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Online Learning – An Introduction to the Future of Education

Updated on 23 February, 2024

Shivangi MishraGauri Agrawal

Shivangi, Gauri

Education systems have drastically changed during 2020 as it was imperative to keep teachers and students safe. The meaning of this new-age education is getting broader by the day, and people are starting to understand its significance. It is engaging, flexible, and, most importantly, fun. Do you want to verse yourself with the intricacies and advantages of online learning? Read on to find out all about its meaning, the different methods, and platforms.


What is Online Learning

This type of learning is a form of education over the internet and in a remote setting. You get to indulge in an education method in an entirely virtual environment. Even though its adoption was rapid during the pandemic, this learning method predates the virus. 
It was first introduced when the internet came into existence. Online education was a distance learning method among higher education students. 
Today, it enables students to learn, irrespective of geography. You could engage with any institution or look for academic e-learning opportunities. Indeed, online learning allow students to learn at their own pace and flexibility. This internet-based learning environment connects diverse backgrounds and brings together different perspectives.

Why Online Learning

This type of learning has radically transformed how education works in various countries. Indeed, online education parallels the rise in technology and the internet. 

Ever since the pandemic hit, we have entered an era that revolutionized education. Here are some of the unique benefits of utilizing online learning platforms. These benefits work wonders for both the student and the teachers. 

  • Self-paced learning opportunity with optimal flexibility 
  • Better, enhanced, and structured time management 
  • Demonstrated increase in self-motivation 
  • Improvement in collaborative approaches and virtual communication 
  • Wider accessibility that is global and broader than traditional learning 
  • Refinement of critical-thinking skills and knowledge of new technical skills
  • Cost-effective

Virtual learning is helping students and teachers worldwide.

Related Article:

Online vs Offline Degrees: Which one is better?

What are the Multiple Ways for Online Education 

Here are some of the main ways:

Asynchronous Online Courses 

These self-paced programs allow you to access downloadable and pre-recorded materials 24x7. It is time-independent, where student-teacher interactions transcend virtual hours. 

Besides, these online courses include online conversations that enhance the communication between students. You could even access them anywhere, making it an on-the-go and flexible learning environment. 

Usages: College, corporate, university, and K-12 learning or training programs. 

Synchronous Online Courses 

Usually, these courses have a real-time or live aspect involved. It means that you will need to enter a virtual classroom to access the learning materials. An educator will be present at this conference and teach you everything “live.” 

You need to enter the learning medium at a set date or time given by the teacher. Once every class student is present, you will get lectures, demonstrations, and other planned activities. 

Usages: College, university, and K-12 learning. 

Computer Managed Learning (CML)

Also known as Computer Managed Instruction (CMI), CML is a way to utilize computing power to manage the learning process. It is a technologically advanced learning system that can be accessed through an information database. 

Such a database will house information that you should learn parallel to the ranking parameters. Due to this numbering system, the computer categorizes you as an individual based on your preferences. In turn, it results in a “two-way communication” stream between the computer and you. 

Finally, it could help you reach your goals and achieve your determinations until satisfied. Not only does it aid in management, but it also enables access to curriculum, lecture, and enrolment data. 

Usages: Various educational institutions use this form of online learning. 


Asynchronous and e-learning have many similarities. Yet, e-learning has a broader meaning to it due to the different types: 

  • Fixed: The online content will not change during the learning process and remains original. 
  • Adaptive: The learning material could adapt and be redesigned based on student parameters. 
  • Linear: It involves human-computer interaction but has become irrelevant due to the lack of two-way communication. 

Blended Learning 

This learning module became famous due to the betterment of the pandemic situation. It is a course where synchronous and asynchronous systems build a hybrid approach. 

So, you could have live classes and pre-recorded lectures during the semester. It invokes a sense of self-study in the students while making the classroom interactive for the teachers.

Usages: Universities and colleges use this learning module during and after the pandemic

Popular Degree Courses by Country

Masters in Germany

Bachelors in Canada

Bachelors in Australia

Bachelors in USA

Masters in Ireland

How is Online Learning Different from Traditional Learning?

Traditional learning occurs in brick-and-mortar classrooms while online education is imparted over the internet. Learning over the internet is a form of distance education. Here, you could either communicate with a teacher or indulge in e-learning courses through accessible content. On the other hand, traditional learning always involves a setting where the teacher regulates the information. 

