When people ask "What is online learning?" a common source of that interest is the vast amount of information available and how online learning can be beneficial. Whether it's finishing a master's degree or learning how to play the piano, online learning is a common way to achieve these goals creatively.
The Online Learning Environment
Learners who engage in an online learning experience can learn through a distance written course or a learning management system. A learning management system (LMS) is a piece of software that can organize coursework and online testing tools in one place. Most online learning environments require students to report and log in to the course designed through the learning management system. Coursework material is sometimes downloadable for review and links other students in similar groups for communication online.
Asynchronous vs. Synchronous Learning
E-learning and distance education is usually delivered in two forms. Students can learn at their own pace or at a specified time in an online learning environment. This level of flexibility makes it a popular option for those busy with other commitments. Synchronous learning environments typically have a higher level of communication among peers because of time delivery. The self-paced asynchronous style of learning is common with learners looking for a more customized experience. For example, learners that engage better with visuals and a higher level of creative presentation may enjoy a hybrid of the two.
What is online learning in terms of how students relate to the information? This is where these two forms of learning make the most difference. Each type can deliver the same amount of content with wildly different results. An online learning management system, such as Litmos, is an example of a system that combines synchronous and asynchronous options.
Evolution of Online Learning
Online learning opportunities continue to evolve as more people learn beyond traditional degree programs. Asking "What is online learning?" in terms of the future is a question only limited to the hobbies and new careers that require training in the future. Whether mobile or in real-time through an asynchronous learning experience, many online learners are the source of new input in learning management systems.
When you are in the planning stage of an eLearning or distance education program, you may still be considering what LMS system to use. Consider a free trial of the new Litmos learning management system to explore how online learning works in real time. Some of the most important features for online learning such as customized mobile reporting and feedback are available with Litmos. This LMS is powerful and scalable for businesses of all sizes. Give it a try today and see how it fits in with your eLearning and software management training needs.