E-Learning Classifications: Differences and Similarities

E-Learning Classifications: Differences and Similarities

Solomon Negash (Kennesaw State University, USA) and Marlene V. Wilcox (Bradley University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-964-9.ch001
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Abstract

This chapter identifies six e-learning classifications to understand the different forms of e-learning and demonstrates the differences and similarities of the classifications with classroom examples, including a pilot empirical study from the authors’ experience. It argues that understanding the different e-learning classifications is a prerequisite to understanding the effectiveness of specific e-learning formats. How does the reader distinguish e-learning success and/or failure if the format used is not understood? For example, a learning format with a Web site link to download lecture notes is different from one that uses interactive communication between learner and instructor and the latter is different from one that uses “live” audio and video. In order to understand effectiveness, or lack thereof of an e-learning environment, more precise terminology which describes the format of delivery is needed. To address this issue, this chapter provides the following six e-learning classifications: e-learning with physical presence and without e-communication (face-to-face), e-learning without presence and without e-communication (self-learning), e-learning without presence and with e-communication (asynchronous), e-learning with virtual presence and with e-communication (synchronous), e-learning with occasional presence and with e-communication (blended/hybrid-asynchronous), and e-learning with presence and with e-communication (blended/hybrid-synchronous). E-learning classifications can aid researchers in identifying learning effectiveness for specific formats and how it alters the student learning experience.

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