When an interested student begins the process of investigating the options for online or distance learning, they will quickly learn that there are varying degrees of online learning. If you are thinking of pursuing your degree online it is important to understand each of these Levels of Online Learning and how they operate.
What Are The Levels of Online Learning?
According to the Babson Survey Research Groups publication Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States, there are four distinct categorizations of learning formats. Although the language may vary from school to school, there are four levels of educational formats. These four are:
- Traditional Learning
- Web Facilitated or Web Enhanced
- Blended or Hybrid
- Online or Fully Online
What is Traditional Learning?
Traditional learning occurs 100 percent on campus with no online element or supplementation. There is no online technology used as a part of the coursework or curriculum.
What is Web Facilitated or Web Enhanced Learning?
A Web Enhanced Learning Style typically includes between 1 and 29 percent of the proportion of course content delivered online. In this format courses will use web-based technology to supplement the face-to-face learning in the classroom. In many cases Web Enhanced programs us Course Management Systems (CMS) or devoted course web sites to post assignments, information and contact between students and instructors.
What is Blended or Hybrid Learning?
A Blended or Hybrid Learning Style typically includes between 30 and 79 percent of the proportion of course content delivered online. In these programs the online and on campus delivery of course content is blended (hence the name). A large portion of the coursework is delivered in an online format. This can include assignments, class discussions, interactions between students and instructor and even some projects. In a Hybrid Program much of the coursework and curriculum is completed online, with minimal on campus meetings.
What is Online or Fully Online Learning?
The Fully Online Learning Style typically includes 80 percent or more of the proportion of course content delivered online. A program is considered an online program when the majority of course work is delivered online and minimal or no face-to-face meetings are required. Some Online Programs may require a small amount of on-campus requirement.
Students who are thinking about the possibility of online learning need to understand the differences between the four levels of learning. By having a better understanding each student can make a choice that is best for him or her. Some students may prefer to do all of their coursework in a classroom, while others might like the flexibility of completing all or some of their work online. By paying attention to what each Psychology Program is offering you can make an informed decision about your education.