Close this search box.

eLearning Vs Virtual Learning: The Most Significant Differences

Affiliate disclosure: In full transparency – some of the links on our website are affiliate links, if you use them to make a purchase we will earn a commission at no additional cost for you (none whatsoever!).

The terms “virtual learning” and “eLearning” are becoming more commonly used to describe the most modern forms of education. Unfortunately, differentiating between the two is not always easy. We shall compare and contrast elearning vs Virtual Learning in this post.

I spoke with Columbia College of Missouri, a pioneer in remote learning, to understand more about the differences between virtual and eLearning. I learned that there is no single definition that applies to all educational institutions. This makes it even more difficult to separate the two.

To help my readers understand the differences between eLearning and virtual learning, I’ve created this instructional.

eLearning Vs Virtual Learning

What is eLearning?

In eLearning, electronic communication is utilized to educate students (also known as E-Learning). An LMS is the most common means of accomplishing this, but it has evolved over time.

Students can take classes from the comfort of their own homes or in a virtual classroom. Despite the fact that professors are in charge of all courses, they do not interact with students in person. As far as the degree is concerned, it is all done online.

Virtual learning, on the other hand, takes place almost constantly. The majority of sessions are arranged to accommodate the needs of the individual student. It is possible to get in touch with instructors via email and messaging apps. Live video conferencing is quite rare.

Types of eLearning

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


It’s the most common one. Any internet-connected device can be used by students at any time to access course materials. In addition to communicating with teachers via a web-based platform, students also use it to complete all class assignments and exams.

Modules that include video

It is possible to make instructional or lecture videos in advance. The majority of these are offered online or via mobile apps. Students receive a certificate after watching the films. There are certain online quizzes that require pupils to demonstrate their comprehension of the topic.

Mobile Learning

Information is delivered to pupils via apps in a compact, easily digestible style. Typically, students use mobile apps on their own time.

eLearning’s Positives and Negatives

In terms of education, virtual learning is among the most cost-effective. Online courses can often be found for very little or no cost at all.

Students are rarely needed to bring in additional resources. Students don’t have to take time out of work or arrange childcare for this course because it is fully online.

Flexibility is a must for many children. In terms of flexibility, web-based learning is the best option. It is possible for students to learn at their own pace and on their own schedules.

This kind of instruction has distinct drawbacks for various individuals. It is possible that there will be no tests or even a teacher to monitor these courses. Because of this, students get exactly what they desire from their classes. However, some children may need more direct training than others.

What Is Virtual Learning?


It differs from traditional learning because it is done online, rather than in person. In this case, it’s done on a platform that’s almost always online.

An instructor leads a class via a virtual conference platform in real-time in virtual learning. A self-paced course on student-teacher communication is possible, but it doesn’t cover all aspects of it.

Virtual Learning Platforms and Forms

Forms and platforms of this type of instruction might vary depending on the educational institution. In most cases, video is used to teach students new material. Live or pre-recorded, this video is up to you. Virtual training frequently makes use of an LMS (learning management system).

In addition to email and chat, students can get in touch with their professors. Students often communicate with one another in study groups or throughout the school through the use of online message boards, social media groups, and chat rooms.

The vast majority of textbooks and study aids may be found online these days. Students are pushed to purchase actual books, but this practice is becoming less common.

Delivering assignments to the professor is made possible through the usage of online portals. If a teacher has an email address for receiving assignments, it is more common for students to send their work to a shared folder that the instructor can access.

Each and every one of the examinations is conducted entirely via the use of computers. Certain educational institutions may require students to take tests in real-time using a timer in order to prevent pupils from cheating on their exams. However, there are those who allow students to finish assessments at their own pace.

Learning Advantages and Cons of Virtual Education

Virtual learning’s most significant feature is the ability to take classes from anywhere in the world. A full-time student is permitted to take courses from another university.

Parenting can still be done from the comfort of one’s own home without the need for a babysitter, even while one works 40 hours per week.

The wide range of lessons on offer is another perk of this mode of instruction. Online education is not limited to colleges and universities.

Online courses are a convenient way to earn a personal fitness certification. It is possible for them to learn to knit or to take foreign language classes. The range of materials that can be studied is almost infinite.

Occasionally, virtual learning can be a source of flexibility. The majority of classes enable students to learn on their own schedules, however, some programs compel students to assemble at a predetermined time.

Online learning’s primary drawback is the lack of immediate access to a teacher. However, a face-to-face classroom allows students to ask and answer questions immediately, whereas virtual learning does not. Some children learn better in a classroom than they do at home, and it’s no different for college students.

eLearning vs Virtual Learning

The difference between eLearning and virtual learning is based on the level of interaction. With virtual learning, students and instructors interact more than with self-paced eLearning.

Ultimately, it’s the decision of the individual to make. Those who need more engagement could benefit from virtual learning. If you can’t be in a classroom, this is the closest you can get.

Electronic learning can save both money and time for students who consider themselves strong self-starters.

These courses are perfect for those who want to test the waters of online learning without making any long-term commitments. Those who have already shown that they can learn independently or who simply want to brush up on their knowledge will benefit greatly from these courses.


Quick Links:

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. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

Leave a Comment