Discover the different types of online learning in this short guide today!
Remote learning has brought about plenty of opportunities for both working professionals and students to pursue additional learning opportunities beyond traditional schooling. Trusted e-learning solutions providers around the world are giving access to different types of online learning for users to utilize during their downtime. If you are a working professional or student looking to take on online classes but are not sure what type of e-learning suits you best, then this guide is perfect for you.
Why Should I Explore the Modes of Online Learning?
When it comes to pursuing education, it pays to remember that not all people learn the same way. The Learning Styles Theory was one such school of thought that gained popularity in the early 90s. The theory was defined by its use of the VARK model-- a model crafted by Neil Fleming and championed by himself and Colleen Mills to discern which of the 4 learning styles a student best learns under. Under this model, there were four primary types of learning styles available:
- Visual: Learns best with visual aids
- Auditory: Learns best with auditory cues
- Reading: Learns best through scholarly or academic reading
- Kinesthetic: Learns best through touch and experience
The VARK model has long been used in traditional learning set-ups and has also found that some learners tend to be multi-modal rather than clear cut. While there is no doubt that the VARK theory still applies to a classroom set-up, these learning styles still factor in when considering the different kinds of online learning available for you to take.
When signing up for classes online, you can improve the chances of you sticking with your online education by picking a module that best suits how you learn and perform even in a virtual setting. We list here in below some of the most common types of online learning formats available for users to enroll in:
Asynchronous Online Learning
Toted as a more ‘independent’ style of group learning, asynchronous online learning is defined by its student centricity and independent study. While students enrolled in this type of module sometimes still interact by way of groupworks and online communications, most students in this type of remote learning arrangement set their own time frames and engage in self-paced study.
Most interaction and outputs shall be between yourself and your online academic mentor but you will still have control over how and when you study.
Take this Type If: You are working a full-time or part-time job and you are balancing your career with a degree. By going for an asynchronous type of e-learning, you don’t have to worry about schedule conflicts due to your shift or missing class and deadlines because you lack the time. Most asynchronous modules require plenty of reading, visual, or auditory aid to provide instruction and resources. If those three suit your learning style, then you will likely enjoy this arrangement.
Synchronous Online Learning
This type of virtual learning marries the interactive qualities of a traditional classroom setting shared among classmates with the flexibility, safety, and remote availability of online instruction. Synchronous courses are easier to adjust to for students with more experience in a brick-and-mortar classroom because of its webinar-style format. Mingle with your classmates and participate in a back-and-forth style of recitation with your teacher through the safety and convenience of an internet connection and a web camera.
While there is some input and coaching from your instructor, one of the biggest merits of this mode of online learning is being able to exchange ideas with your classmates. Many primary and secondary learning institutions have opted to adapt synchronous learning during the pandemic, as it offers a recognizable type of online learning due to its resemblance to fixed class times and activities.
Take this Type If: You enjoy the structure and interaction with your classmates and instructors that this kind of virtual learning can provide. While it may not provide the same sense of flexibility that full-time employees can enjoy from an asynchronous style, it certainly helps students that learn more with auditory cues and experience by virtue of exchanging and pitching ideas.
Interactive Online Learning
Though different types of online education exist, this particular type is one that really allows the role of an online academic mentor to shine. While interactive online learning shares many similarities with an asynchronous learning format, it is markedly focused on a more individual learning experience. Collaboration with other students is almost non-existent, as the primary mode of communication is a two-way learning platform between you (the student) and the instructor. Based on how students and mentors respond and perform on the platform, adjustments to the module (type of material, type of output etc.) can be made to accommodate the student’s unique learning style or circumstances.
Take this Type If: You want a type of virtual learning that really allows you to learn more from your instructor. With this interactive learning style, the instructor has more leeway, time, and focus to direct to you and your outputs. This means that you have greater opportunities to receive coaching or advice that can even directly guide you in your career if you work in a related field. Students that prefer a hands-on or kinesthetic approach will enjoy the free reign that they can experience as they produce their outputs while still receiving the necessary feedback for maximizing their learnings.
These three types of online learning formats are some of the most common in today’s era of virtual education. We hope that the insights we shared can help to guide you in your selection process, so that you can enroll in a module that best suits your learning style and personal circumstances.
If you are a professor that wants to create a module around these three learning styles, put your teachings to good use by becoming a virtual mentor for students all over the Philippines. However, if you see these kinds of virtual learning as opportunities for an institution that you represent, get in touch with us for a possible partnership that can enrich chances for continuous learning.