E-Learning Vs Virtual Learning: The Main Differences Between Them

The words “virtual learning” and “eLearning” are increasingly being used to characterize the most recent kinds of education. Unfortunately, distinguishing between the two is not always straightforward. In this article, We will share E-Learning Vs Virtual Learning.

To discover more about the differences between virtual and eLearning, I met with Columbia College of Missouri, a pioneer in remote learning. What I discovered is that no single definition exists across all educational institutions. This can make separating the two even more difficult.

To assist my readers, I’ve put up this tutorial to explain the differences between eLearning and virtual learning.

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E-Learning Vs Virtual Learning

What Is Virtual Learning?

Virtual learning varies from traditional learning in that it provides education over the internet rather than in person. It’s done on a platform that’s virtually always connected to the internet.

Virtual learning is frequently delivered in real-time, with an instructor leading a class via a virtual conference platform. It can, however, be a self-paced course that covers components of student-teacher communication.

Forms and Platforms of Virtual Learning

Depending on the educational institution, the forms and platforms of this type of learning can vary. The majority of the time, video is used to impart information to students. This video can either be pre-recorded or live. A learning management system, or LMS, is commonly used in virtual training.

Students can communicate with their instructor via email or chat. Message boards, social media groups, and chat rooms are common ways for them to connect with study groups and/or other classmates.

Almost all textbooks and study guides are available online. Although students are often urged to buy physical books, this is becoming less prevalent.

Online portals are used to deliver assignments to the instructor. Although instructors may have a separate email address for accepting assignments, it is more customary for students to post assignments to a shared folder that the instructor can access.

All of the quizzes and tests are computer-based. To avoid cheating, certain educational institutions may require students to take tests in real-time with a timer. Others operate on the honor system, allowing students to complete tests on their own time.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Virtual Learning

The opportunity to take classes from anywhere in the globe is arguably the most significant benefit of virtual learning. A full-time student can take courses from another institution.

Even if a parent works 40 hours per week, they can find time to take courses from the convenience of their own home without having to hire a babysitter.

Another benefit of this form of learning is the variety of classes available. Colleges and universities are not the only institutions that offer online education.

Personal fitness certification can be obtained through online courses. They can learn to knit or take foreign language classes. The types of materials that can be investigated are nearly limitless.

Virtual learning can occasionally provide flexibility. While some programs require students to meet at a set time, the majority of classes allow students to learn on their own time.

The absence of instant access to an instructor is the fundamental disadvantage of online learning. While virtual learning allows students to communicate with the instructor, a live class allows for immediate questions and responses. Similarly, some students perform better in a classroom setting than when they learn at home.

What is eLearning?


Electronic communication is used for instruction in eLearning (also known as E-Learning). The method of doing so has evolved through time, but it is now primarily done through an LMS.

Students can attend class from home or in a distant learning environment. Although professors lead all courses, they do not meet with students in person. Even the degree is obtained via online means.

This form of learning, unlike virtual learning, rarely occurs in real-time. The majority of classes are scheduled around the student’s schedule. Instructors can be contacted via email or messaging apps. There is practically never any live video conferencing.

Types of eLearning

The following are the most common types of e-learning:


This is the most typical. Students can access course materials from any internet-enabled device at any time. The web-based platform is used to communicate with teachers and to complete all class tasks and assessments.

Modules with video

Instructional or lecture videos might be created in advance. These are typically given via the internet or through mobile apps. After seeing the videos, students are given a certificate. Some video modules ask students to take online quizzes to ensure they have understood the material.

Mobile Learning

Apps are used to deliver information to students in a small, easily absorbed format. Mobile apps are usually performed on the student’s schedule.

Advantages And Disadvantages of eLearning

Virtual learning is one of the most cost-effective methods of education. Many of the online courses are inexpensive or even free.

Supplementary materials are rarely required of students. Because it is entirely online, students do not need to take time off work or arrange childcare like they would for other classes.

For many kids, flexibility is essential. Web-based learning provides the greatest amount of flexibility. Students can learn at their own pace and on their own timetable.

This style of learning has different disadvantages for different people. There may be no exams or even instructor monitoring for these learning courses. As a result, students only get as much out of their classes as they want. While it may be excellent for some kids, others may require more direct instruction.

eLearning vs Virtual Learning

The level of contact involved is the distinction between eLearning and virtual learning. Students and instructors interact more with virtual learning, whereas eLearning is more self-paced.

It is up to the individual to decide which is better. Virtual learning would benefit those who feel they require greater interaction. It’s the closest you can get to being in a classroom without really being in one.

Students who consider themselves to be strong independent learners can benefit from eLearning by saving money and time.

These programs are ideal for people who want to try out web-based education without committing too much. They’re also great for folks who have already demonstrated their ability to learn without supervision or who just want to improve their existing skills.

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Conclusion: E-Learning Vs Virtual Learning

Students have grown more self-sufficient and willing to pursue higher education on their own as time has passed. Students can now receive education from anywhere in the world in a variety of different methods because of the development of the internet.

When it comes to the variations between eLearning and virtual learning, the differences are minor but significant.

virtual learning

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Aishwar Babber

Aishwar Babber is a passionate blogger and a digital marketer. He loves to talk and blog about the latest tech and gadgets, which motivates him to run GizmoBase. He is currently practicing his digital marketing, SEO, and SMO expertise as a full-time marketer on various projects. He is an active investor in AffiliateBay.

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