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What are the Basic Building Blocks for E-Learning?

There are only a handful of basic elements for e-learning. They include:

  • Virtual presentations and lectures
  • Virtual interaction with people
  • Web books
  • Simulations and games
  • Virtual interaction with real things
  • Virtual reference library
  • Assessments and quizzes
  • The building blocks are seldom used alone—they are usually combined for a specific learning experience.

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If you’re going to run traditional classroom training, your basic instructional building blocks include:

  • Instructor lectures
  • Instructor question-and-answer sessions
  • Group discussions among students
  • Group projects by students
  • Self-directed learning by the student from reading books, handouts, etc.
  • Hands-on equipment exercises
  • Tests and quizzes

You need something akin to the same building blocks to run an e-learning experience. The following table shows the building

blocks we’ll consider in this book arranged by the IBM 4-Tier Learning Model, which is described in detail in the appendix and which was used in the previous question/answer section.

Tier E-Learning Building Blocks

Tier 3

  • Virtual interaction with things
  • Virtual interaction with people

Tier 2

  • Simulations and games

Tier 1

  • Virtual presentations and lectures
  • Web books
  • Virtual reference library
  • Assessments and quizzes

Note: One building block doesn’t fit in the 4-tier model: student tracking and reporting. The tracking of students is not part of the student learning experience, but it is vitally important from a management point of view.

It’s important for you to realize that all these building blocks are not needed all the time. You might find that your learning situation requires only a few of the building blocks to achieve your goals. And that probably means lower costs.