E-learning: what is it, features and most used learning platforms

What is e-learning?

E-learning It is a teaching model that promotes access to knowledge through digital platforms or environments.

Although e-learning is usually associated with distance learning, for some authors these are two different modalities. The e-learning it necessarily requires the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), while distance learning can do without them.

E-learning comes from anglicism electronic learning (electronic learning), which was later simplified. However, for use in Spanish the term is suggestedvirtual learning.

Platforms of e-learning

Today, any person or institution that wants to impart knowledge online can do so with a few technical requirements.

In that sense, the platforms of e-learning They are based on specialized software to share academic content (Learning Content Management or LCMS). These types of tools allow not only to create and share content but also to have control over other aspects of teaching (tuition fees, grades), as well as resources for student exchanges (chats, forums, etc.).

Among the most used virtual learning platforms in the world are:

  • Moodle
  • ATutor
  • Chamilo
  • SabaLearning
  • Online teacher
  • eCollege

Some of these platforms are based on free software and are free. Others, however, are paid, but usually offer more options, such as the ability to customize some modules and technical assistance.

Features of the e-learning

Virtual learning has characteristics that favour not only access to knowledge but also a collaboration between peers, regardless of geographic location. Other aspects to highlight are:

Multi-thematic contents

The e-learning It allows the dissemination of knowledge of any field. From formal learning to obtaining tools that are outside a student curriculum but that may be of interest to the student.

Flexible formats

Virtual learning systems can be used as an extra resource in face-to-face education, as support in distance education or as the main support for academic training.

Constantly updated

The e-learning It allows a quick update of contents, which allows both teachers and students to always be up to date.

Borderless Education

Online learning systems eliminate distances and allow connection between people from various parts of the world, which helps enrich the experience.

Collaborative environment

Generally, the educational and training content offered through the e-learning It implies collaboration between students to make the learning process more dynamic. This favours the exchange of ideas and helps build social bonds.

Better time management

With the e-learning, the student decides when to take their classes, do complementary activities, etc. In many cases, this is an ideal option for people who have full-time employment or other occupations that prevent them from taking face-to-face classes.

Resource savings

Distance learning implies more efficient management in economic terms, both for students, teachers and institutions. The use of transport, physical space and basic services is reduced and in many cases, does not even exist.