Elearning has come a long way. It has evolved to the point where it is more than a PowerPoint presentation. Even though PowerPoint is still used in elearning course, it is no longer the main focus of all elearning courses. Today, there are different specifications and features for different types of elearning situations. Not all learning situations will call for the same elearning format.
For example, some courses are basic whereas others are highly interactive or advanced. Depending on what the learning situation requires, the instructor will use on of the following three types of elearning.
For this type of elearning, you will find primarily text, audio, images, and simplified testing questions. The main idea with this type of learning is to present information for education purposes. For example, if someone is trying to pass requirements of a compliance course, they will use a text driven elearning course so that he or she could absorb information and then take a test based on their learning. Text driven elearning usually does not have any type of interacting or gamification components. When you find graphics in this type of elearning course, they will be used sparingly.
Even though it is similar to text driven elearning, there is one main difference with interactive elearning. With interactive elearning, interactive features are incorporated into the learning process to enhance it. Visual components such as diagrams, images, and charts are used to a greater degree when compared to text driven elearning. Interactive courses also use different media such as audio and video components. One example of interactive elearning is a financial training course. During this course, students are taught with not only using PowerPoint presentations but video and audio components as well. After the course, students take a skills test by clicking through interactive computer screens.
This is the most interactive type of elearning. It uses video, audio, and a heavy use of images to get its point across to students. Additionally, this type of elearning includes gamification. This type of learning includes customized simulation aids to assist students. Some of these customized simulations may include 3D features. A good example of simulation elearning is a software training course where the student is taught using highly interactive components and simulations. Some of these customized simulations may include a test environment that will gauge the software training students’ skills.
The key in simulation elearning is portraying concepts via different types of media such as images, video, and text. Students are encouraged to try their hand via customized simulation and to practice their newly learned skills. During the course of trying things out, they are awarded with badges and other commendations when they do a good job.
The three different elearning types are great way to show how elearning has evolved through the years. What started as a less interactive way of learning has now turned into a highly interactive learning mode that sometimes includes gamification in the mix. As with all things, these three different types of elearning will need to be employed for the appropriate learning situations.