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What is E-Learning?

By Lauren Romano
Updated May 17, 2024
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E-learning is another term for online learning. As long as someone has access to a computer and a network, the ability to learn via the Internet is vast and can happen at any hour of the day without having to physically attend a class. It can include taking a class for a few hours to spending a significant amount of time on the course learning for fun or for the purpose of earning a certification or degree.

There are many advantages of e-learning, one of those being that it can take place almost any time of the day or night. For those who take longer to process and read information, it can be easier than having to rush to keep up with the rest of the participants in a typical classroom setting. It also allows people from across the globe to come together to learn about a common interest. One of the biggest advantages is that physical attendance is not necessary, so it is especially beneficial for those who do not have the time or means to travel to a physical location.

Some of the downfalls of e-learning are the fact that it's Internet based and that it limits social interaction between peers. If the network goes out or the computer breaks, it severely impacts the ability to follow the lessons. In a classroom environment, interaction between peers is common due to close proximity. While there can still be interaction during e-learning, it is typically limited.

There are classes specially for learning for fun while others have a goal in mind, such as a certification or degree. Many colleges and universities as well as other types of schools offer e-learning as an alternative option to attending classes in person. Some learning will cost nothing while others can have the same cost as attending a university full time. Although there are a plethora of schools offering online learning, it is vital to check that the school is accredited and is legitimate before enrolling in any classes.

To know if e-learning is for you, consider the classes that are available as well as if keeping up with the schoolwork without constant reminders from a teacher is going to work. Weighing the pros and cons can help with making a decision. If learning online is the best option, there are many types of classes to take in almost every field.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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