are many e-learning examples out there, and we’ve covered those in greater detail in our previous articles.
Online learning has numerous advantages over traditional learning methods. Some of these include the possibility for students to make use of self-paced learning and to choose their own learning environments. Additionally, e-learning is both cost-effective and cost-efficient, as it removes the geographical obstacles often associated with traditional classrooms and education.
Taking these benefits and many more into consideration, it becomes evident why the current trends in e-learning show remarkable growth for the industry. Worldwide e-learning revenue is expected to grow to $325 Billion by 2025, which is remarkable considering the fact that the number was three times smaller $107 Billion, in 2015.
With that being said, it must be noted that e-learning is not perfect. Conducting any of the various types of e-learning through the Internet means sacrifices in one way or another. Increased risk of cheating during assessments, social isolation, and lack of communicational skill development in online students are just some of the challenges of e-learning which need to be addressed. Read our separate post on the disadvantages of e-learning in order to get a better overview of the drawbacks associated with e-learning.
To give you some visual stimulus, here’s a short video to demonstrate what is e-learning:
There are as many definitions of e-learning as there are educational scientists in the world. In order to get a better overview of the various academic definitions of e-learning, let’s take a look at some examples from different academic institutions and educational researchers.
E-Learning has a vast amount of uses across all sectors of society and the available examples of e-learning being used effectively are plentiful.
For educational institutions, e-learning brings perhaps the most potential uses of all. Many accredited online colleges already offer online degree programs, and more of them will start to do so in the upcoming years. E-Learning degrees enable universities to accept considerably more students than they would have otherwise been able to due to space and working staff constraints. With e-learning, universities have the chance to become more international than ever before. With increased amounts of admitted students and reduced costs, educational institutions who are properly able to adapt to the standards of Internet learning will undoubtedly see increased profitability.
The future of online learning will continue to see exponential growth. As more educational institutions, corporations, and online learners worldwide start to recognize the importance of online learning, its role in education will only continue to rise. Online learning already has numerous uses in education, and its future roles in education are going to be immense. The agendas of the most successful educational institutions in the world have already recognized that online learning can transform people, knowledge, skills, and performance, and other educational institutions will likely follow suit sooner rather than later.
However, we must not get ahead of ourselves. While the world of online education is undoubtedly an exciting world to be in, many students who are uncomfortable with online learning still prefer the traditional live, in-person teaching methods which they are used to. All students have unique learning styles and online learning will likely never be a one-size-fits-all type of solution to education.
With that being said, there’s no doubt in the fact that we are in the beginning phase of a new era in education. What is e-learning right now, will pale in comparison to what is online learning in the years to come.
It’s likely that anyone who uses eLearning will tell you how impactful and convenient it is. In today’s “always-on” world, eLearning offers many benefits to both learners and organizations. But what is eLearning, exactly?
Whether you’re an eLearning expert or beginner, there’s no denying its popularity has skyrocketed over the past decade. For employers, it offers an affordable, time-efficient way to train employees. In return, employees benefit from convenient training that enhances their skills and knowledge.
It’s also used by organizations to train their partners and customers to increase adoption, retention, and ultimately, revenue. The demand for eLearning solutions shows no signs of fading, with the market expected to reach $275 billion by 2022.
Let’s take a closer look at what eLearning is, different eLearning types and tools, and the benefits it offers your organization.
To get started, let’s establish an eLearning definition.
So, what is eLearning?
eLearning, or electronic learning, is the delivery of learning and training through digital resources. Although eLearning is based on formalized learning, it is provided through electronic devices such as computers, tablets and even cellular phones that are connected to the internet. This makes it easy for users to learn anytime, anywhere, with few, if any, restrictions.
Basically, eLearning is training, learning, or education delivered online through a computer or any other digital device.
To better understand how eLearning benefits organizations today, it’s helpful to look at its past. Elliott Maisie coined the term “eLearning” in 1999, marking the first time the phrase was used professionally. In the years since, eLearning’s reputation has gone from strength to strength. But what factors have facilitated eLearning in becoming the most popular way to deliver training today?
Some of these factors include:
Now that we’ve outlined the definition and history (rise?) of eLearning, you’ll have a better idea of exactly what it is. Implementing eLearning into your organization is beneficial and easy to do.
Whether you want to use eLearning to keep your employees up to date on company policies, or to help your customers better understand your product, there are a number of eLearning methods you can use.
A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that is used to deliver online training. A great LMS will go beyond this, by providing you with the features and support you need to execute your eLearning strategy perfectly.
