How online learning differs from distance learning

Why are some courses called remote while others are online? What is the fundamental difference between them, and is it even there? In this material we tried to understand these questions and gave some small recommendations on how to choose a training program for those who plan to improve their skills and learn new skills useful for the profession.

Distance Learning This word

combination is most often associated with distance learning, but it implies a completely different concept.

Distance learning is a form of education in which a teacher and a student interact from a distance using information technology.

During distance learning, a student studies independently in a developed program, reviews webinar records, solves problems, consults with an instructor in an online chat room, and periodically submits his or her work to the instructor for review. Distance learning became popular with the advent of the Internet, opening new development opportunities for residents of remote communities and business people with busy schedules. In the beginning, distance learning was perceived only as an additional way to acquire knowledge or prepare for exams.

Now you can take full-fledged distance learning courses and advanced training programs from prestigious universities, commercial and non-profit companies from different countries, anywhere in the world. Whether there are differences between distance learning and online learning, we asked those who work in this field:

Online training

Online learning is the acquisition of knowledge and skills through a computer or other gadget connected to the Internet in the mode “here and now”. This format of training is also called e-learning or “e-learning”. And it is considered a logical continuation of distance learning. And the word “online” only indicates the way to obtain knowledge and the teacher’s connection with the student. During online learning, a student watches lectures in a video or in a live broadcast, passes interactive tests, shares files with the tutor, communicates with classmates and teachers in chat rooms, passes quests, and so on. This training allows you to fully immerse yourself in the educational environment and improve your skills on the job.

Similarities and differences between online and distance learning

The main similarity of online and distance learning is the process of obtaining new knowledge and skills outside the classroom and direct contact with teachers. The term “distance learning” indicates that there is a distance between student and instructor. And “online learning” means that this learning happens through an Internet connection and gadgets.

Otherwise, they are almost completely identical and have such advantages:

  • individual pace of learning – you can study materials according to your own schedule, without being tied to the group, time and place of study
  • availability – you can study from any computer at a convenient time
  • personal consultation with the tutor – effective feedback from teachers during the entire period of training
  • course in the “pocket” – you can at any time revise the lesson or missed a webinar in the record, download training materials and pass the job to the tutor for inspection.

The main questions when choosing an online/distance learning course

In this variety of formats and names it is very easy to get lost and it is difficult to choose a quality online training or professional development program.

t is worth asking a few questions to the training centers before enrolling in an online course or training. Here is a short list of such questions:

Are there free trial lessons or introductory course excerpts?

The demo version of the course and training helps to familiarize yourself with the course content, the level of presentation and to decide whether the online learning format is appropriate for you.

Does the training center have accreditation for training in any of the programs? A positive answer to this question, backed up by appropriate documentation, can guarantee the completeness and quality of training at the center. read more here https://argoprep.com/blog/k8/benefits-of-homeschooling/

Formal accreditations are issued by national and international professional organizations only to qualified providers.

What requirements does the program have for students? If a program sets out the requirements for a student’s level of training or qualifications, it means that the program is designed for a particular audience and experience, which increases the usefulness of the material. Will I have to complete any written assignments? Having practical assignments is an undeniable advantage in any online course. The more assignments, the higher the probability of qualitative mastery of new skills and knowledge. Who can I contact in case of technical problems (access to materials, teacher, downloading completed assignments)?

Who can solve them and how quickly? Ideally, the student should have his/her own virtual office on the portal. It is where all training, assignments, communication with the teacher and administrators take place. If there is no one, then providers of training should specify contact numbers, mail addresses and/or links to profiles in social networks of administrators and curators for communication.

How can I contact the instructor for consultation and how often can I do this? The presence and frequency of contact with a teacher has a significant impact on the quality of learning. The easier it is for a student to consult with the instructor and clarify the correctness of a task or topic, the better the quality of online learning. The Internet and digital technologies have mixed online and distance learning concepts. Both variants of the titles imply learning outside the classroom, on their own schedule.

Now the main question for all professionals who want to improve their skills or learn something new is not the format of training, but in its quality, duration and relevance of the acquired knowledge.

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