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Different types of remote learning and their advantages and disadvantages

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Different types of remote learning

Remote learning, e-learning and online education are terms which are becoming increasingly common in modern education. These broad terms are often confused and their exact meaning isn’t immediately clear to everyone. This article aims to clear up any confusion and show the different ways it is now possible to learn online. In particular, three types of online education will be covered.

The internet is of course used frequently within physical classrooms to teach and supplement learning. In schools, teachers and students are ever increasingly reliant on technology such as laptops, tablets and phones. This article, however, will only discuss remote learning or learning from home.

1. Remote learning with a teacher

This first type of education refers to the style of teaching that was experienced during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Both students and teachers are at home and have no contact with each other, except online.

Pupils log on to a platform like Skype, Zoom or Microsoft-Teams, and the teachers do the same. The lesson is then delivered with the teacher giving explanations and setting work that students then complete during the class.

This way of teaching is not that different from traditional teaching, as there is interaction between the teacher and the class. Group work is easy thanks to breakout tools available through the various platforms available.

2. Remote learning without a teacher

Various online platforms offer study materials specifically for students. Students can download this independently and study with the material provided. There is no teacher dictating what is to be learned, where, when or how.

Self-discipline plays an important role here, the students must be motivated as they have to organise themselves and stick to their own plan. The temptation to procrastinate is higher. Nevertheless, a flexible system which allows students to organise their own time can be motivating in and of itself.

The teaching material in this type of education can be interactive and multimodal. It could consist of films, audio files, podcasts, online exercises, interactive presentations, video tutorials and other media. This can makes learning more attractive and varied.

3. Online tutoring, as offered by evulpo

This method of learning is similar to that described in the previous section, but it differs as online learning platforms such as evulpo don't teach in the traditional sense, but rather provide a supplement to conventional classes.

Platforms such as evulpo provide instructional videos, summaries and exercise sets. All relevant school topics can be studied with the help of these videos and summaries and the student can test their knowledge by practising with exercises. In addition, these platforms often offer solutions and explanations for the exercises.

As previously stated, remote learning without a teacher has pros and cons. You have to be very self-motivated and disciplined for it to work, but you also have a greater degree of freedom. ‘Normal' education, or classroom learning, is certainly not going to disappear. The value of in-person teaching has definitely been highlighted in recent years as a result of the lockdowns. However, as there are now various options to supplement regular classes which allow school subjects to be revised independently; in-person teaching can now be better than ever.

Tools such as evulpo allow student to access additional learning material in a flexible way to improve at core school subjects. The freedom to choose topics, as well as the multimodal, interactive nature of e-learning, can have a motivating effect on pupils.

Advantages of remote learning:

  • One of the advantages of remote learning is that it saves time. By learning at home, at the very least you save the journey to school and therefore an amount of time. Instead of taking the bus to school, for example, you can sit in front of your tablet and revise vocabulary, solve calculations or do reading comprehension exercises.
  • In addition, some forms of remote learning involve managing your own time. This allows you to be flexible and allows you to organise your time as you wish. Often, remote learning is not dependent on a specific place or time, which gives students a lot of freedom and can be a great advantage.
  • Another advantage is the pace. With remote learning, there is no need for teachers to take into account students who are weaker or stronger. Everyone can learn at their own pace. Slower learners shouldn’t suffer from time pressure and faster learners shouldn’t get bored. Individual progress is therefore pretty much guaranteed, which is not always possible in the classroom.
  • Another advantage is the multimodal aspect. As remote learning allows the study of various media such as films, podcasts, audio files, online tasks, interactive presentations etc., learning becomes more varied and attractive. This often has a motivating effect on students.

Disadvantages of remote learning

  • The main disadvantage of remote learning is the high degree of self-discipline that it requires. Learning remotely requires a lot of energy, as often it’s easier to get distracted at home. As there isn’t the same level of teacher supervision, instruction and assessment, students need to have more willpower than in a typical classroom.
  • There is also a certain amount of isolation associated with remote learning, which is a major disadvantage. Online learning does not provide a social environment as a classroom does with teachers and other students. The risks of loneliness are therefore much higher when learning in this way.
  • In addition, there is a risk of students accessing incorrect information. Without a teacher to consult when they have questions or doubts, students often use the internet, which is often very good, but sometimes offers false or misleading information.
  • A final important disadvantage of remote teaching concerns learning languages. There is much less opportunity for practical speaking practice, one of the main skills needed to master a language.


Remote learning, as with almost everything else, has both advantages and disadvantages. It is just as wrong to think that remote learning is the perfect solution, as it is to claim that traditional education is the ideal solution. The truth, if it exists, lies somewhere in between: a mix of remote and traditional education probably enables students to learn better than any other form of education.
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