Selecting an LMS can be daunting at first, but analyzing your training needs and defining your requirements, should narrow your search significantly. There are several different types of LMS’s that you can choose from, such as cloud-based, open source, commercial, and installation-based.
Cloud-based LMS’s have become the default for online learning as they allow you to quickly create courses, enroll users easily, and accurately report on learner progress.
A good cloud-based LMS should allow you to easily scale your training delivery and be backed by a superb customer success team whose sole objective is to ensure you succeed.
To those new to the eLearning world, SCORM seems like a confusing concept. But we’ll break it down here to help you better understand what it is.
The good news is that using SCORM provides your learner with a more interactive, engaging experience, and allows you greater control over the time spent on your courses.
SCORM is an acronym that stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. But don’t let that bewilder you!
Basically, SCORM is a set of technical specifications that were developed to provide a common approach to how eLearning content is developed and used. It standardizes the way in which eLearning courses are created and launched. Most SCORM courses are developed using popular authoring tools and therefore follow a similar structure.
To use SCORM in your eLearning, you need to ensure that you have a SCORM-compliant LMS. Be aware however that SCORM adds extra expense to eLearning delivery due to the cost of using an authoring tool.
However, the benefits of using SCORM within your eLearning courses makes it worth the investment.
People use eLearning for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s to develop new skills or learn remotely, the convenience and accessibility eLearning offers is huge. Here, we’ll explain the 4 types of eLearning training that LearnUpon helps you deliver.
Employee training is the most frequent type of eLearning organizations use an LMS for. Organizations utilize employee training for numerous reasons, such as onboarding new hires and improving employee performance. Training employees using an LMS formalizes training delivery and makes it more efficient.
Compared to traditional training, eLearning more effectively encourages professional development by promoting knowledge and an eLearning culture. Furthermore, your LMS should allow you to create exams, run reports and gather feedback so that you can continuously assess and improve training performance.
Compliance training is a necessity for most organizations. It informs your employees on the laws or regulations applicable to their role and industry. Compliance training is mandatory and tackles topics such as health, safety, and dignity in the workplace. Some examples of compliance training include:
Running a smooth compliance training program helps to minimize the risk of non-compliance and maintains your reputation. Your employees will also benefit from a safer, more productive workplace. Furthermore, keeping up-to-date with changing legislation and amending your training materials is made easier with eLearning via a reliable LMS.
The idea of training your customers may seem like an odd notion. But it has profound value! Customer training programs help your customers use and understand your product or service. This type of training is especially popular with software providers.
As well as raising the customer experience, customer training benefits the organizations that run them too. You will experience better customer onboarding, increased engagement with your product or services, and improved customer retention.
Also known as reseller training, gives your partners the tools they need to be successful members of your network. Types of training include product information training, sales training, support training, marketing guidance, etc. Often certified training is a prerequisite to becoming a partner.
Partner training presents many benefits; it can help you engage partners, reduce support costs, scale growth, and protect your brand.
The advantages of each of these 4 streams of training have been briefly outlined, and you’ll now have a better understanding of what eLearning offers you and your learners. Here we’ll talk in more detail about the broader benefits you’ll experience when you use eLearning in your organization.
This is one of the most significant benefits eLearning presents, and probably the most welcome! Traditional training can be expensive and often frustrating to maintain. eLearning removes the need for costly printed training materials and even on-site instructors. If modules within your content need to change, this can be done easily via your LMS without having to print and distribute updated training materials.
Time is precious, especially in a work environment, so why not save as much of it as you can? For employers, eLearning keeps any updates you need to impart simple. Whether you need to implement changes to your training content or company policies, eLearning allows you to easily add them to your LMS. This saves you a considerable amount of time on the organization of reprints, etc. Learners can also save time by accessing content where and when they need to, rather than relying on scheduled training. And you can use your LMS to automate manual tasks, making training management more time efficient.
eLearning allows learners to quickly and more easily complete their training, resulting in improved performance and greater productivity. Learners appreciate that they can participate in training at their convenience. They’re likely to feel more motivated to further their professional goals through eLearning, as it gives them the flexibility to learn at their own pace and from a location of their choosing.
More and more organizations are making a conscious effort to reduce their carbon footprint as part of their corporate responsibility strategy. eLearning is an effective method if you aim to have a lower environmental impact. It offers an alternative to paper-based learning and contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly workplace.
Now that you have a better understanding of what eLearning and its benefits, why not learn more about what VMS LMS can do for your organization? Schedule your free trial and demo today with a VMS Team.