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E-Learning, Remote Learning and Distance Learning/Education are something that we have come across quite a long back. But these terms have spread as much as the coronavirus itself. And the schools being closed due to lockdowns have made people familiar with these terms and a daily talk in almost every household. Students are now learning at home, which can be confusing by itself. These all terms look similar and might be used interchangeably in our day-to-day tasks, but they are all different. So, what are the differences? Which one are you or our children are using? Let’s take a look at these terms and learn the major differences between remote learning, e-learning, and distance learning.

What is Remote Learning?

It is defined as “learning that happens outside of the traditional classrooms because the students and teachers are separated by distance and/or time.” This is the situation every student has found himself in. “It can be real-time or flexibility timed, and may or may not involve technology. But every student doesn’t have access to the necessary devices and proper internet connection at his residence.”

While other forms of learning may rely only on technology, remote learning makes use of screen-free activities. This becomes extremely important since there’s no way of ensuring equity of access to technology or the internet. Besides that, children staring at a screen all day is not desirable to most of the parents, that too with no breaks. For only this reason, most public school districts across the country, have gone with this type of learning.

What is e-Learning?

As the name suggests, E-learning stands for “electronic learning” and requires the use of some kind of technology. High school students, who have a chunk of course material to access are made to use this option. These models can be self-paced, in the form of modules or courses, where students can complete these on their own and discuss the content through discussion platforms/forums, or “face-to-face” with teachers through the interaction on platforms like Zoom Meetings, Google Classrooms, or Hangouts. E-learning can also be done at the elementary and middle school level but tends to be broken into smaller chunks of teacher-student time

What is Distance Learning?

Distance Learning is different than the other two – rather than focusing on school students, distance Learning is more dedicated towards college students enrolled in a traditional college or university – who are off-campus. Rather than delivering instructional in a traditional lecture format, in Distance Learning, teachers or professors assign reading and work, or students are provided with study materials and then students are checked in for the progress. Often, students are assessed based on the assignment they were provided in advance.

Many college courses are intentionally designed to be distance learning courses. However, with college campuses closing, many courses that were once in-person have now moved to distance learning. Students in this situation should expect to check in with their instructors regularly, but should not expect the course syllabus to unfold the way it was initially scheduled.

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