E-learning is learning which takes place as a result of experiences and access to a rich variety of learning resources available through the internet. E-learning is also interactive and allows students to learn at their own pace with continual feedback to them and their teachers regarding their progress. It is not restricted to a regular school day and can take place in a variety of locations including home, school and community locations e.g. libraries, cafes etc.
The Web is a medium today's kids expect to use for expression and communication—the world into which they were born.
While acknowledging the Internet is not a panacea for every problem in education, web-based learning does have unique capabilities:
- To center learning around the student instead of the classroom
- To focus on the strengths and needs of individual learners
- To make lifelong learning a practical reality
Here is a comparison of Conventional Learning Versus E-Learning:
Students attend a school in their local community.
Students participate from a variety of locations and may "attend" multiple learning institutions and/or their local school.
Classes are scheduled according to school hours and timetables.
Students can determine the times when they access e-learning.
Students are directed to work individually or in groups.
Students can choose to work individually or collaboratively with people who may or may not be physically located in their regular class.
Classes are synchronous. Teachers and students interact in real time.
Classes may be synchronous or asynchronous.
Students are generally enrolled with one school
Students can take classes from more than one school.
Learning objectives are set by the teacher and institution.
Students can set their own objectives and explore their own learning needs and agendas.
Students follow a linear pattern influenced by the needs of other class members and the teacher's planning.
Students can follow a non-linear path at a pace that meets their individual needs at that time, i.e. just-in-time learning. The teacher is facilitating the activity.
Conventional teachers work in only one school.
E-teachers can work in more than one school.
According to online learning surveys conducted by the Sloan Consortium, there were 6,142,280 people enrolled in at least one online course in 2010.
This number continues to increase today, especially as access to massively open online courses (MOOCs) grows.
But why do people take courses online? The general perception is that web classes are convenient and less expensive, but is this true? As it turns out, online degrees and courses are not necessarily any less expensive than if you were to attend an on-campus class.
For example, if you want to take an online class at New York University, you will be paying the same cost per credit hour as a student who sits in class to listen to a professor.
However, you will not have to commute to class, which saves you gas or transportation expenses. You will not have to live on campus, which can save you thousands of dollars a year. Also, courses and degree programs that are designed to be completed online often have content that is digital, which means no textbook cost.
Find the right online school for you... and the most affordable!
For help finding the most affordable online schools try out the directory of Online Colleges and Universities ranked from cheapest to the most expensive at the Affordable Schools Online website.
Other valuable resources found on this website's menu include:
Paying for College