Online Learning Not One-Size-Fits-All
We have all seen a resurgence in online learning due to the pandemic, and it is not slowing down anytime soon. Online learning is not all one-size-fits-all either. The educational process was reimagined to give the information needed to earn a degree. It also offers the support and interaction studies need to be successful. There are four basic types of online learning. Understanding more about them allows you to determine which one is best for you and your particular needs and personality.
Asynchronous Online Courses
Students have the ability to pace themselves when using this type of course. The student can access their materials anytime day or night. It usually includes some virtual office hours, as well as a check-in conversation via messaging board or emails. Downloadable pre-recorded videos or slide presentations are used to distribute knowledge.
Synchronous Online Courses
These classes occur in real-time. Using many different forms of learning, including a live webinar, webcast, instant messaging, or a virtual classroom. Everyone, including the instructor, logs into the platform at the same time and date while the instructor delivers the lecture or other learning activities live.
Hybrid Online Courses
These type of courses combines different aspects of the above learning systems. They often include live classes several times over the semester, but also use pre-recorded lectures and presentations to deliver additional information. Students becoming teachers typically use hybrid learning. Also, in corporate environments, to teach leadership skills, sales, and other situations where you need face to face interaction.
Competency-Based Online Courses
This is a very custom type of learning where students master specific skills to support their goals. A mentor oversees the process and determines whether competency is reached. There are no pre-recorded lectures, but the student and mentor work together to create a learning process that works for their needs. Many colleges and universities use this form of learning to allow students to receive credit for skills they already have or can quickly learn.
Other Learning Methods
The best part of online learning is that it allows instructors to think outside of the box in regards to making learning more interactive and engaging. One way some instructors are doing this is via simulations and gamification. A simulation allows a student to gain skills in a safe virtual environment. This is very beneficial for classes that require a particular process or mechanical training.
Gamification makes learning more fun and engaging while they are learning. This is a method that many instructors are trying to use more and more, with young children and adults.
As you can see, the many types of learning allow you to find the one that works best for you. No matter which one you choose, you want to be sure it works for your own needs as far as flexibility and style. In this way, you can ensure you make the choice that will give you the highest chance for success.
By Janis Rodgers