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Saturday, April 24, 2010

E-Learning Delivery Debated

New theories within virtual learning are bridging the divide between synchronous and asynchronous instructional methods.
“The online model is really designed to be flexible for the individual student,” said Pam Birtolo, the chief learning officer of the Orlando-based Florida Virtual School, or FLVS, which is seen as a trendsetter in virtual education. “I don’t know that you can separate the two anymore.”

Though synchronous and asynchronous means of instruction are no longer at theoretical odds, considering the benefits of each approach is still important, educators say. And it’s especially important to be aware of ways to incorporate both approaches when possible, such as maintaining archives of a one-time live webinar or prompting a message-board discussion around a video presentation.

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Blended or hybrid approach is a tactic that experts say is one of the fastest-growing areas of online coursetaking.

The report aims to highlight the progress made in the e-learning arena, as well as the administrative, funding, and policy barriers that some experts say are slowing the growth of this form of education below.

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