Prometheus Training, LLC

Elearning Primer

New to eLearning? Buzzwords got you down? Here are a few basic concepts to help you sort through the techno-babble!

What is eLearning?

Elearning is training that is delivered through a computer. There are different types of eLearning. Here are some of the differences:

  • When the training occurs
  • Who is leading the training
  • What media is used
  • Where the training resides

When is the training?

  • Synchronous training: The training is arranged so that the instructor and learners are all interacting simultaneously.
  • Asynchronous training: The training is arranged so that learners and/or instructor do not have to participate at the same time.

Who is leading the training?

  • Instructor-facilitated eLearning. The instructor leads the learning activity.
  • Self-paced eLearning. The learner leads the learning activity. Usually, no instructor is required for self-paced eLearning.

What media is used during the training?

  • Some eLearning consists of a series of computer screens. The screens present the content, provide examples, and even test to make sure that learning has occurred.
  • Other training requires more complex media, such as audio, video or animation. Bandwidth is a major factor in selecting eLearning media.
  • Bandwidth refers to how much data the learner's computer system can receive in a given amount of time. Complex media, such as video, requires high bandwidth. If learners will be accessing training from home, they are likely to require a lower-bandwidth solution.

Where does the eLearning reside?

Some eLearning resides on your organization's servers. It is delivered to learners via your Intranet. The benefits of Intranet-based eLearning:

  • More secure
  • More predictable delivery, because all learners access it using a high-speed network
  • Opportunities to link to other online sites and resources (e.g. protocols, product spec sheets, current price lists, etc.)

Some eLearning resides on an outside server. Learners access the training via the Internet. The benefits of Internet-based eLearning:

  • Available 24/7 at any location
  • Wider array of eLearning courses is available

Can you combine different types of learning with eLearning?

Yes. Blended learning is the name for training that combines different types of learning with eLearning. Blended learning solutions add another dimension of flexibility and effectiveness.

About the author

Helene Geiger is CEO of Prometheus Training, LLC.

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