Web-Based Training vs elearning

Web-based training and elearning have transformed the way we acquire knowledge and develop new skills in the digital age.


Continuous learning and skill development are crucial for both professional and personal progress in today’s fast-paced world. The traditional classroom setting is no longer the sole option for acquiring knowledge, as technology has opened up new avenues for education. Two popular methods for online learning are web-based training and e-learning, both offering flexible and convenient ways to enhance one’s knowledge and skills. In this article, we will explore the concepts of web-based training and e-learning, the benefits of each, and provide a comparison to help you determine which approach is better suited to your learning needs.

What is Web-Based Training?

One kind of online learning that takes place over the internet or an intranet is called web-based training, or WBT for short. Learners can access courses, resources, and instructional materials via web browsers as part of an interactive training format. Web-based training can take various forms, including text-based content, multimedia presentations, quizzes, assignments, and live webinars. It is often used by organizations to train employees, but it is also employed in academic settings.

Benefits of Using Web-Based Training

  • Easy Accessibility – Web-based training is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, making it convenient for learners worldwide. This flexibility ensures that participants can access the content at their own pace and convenience, removing the constraints of geographical location.
  • Self-Paced Learning – Web-based training typically allows learners to progress at their own pace. This self-paced approach can be highly beneficial for individuals with busy schedules, as they can complete courses or modules when it suits them best.
  • Cost-Effective – Compared to traditional in-person training, web-based training is often more cost-effective. There are no travel expenses, venue rentals, or printed materials to worry about. This makes it an attractive option for both individuals and organizations looking to save on training costs.
  • Scalability – Web-based training can be easily scaled to accommodate a large number of learners. Organizations can create and deploy courses for hundreds or even thousands of employees simultaneously without incurring significant additional costs.
  • Interactivity – Web-based training can incorporate various interactive elements, such as quizzes, assessments, and discussion forums, which engage learners and enhance the learning experience. These interactive elements help reinforce knowledge and increase retention rates.
  • Real-Time Updates – Online content can be updated in real-time, ensuring that learners always have access to the latest information and materials. This is particularly important in rapidly changing fields or industries.

What is E-Learning?

E-learning, short for electronic learning, is a broader term encompassing all forms of learning conducted electronically. This encompasses web-based instruction as well as other formats, including podcasts, mobile apps, video courses, and more. E-learning is not confined to web browsers; it can be delivered through various electronic devices, including computers, tablets, smartphones, and e-readers.

Benefits of Using E-Learning

  • Versatility – E-learning encompasses a wide range of formats and delivery methods, making it versatile and adaptable to different learning needs. From short video tutorials to in-depth courses, e-learning offers options for various preferences and learning styles.
  • Accessibility – Like web-based training, e-learning is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. However, e-learning’s versatility extends to offline accessibility as well, making it possible to learn without a constant internet connection once the content is downloaded or stored locally.
  • Multimedia Learning – E-learning often incorporates multimedia elements, including videos, animations, interactive simulations, and more. This multimedia approach can enhance understanding and engagement, especially in complex subject areas.
  • Adaptive Learning – Some e-learning platforms use adaptive learning algorithms to tailor the content and pace to individual learners. This personalized approach ensures that each student receives a customized learning experience.
  • Continuous Learning – E-learning platforms frequently offer a variety of courses and resources to support continuous learning and professional development. This is particularly valuable for individuals looking to expand their knowledge and skills throughout their careers.

Difference between Web-Based Training and E-Learning


Web-Based Training


Delivery Method

Typically web-based, often hosted on a learning management system (LMS)

Various formats, including video, mobile apps, podcasts, etc.


Internet access required; can be location-dependent

Internet access may be required, but offline access is possible


Often used for corporate training with specific modules and courses

Offers a wide range of  content and formats, allowing for more diverse learning options


Typically includes quizzes and assessments, can have discussion forums

May incorporate multimedia elements, simulations, and gamification

Learning Pace

Often self-paced, with fixed completion deadlines

Can be self-paced or adaptive, adjusting to individual progress

Cost Efficiency

Cost-effective for large groups of learners; minimal travel expenses

Varied, depending on the chosen content and format

Content Updates

Requires manual updates to ensure information is current

Real-time content updates ensure the latest data is available

Which one is Better?

Determining whether web-based training or e-learning is better depends on your specific learning goals, preferences, and resources. Here are some considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  • If you are part of a large organization looking to train employees efficiently and cost-effectively, web-based training through an LMS may be the better choice due to its scalability and centralization.
  • If you value versatility and want access to a wide variety of learning resources beyond traditional courses, e-learning provides a broader spectrum of options.
  • If you prefer self-paced learning and have limited time flexibility, both web-based training and e-learning can accommodate this, but e-learning may offer more diverse content options.
  • If you require a high level of interactivity and multimedia elements in your learning experience, e-learning often excels in this regard.
  • If you need offline access to learning materials, e-learning can be a suitable choice, especially if you can download content for offline use.
  • If you are looking for adaptive learning that tailors content to your specific needs, some e-learning platforms offer this feature.
Ultimately, the choice between web-based training and e-learning depends on your specific needs and goals. It may even make sense to use a combination of both approaches to create a comprehensive and effective learning strategy.


Both methods offer numerous advantages, such as accessibility, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. The decision of which approach to use should be based on your individual requirements and preferences, as well as the learning objectives of your organization if you are considering these methods for employee training.

Ultimately, the “better” option is subjective and depends on the specific needs of the learner or organization.