Online learning vs eLearning vs Distance Learning?

We have multiple types of delivery formats available to us, however, many times we use words interchangeably and never think about what they really mean. This causes problems when talking to clients because what they envision as eLearning might be what you consider distance learning and all of a sudden your final product does not meet their needs. So its always best to define and describe during your proposal so that an operational definition can be established. In this post I will describe some of differences between all of these common terms so that you can more easily describe to clients what you are designing.

Online learning – Online learning is any type of learning that takes place online. However, to most people this refers to 100% asynchronous learning where there is no live meeting and the learners have 24/7 access to the content

eLearning – Self paced learning that is computer or mobile based. The module is completed without an instructor. A lot of people also refer to this as online learning and use the two words interchangeably.

Distance learning – Again, this is another term that people use interchangeably with online and elearning. However, distance learning means learning that takes place at a distance without an instructor. There is no technology requirement but it can exist. In fact, the first distance education courses were developed in the 1800s.

Virtual learning – Learning that takes place in a virtual environment, that is live, and uses video conference technology.

Face to face learning – learning that happens real time in a classroom.

As you can see, there are real differences between all of these but most clients wont know those differences so you need to be careful when discussing them to make sure that you and the client are on the same page.

Call For Papers – Journal of Training, Design, and Technology (JTDT)

Call for Papers

Journal of Training, Design, and Technology (JTDT) – http://tdtjournal.blogspot.com/

ISSN 2475-0921

Call for papers:

The Journal of Training, Design, and Technology (JTDT) is a new online journal seeking submissions.

JTDT is designed to bring together current practices and research. The journals focus is on the following:

Instructional Design
Instructional Technology
Research – manuscripts
Practice – case studies, lessons learned, etc
Instructional Models
Instructional Strategies
Technologies
Usability
Virtual Reality
Mobile Technology
Learning/Training
Multimedia
Games/simulations
Instructional Development
Analysis and Evaluation
Performance Improvement

Types of papers:

Research Manuscripts
Brief articles (on current practice or theory)
Book reviews
Technology reviews
Strategy reviews (Using a strategy in the workplace/classroom)
Case studies
Special Topic papers
Literature Reviews

All papers are blind peer reviewed.

Please see our submission guidelines and submit papers to tdtjournal@gmail.com

Deadline – There is no deadline as volumes will continuously be released. First volume will be published 3/1/2017 with more after that.

How much does it improve learning? ROI in education

I am constantly bombarded with instructional strategies, design recommendations, and means to improve instruction. However, while that’s awesome and I love to see new innovative ways to teach, I have stumbled onto a question that we do not ask very often unless it’s in the context of K-12 standardized testing – how much does this improve learning?

So when someone tells me that some constructivist approach, for example, problem-based learning (insert any strategy here) is a good strategy for the classroom I need to know how it impacts learning. Specifically, I want to know how it affects low-level learning, such as recall, and high-level learning such as problem-solving/transfer. How much does it affect achievement? I don’t want to just hear that it improves it over another method/strategy but I want to hear that it improves it by X% amount. Because if that improvement is only 5%, it might not be worth changing an entire curriculum.

If we start to think this way we can start to make better decisions about what works and doesn’t work in the classroom. This will save us both time and money because we won’t waste significant amounts of time on changes that offer little to no improvement in achievement.

Of course, we need to consider other variables like motivation and such, which could very well be more important than achievement in various settings but that is going to be case dependent.  And regardless, we still need to have improvement numbers to ensure there is going to be a return on investment.

If we could agree that this is an important piece of data to have we could start to figure out what these numbers are. This involves experimental testing using GOOD methodologies, GOOD content, and GOOD tests; otherwise, we cannot trust that research.