E-learning categories

Taking into consideration all these factors that directly influence the context in which the e-learning is being more and more developed, I will present next the categories of the E-Learning, taken by the inter-relation perspective.

In few words, the terms found in the scheme are explained below:
a) Courses: The main manifestation focus of the E-Learning; courses are subject modules, in which the organized information is sequentially transmitted to the student; They have a well defined start date and end-date, can be based on different pedagogical aspects as behaviorally, cognitive, and constructivism; also in this courses branch, the courses come usually delivered to students along the tests
b) Informal: This category of E-Learning is the most dynamic and most used by people, as they have benefit from designed tools for searching and storage the information, and also tools for Personal Knowledge Management like wikis and blogs, which are meant to organize the files.
c) Blended: In this case, one can talk about the mixture between formal classrooms and on-line learning; the pass from one category to the other is smoothly made as the both process activate together.
d) Communities: In the sense that E-learning provides a social aspect among people, as they interact no matter of classes and cultural differences over the Internet, the E-Learning can come also from this close relations between people, which talks about different subject; Ideas, questions, answers can be anytime expressed and exchanged between the them.

e) Knowledge Management: The aspect of knowledge management involves the process of identifying, indexing, and making available (in different formats) knowledge generated within the daily activities of an organization. This is directly connected to the concept of E-Learning, in which all the input information is processed.
f) Learning Networks: Along the traditional form of school, in which the student approach specific subjects in the class-rooms, the same activity can also happen through the distribution of information through large networks designed for approaching specific subjects, as communities form around a particular goal, concept or theme. And these communities focused on the respective goal join in the learning network, sharing information and resources.
g) Work-based learning: In this category, the learning activity is pushed to the idea of being available at the point of need. For example, Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) is an "integrated electronic environment that is available to and easily accessible by each employee and is structured to provide immediate, individualized on-line access to the full range of information, software, guidance, advice and assistance, data, images, tools, and assessment and monitoring systems to permit job performance with minimal support and intervention by others" [Gloria Gery, 1991]. In this field, the employee as he is practicing his daily work activities can benefit for information in the electronic format, in a well structured format, as he needs them.
The impact factors may be mentioned here, as they can influence the any of the categories:
1. Ubiquitous: Ubiquitous learning refers to idea of "everywhere learning" (as the internet information or e-learning content can be found nowadays everywhere in people's communities). So called "knowledge pots" (work-related content, personal knowledge, internet) hold content and information. The ways in which information is delivered can be various starting from devices plugged-in and retrieve the information in the appropriate format (PDA, cell phone, laptop, or any other appliance). Ubiquitous learning thus respects the slogan of availability of the E-learning System as: "anytime, anywhere, and any context".
2. Delivery and Tools: for delivering E-learning content, there are various categories of ways in which this process can be performed. The categories are directly influenced by the development of communication technologies on the internet as a whole. A few examples of tools: a) Learning Management Systems (LMS), b) Learning Content Management System (LCMS), c) Collaborative tools (aCollab, Groove), d) Identity management and digital rights (ex: Microsoft Passport) e) Repositories - MERLOT is an example of a centralized learning content repositories, but many decentralized repositories follow the success of content sharing programs like KaZaA. e) Voice over IP (VoIP) tools like Skype (https://www.skype.org) will substantially alter the communication landscape. Simple, effective social tools are critical for larger scale adoption of learning that represents the manner in which people work. f) Other social tools: wikis, blogs, instant messaging are being rapidly adopted due to ease of use.
Also, deliveries of the E-Learning can fall in one of the followings categories: a) Synchronous delivery real-time (ex: streaming, conferencing, and archived presentations) b) Asynchronous delivery -delayed time (through the use of LMS, collaborative spaces, and discussion boards)
In conclusion, the categories in which the E-Learning paradigm can fall into are several and also they can be influenced in their manifestation by some factors which have their importance whatsoever.