Quality of Learning,
There are high quality and low quality traditional settings, and the same can be said of e-Learning. Very often the efforts of the individual teacher and student are the greatest factors. With that said we will over-generalize to state some potential differences of E-Learning.
When we discuss e-Learning in this section we will consider mainly online classes. It should also be noted that e-Learning could be taught entirely by computer ( CBT ) or be self paced (tutorials) either of which would have even larger differences with the traditional classroom. Traditional:
Although most learning takes place outside of the classroom, most of your time spent as a learner has probably been in a "traditional" classroom. Traditional classroom learning is often focused on the instructor. Information tends to flow from instructor to students, and as a result can be more passive for students. This is often characterized by the phrase "sage on the stage" because the instructor (considered to be the expert) must somehow transfer his or her knowledge to the learners (assumed to be less-knowledgeable). It should be noted that many instructors in the traditional classroom utilize a very learner-focused framework, like the online classroom described above. While this is a potential, it is also rare. Since most instructors were taught in instructor-focused classrooms it is very hard for them to break from this mold. However, in the online environment, an instructor that tries to continue the instructor-centered model will likely fail to maintain it. The online classroom technologies (and student tendencies in that environment) are much more suited for a learner-focused environment. E-Learning:
E-Learning is focused more on the student. More information (in the form of questions or comments) often flows from the student to the instructor (or CBT system). As a result of learners constructing their own learning, they are considered to be more active. This type of active learning forces instructors (or CBT designers) to be "guides on the side" of the learner. Online learners have more responsibility for their learning, and instructors spend much more time providing resources than delivering content. Traditional classes and online classes often use different technologies, types of media, and forms of interaction. These new types of technology and interaction contribute to the focus on the learner. With its wider range of technologies, media and forms of interaction, e-Learning (in a well planned setting) can help instructors meet a broader range of students needs