Instructional Technology and Distance Learning Office
eLearning is sometimes referred to as distance learning. eLearning takes place when an instructor and students are separated by physical distance and various technologies are used to bridge the instructional gap. Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) offers eLearning in three basic formats: online, hybrid and compressed video.
An online course is a course that uses the Internet or the World Wide Web (Web) exclusively to deliver content and does not have any activities that occur at a single designated time and specified physical location. Online courses are often referred to as Web-based courses. In these courses, 100 percent of the course content is online either through synchronous or asynchronous delivery.
(NOTE: Synchronous distance learning courses are those that are offered on a specified schedule with all students beginning the course at the same time, interacting together simultaneously at specified times, and completing the course simultaneously. Asynchronous courses are also offered on a specified schedule with all students beginning the course at the same time and completing the course simultaneously. Unlike synchronous distance learning courses though, communication among students and faculty in asynchronous courses does not take place simultaneously at required and specified times.)
A hybrid course (sometimes referred to as a blended course) is a course that uses the Internet or the Web to deliver a portion of its content in lieu of traditional classroom hours. In addition to online content, the course requires supplementary learning activities that occur at a single designated time and specified physical location. Typical learning activities include periodic face-to-face lectures, lessons, or lab activities.
A compressed course is sometimes referred to as an interactive classroom video course. It is a course that meets on campus in a special distance learning classroom. A typical distance learning classroom is equipped with multi-way audio and video technology which includes a large display for student viewing, computer for instruction, document camera, DVD player, and phone/fax for support. It should be noted that students who participate in a compressed video course may be at a physical location for instruction that is different from their where their instructor is facilitating the lesson. For example, the instructor may meet face-to-face with students at the Middletown Campus and televise the live lecture to students at the Fauquier Campus.