Differences Between Remote Learning and Virtual Learning

By: Betty Norton, Head of School, Xceed Anywhere

When the pandemic sent students home from school in March 2020, “remote learning” and “virtual learning” quickly became terms used in everyday conversations. But it’s important to note that there are many differences between the two styles of education.

What is remote learning?

When students are learning remotely, they’re often sitting in front of the computer with the same schedule they would follow in a typical physical school setting. Remote learning provides a structured day for students, requiring them to check in at specific times for either live instruction/presentations or to watch pre-recorded lectures.

What happened in the spring with many schools’ instruction is considered emergency remote learning, meaning teachers did their best to re-create the physical classroom environment on short notice. Typically, however, remote learning tends to be more organized, but it’s important to note that remote learning is less flexible than virtual learning.

What is virtual learning?

Students who need a more flexible schedule, who are independent and motivated learners and/or are more comfortable and focused learning in their own environment tend to be successful in virtual learning.

This form of education enables students to work on their schooling during the times best for them and although virtual learning does not have set class schedules, students are still accountable for turning their work in (with due dates), attending mandatory videoconferencing sessions and pacing themselves to stay on track. This path is typically set forth at the beginning of the educational journey in a personalized learning plan (PLP), designed to maximize a student’s success, further developing valuable life skills such as communication skills, self-advocacy, time management and organizational skills.

Additionally, in virtual learning schools such as Xceed Anywhere, teachers adjust their teaching methods to meet each student’s unique learning style, based on the PLP and personal observations and challenge the students to exceed their potential. This helps teachers and students avoid the one-size-fits-all approach to education.

What types of students succeed in virtual learning?

A diverse range of students excel in the virtual learning environment including:

  • Independent and motivated learners who prefer more autonomy in navigating their coursework.
  • Students who require a flexible schedule due to unique talents, responsibilities or lifestyles.
  • Students who are more successful working at their own pace, whether that means taking more time to master the material or accelerating ahead when they are ready.
  • Students who are more comfortable and focused in their own environment due to social, medical or emotional factors.
  • International students with English proficiency.
  • Homeschooled students seeking more academic support and virtual peer interaction.
  • Gifted students and those with learning differences.

What should I look for in a virtual school?

For parents and students seeking a virtual school, they should consider the following:

  • The school’s accreditation
  • Teachers’ certifications and qualifications
  • Whether personalized learning plans are offered
  • An agreed upon understanding that education is a partnership between the school, the family and the student
  • A truly virtual environment where curriculum is accessible from anywhere in the world at any time

How does Xceed Anywhere work?

At Xceed Anywhere, our virtual learning programs for middle and high school students consist of online curriculum, live one-on-one instruction with certified teachers and interactive, small group lessons with peers.

Teachers may be reached by email, text, phone and telecommunication or videoconferencing. The rigorous online curriculum is available 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week, enabling students to work at the pace that suits their learning style best, whether that means taking some extra time to master the material or accelerating ahead when they are ready.

If you need more information about the differences between remote and virtual learning or would like to speak to an Xceed Anywhere representative, please call 954-688-7251 or email admissionsteam@xceedanywhere.com.