By Pam Boiros
As a human capital professional, you may be wondering, what does cloud-based learning mean exactly? To best answer this question, we should first explore a number of terms that are used in the learning industry:
- Classroom-based training: This is the traditional desk and chair environment that takes place in a physical location. It falls under event-based learning.
- Elearning: Short for “electronic learning,” it’s learning that can be accessed synchronously (at the same time as others, also called event-based learning) or asynchronously (at a different time than others) via electronic means.
- Instructor-led training (ILT): Similar to classroom-based training, this training is led by an instructor and typically takes place in a physical classroom. It falls under event-based learning.
- Massive Open Online Course (MOOC): MOOCs are free, lecture-based courses designed to enroll tens of thousands of learners and have concrete start and end dates (about 6-12 weeks in length).
- Online learning: This term is interchangeable with “elearning.”
- Technology-enabled learning: Any type of learning that requires technology such as learning that is accessed via tablets, computers, smartphones, portals, etc.
- Web-based training (WBT): Any type of training that is accessed via the internet on a computer.
- Virtual ILT: Traditional classroom-based, or instructor-led training that is available online, synchronously. It falls under event-based learning. Some people use these above terms interchangeably. In taking the terminology one step further, there is a recently coined term called cloud-based learning.
Online learning, or elearning, that is available in the cloud; meaning that resources are stored in a virtual environment, accessed from various forms of web-enabled devices.
Features of common learning types
There are many different types of learning modalities as mentioned above—each with its own advantages and disadvantages. This handy chart compares the main modalities across several key features.
Pam Boiros is Vice President, Corporate Marketing at Skillsoft—connect with her on Twitter @Pam_Boiros.