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E-learning vs. Blended Learning: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 15, 2024
E-learning is entirely online education, while blended learning combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods.

Key Differences

E-learning, or electronic learning, refers to a learning system based entirely on electronic resources, typically accessed via the internet. It enables learners to engage with educational material remotely, using computers or mobile devices. Blended learning, on the other hand, merges e-learning with traditional classroom experiences. It incorporates face-to-face teaching with digital media, offering a more integrated approach to learning.
In e-learning, interaction typically happens through online platforms, forums, or email, allowing for flexible learning schedules. This mode is characterized by its geographical and temporal flexibility. Blended learning, while also utilizing online resources, requires physical attendance for some parts of the education. It combines the flexibility of e-learning with the personal touch of traditional classroom interactions.
The content in e-learning is often self-paced, with learners having control over their learning speed and schedule. It's highly scalable and can reach a vast audience with minimal incremental cost. Blended learning, however, balances online content with structured, scheduled classroom sessions, enabling direct interaction and immediate feedback from instructors.
E-learning environments are typically more technology-driven, focusing on multimedia content, such as videos, interactive modules, and virtual classrooms. Blended learning, while incorporating these elements, also relies on in-person teaching methods, such as lectures, group discussions, and hands-on activities, providing a more comprehensive learning experience.
Assessment methods in e-learning are often automated or online, such as quizzes and assignments submitted electronically. In contrast, blended learning can include both online assessments and traditional evaluation methods like in-person exams and oral presentations, offering a more diverse assessment approach.

Comparison Chart

Mode of Delivery

Entirely online
Combination of online and in-person

Learner Interaction

Virtual platforms, forums, email
Mix of online and face-to-face interaction


High, often self-paced
Balanced, scheduled classroom sessions

Educational Content

Digital multimedia content
Mix of digital and traditional methods

Assessment Methods

Primarily online and automated
Blend of online and in-person assessments

E-learning and Blended Learning Definitions


E-learning is the process of learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the internet.
She completed her certification through an e-learning platform.

Blended Learning

Blended learning integrates e-learning with face-to-face teacher-led instruction.
Blended learning allows students to work online at their own pace, with classroom support.


In e-learning, educational content is accessible online, allowing remote study.
E-learning has made it possible to study from anywhere in the world.

Blended Learning

Blended learning is the practice of using both online and in-person learning experiences when teaching students.
The university adopted a blended learning model to enhance student engagement and flexibility.


E-learning refers to education or training delivered digitally, often through a learning management system.
The university offered several e-learning courses to international students.

Blended Learning

Blended learning mixes computer-based and in-person learning experiences.
Their blended learning approach included a mix of online tutorials and lab sessions.


E-learning encompasses web-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration.
Their e-learning program included interactive webinars and online group projects.

Blended Learning

In blended learning, students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching.
Blended learning in her course involved completing online assignments and attending weekly seminars.


E-learning involves the use of computers or mobile devices to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom.
He used e-learning modules to improve his language skills.

Blended Learning

Blended learning is an educational approach that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods.
The school's blended learning program includes online lectures and in-class discussions.


Learning conducted via electronic media, especially via the Internet.


Does blended learning require physical attendance?

Yes, it typically involves a mix of online study and in-person classes.

What are the benefits of e-learning?

E-learning offers flexibility, accessibility, and a wide range of resources.

What is the primary difference between e-learning and blended learning?

E-learning is entirely online, while blended learning combines online learning with traditional in-person methods.

Can blended learning be customized for different educational needs?

Yes, it can be tailored to suit diverse learning styles and requirements.

Is e-learning more cost-effective than traditional learning?

Generally, yes, due to reduced physical resource and space requirements.

Are there any disadvantages to e-learning?

Limited social interaction and reliance on technology can be challenges.

Is e-learning suitable for all age groups?

While adaptable, it may be more suitable for older students who can self-manage their learning.

Can e-learning be self-paced?

Yes, e-learning often allows learners to progress at their own pace.

How does blended learning benefit students?

It provides the flexibility of e-learning with the personal interaction of traditional classes.

Does blended learning help with practical skills?

Yes, the in-person component can be particularly beneficial for hands-on skills.

Do e-learning courses offer certification?

Many e-learning platforms provide certificates upon course completion.

Is blended learning more effective than traditional learning?

It can be, due to its adaptability and the combination of teaching methods.

Can blended learning be used in corporate training?

Yes, it's effective for combining online resources with in-person workshops.

What type of technology is typically used in blended learning?

It uses a combination of digital tools like learning management systems and traditional classroom equipment.

How important is technology in e-learning?

It's crucial as all content and interaction are delivered digitally.

Can blended learning cater to individual learning styles?

Yes, it offers diverse formats that can suit different learning preferences.

Are there any specific skills required for e-learning?

Basic computer literacy and self-discipline are important for success in e-learning.

Can e-learning be interactive?

Yes, it often includes interactive elements like forums, webinars, and quizzes.

How does e-learning support remote learning?

It enables learning from any location with internet access.

How does blended learning impact student engagement?

It can increase engagement by offering varied teaching methods and materials.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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