Embracing e-Learning

Informal Learning



Performance Support Tools


What type of e-Learning is right for you?

Do you like to explore to find the right answer?

Do you need some social interaction and learning from your peers?

Do you learn best on your own?

Do you need an instructor?

Do you trust the materials provided by people working in the field or an instructor?

Do you just need the basics to get working in a program or application?

Or do you need some combination?

Lets take a look at the different types of e-Learning and find out what will work for you!

There are 4 basic types of e-Learning, which are similar to conventional methods of learning (Broadbent, 2002, p. 11), except these are in some form of digital format. Some of the advantages of digital format include less wasted paper, ease of reuse, ease of editing materials. Some of the other advantages will come out as we look at the types of e-Learning available.

Informal Learning: Informal e-Learning generally takes place when the person who wants to learn about a topic goes and finds the information on the internet, it could be in blog's, discussion groups, or social networks like Facebook and Twitter (Broadbent, 2002, p. 11).

Self-Paced: Self-Paced Learning is when the learning takes place at the student's pace. It can be a Web-based Training program, or distributed in other electronic formats for e-Learning (Broadbent, 2002, p. 11).

Leader-Led: An instructor or other form of facilitator is involved, the degree of involvement can vary greatly (Broadbent, 2002, p. 11).

Performance Support Tools: These tools often help familiarize a person with the basics of a new application or step a user through the main steps of a task (Broadbent, 2002, p. 11).

After looking at the types of e-Learning available, decide which is best for you. If you are creating materials for people to use, decide which method works best with your topic. Some topics work better with certain methods, some need a combination. Sometimes the only way to figure it out is to do some Informal Learning!

From personal experience in the educational industry, both online and conventional, mathematics students need an instructor, but need to work at their own pace, explore to find the method that works for them, and to practice. This means that all of the above methods are needed to help students learn mathematics materials.