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Self-paced learning characterizes with individual work, while the second one gives different levels of help by the tutor as well as opportunity for collaboration between students. Common practice is that the distance learning combines both of the approaches.
There is also a blended learning form. It combines the traditional learning with e-learning.
The distance learning approaches can combine the usage of different components: content, distance teaching and mentoring, joint learning and a virtual class room.
The content of the distance learning can be standard or interactive. The first type is created and presented with some widely spread programs, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc., while the second one is being visualized on a screen, that can show text or different multimedia objects.
The distance learning forms have tools that provide individual help and fast feedback, supporting the student’s learning process.
The activities connected with the joint learning can include discussions, information sharing, joint work on a specific project or group work. In order the communication between students to be improved, there are different forms of social software, such as forums, blogs, internal e-mail.
The virtual class room can be used for distance learning in real time – for that purpose different learning materials are used, such as presentations, audio files, video files, etc.
The distance learning may include two types of activities: synchronous and аsynchronous. The first one happen in real time, while the second – does not.
Examples of synchronous events: chat, video or audio conference calls.
Examples of asynchronous events: forum posts, emails, usage of wiki objects or blogs.