Here are the fundamental differences between online and traditional learning. 

Online Learning

Traditional Learning

Everything happens online, over the internet. 

This education system takes place in a physical setting. 

This learning can take place anywhere and anytime. 

It has been forced into a fixed place and schedule. 

This online atmosphere works at a flexible and relaxed pace.  

The traditional learning experience is imposed upon. 

Teachers and students are physically alone and interconnected through the internet. 

Both students and teachers need to be with their colleagues. 

It supports a unique learning type that focuses on independence. 

You can learn from the teacher, one-on-one, and with each other. 

Online content and live conferences are the primary sources of information. 

Only an educator or trainer can be the source of information.

The interaction is limited due to physical constraints. 

The interaction is extensive between teachers and students. 

Which Education System is the Winner?

Indeed, online learning is different from traditional learning in various aspects, especially the mode of conduct. Anyone could indulge in e-learning, whereas only enrolled students could involve themselves in conventional learning. 

For example, the traditional workforce could never find the time to study in a conventional setting. However, working professionals could quickly start with learning over the internet. So, if you are a working-class individual, this is your only way to enhance your skills. 

Yet, choosing one involves a whole lot of analysis based on: 

  • Your budget 
  • Learning topic 
  • Your goals 
  • The time you contribute 
  • Your motivation levels 

There is a combination of these two learning methods called blended learning. It is perhaps the best of both worlds for education. 

The Rise of Online Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic left the education industry in a frenzy. Schools, colleges, and universities shut down due to the lockdown initiatives. Indeed, it was a great way to prevent the virus from spreading, but it did dent learning. 

Imagine 1.2 billion children from all corners of the world not going to school anymore. It was something the world did not see before. 

Which are the Best Online Learning Platforms?

One of the best advantages of online learning is that you can learn anything you want for fun or enhance your skills. You can explore the various online learning platforms and find your course. Here are some of the best online and virtual learning platforms. 


The online learning and upskilling platform has collaborated with several industry leaders and universities to bring the most relent programmers for learners. From effective communication to data science, learners can seek all kinds of knowledge at this platform. With its foreign education arm, upGrad Abroad, it is helping students gain education from international institutions through blended pedagogy. The pandemic has impacted students’ educational plans, and this platform assists everyone with enrollment and confirmation.

Even then, online education has multiple benefits that transcend traditional learning. Learning on the Internet is a scalable and convenient way to offer education to all age groups. Teachers can personalize the classroom based on specific parameters using virtual learning platforms. Not only does it lower the cost of education, but it also boosts your career through a flexible system. 

The learning environment will evolve and eradicate traditional learning in due time. All of this happened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Who knows what the future has in store for online learning? 

Disclaimer! All course fees and salaries are approximate amounts subject to change depending on various conditions.

This learning module became famous due to the betterment of the pandemic situation. It is a course where synchronous and asynchronous systems build a hybrid approach. 

So, you could have live classes and pre-recorded lectures during the semester. It invokes a sense of self-study in the students while making the classroom interactive for the teachers.

Usages: Universities and colleges use this learning module during and after the pandemic. 


How online learning is the future of education?

Online learning has become a powerful tool for engaging students and promoting a deeper understanding of diverse subjects. Its efficacy lies in leveraging technology, including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), to create dynamic and immersive classroom experiences. This approach holds great promise for the future of education by enhancing student interest and comprehension.

What are the types of online education?

Types of Online Learning are given below:

  • Asynchronous Online Courses. These course offerings do not take place in real–time.
  • Synchronous Online Courses.
  • Hybrid Courses. 
  • Providing Continuity. 
  • Distributing Materials.
  • Creating Content. 
  • Curating Content. 
  • Fostering Collaboration

Why online education is better than offline?

Online education offers a notable advantage over traditional offline education due to its time-saving benefits. Students can allocate their time more efficiently by eliminating the need to commute to physical locations. This flexibility enables them to learn from any place and at any time, providing the freedom to manage their schedules effectively. 

Shivangi Mishra

Sr. Content Editor

She is an experienced writer and journalist who has extensively covered the education sector in India and Abroad. Now helping Indian aspirants realise their foreign education dream by providing them with relevant content and information through upGrad Abroad. Amateur traveller, loves to read Architectural Digest!

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