The so-called virtual training, online training or e-learning is a novel method of distance learning through internet. Today, people all around the world can be trained on different expertise just by having access to a computer. This educational strategy born with the technological development has great advantages for learning within today’s world.
One of the main benefits of this training method is that people can learn at any time and place, without timetable or location restrictions and can have immediate access to the knowledge and practices suggested by online study centers. This chance offered by e-learning is a real improvement with respect to the traditional way of teaching, since the latest involves the presence of the student and teacher at a certain time and place. E-learning implies more flexibility for students, who are able to adjust the learning rhythm to their daily duties, and choose their study timetable on their own.
It is important to point out that online courses are often called “tutorials". On the Internet, a tutorial is a teaching method based on the computer, providing the user with step-by-step information and exercises controlling the correct learning of the contents. The “tutorials” can offer private tutors to assist the students or not. However, it is important to take into account that the most effective online courses are those including actual tutoring, besides study materials prepared by expert educationalists and specialists on each content area.
This means that the teacher-student relationship is still essential to achieve the learning aims and to build knowledge. In general, it has been proved that internet users respond more effectively to online courses if they have a follow-up assistant to clear their doubts. Besides, tutors make classes via internet meet the specific needs of each student. Anyway, there are lot of courses without tutoring in the Web, effective for students highly trained on computing management and a great ability to concentrate and organize.
Another essential advantage of e-learning is that it has several tools to display contents -texts, graphic, multimedia- and help communication between students and tutors or among students- through forums, chat and e-mail-. This teaching method provides students with not only the contents they wish to acquire but also all kind of novel instruments offered by technology, allowing them to interact, think and absorb contents faster (such as tables, graphics, PowerPoint presentations, audiovisual exercises, etc.).
Virtual training, besides, is not only organized in levels but it also offers, in many cases, the ability to adjust programs according to each student. Many online academic centers design special curricula based on general contents but taking into account each student’s previous knowledge. Finally, another advantage of e-learning is related to the invested time-money ratio. E-learning makes students save, although these courses are generally paid. Saving is basically based on making the most of the time each person has; this is really important in modern world, where time is a highly prized asset.
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