7 Types of Learning Delivery Formats

Technology has revolutionized the way we live and learn, especially post the COVID-19 pandemic. Today there are a multitude of different formats in which we use to deliver education, each with its own benefits and challenges.

Therefore, it’s vital to understand what’s available in order to effectively cater to your educational needs. In this article, we will explore seven of the most common learning delivery formats widely used today to help you navigate which format might be most suitable for your needs.


Traditional Classroom Learning

This format of education is the most common and well-known. It involves students and instructors gathering in a physical room and delivering instruction face-to-face. The setting is commonly a classroom where instructors deliver education in the form of lectures, work-shops, lessons etc. This style of learning encourages real-life interactions between peers and instructor, encourages social learning, and can provide real-time feedback. This method is limited by schedules of those involved and location of the learning. For example, it may be difficult delivering this style of education to those who live in a different country with a dysfunctional timezone.


Online Learning

Online learning or e-learning has rapidly increased in popularity as a result of the pandemic, though has always been a staple delivery format since the invention of the internet. This method applies digital platforms such as learning management systems to deliver learning. Recently, AI integration has become common place with e-learning. AI-powered virtual tutors or chatbots offer instant support to learners, guiding them through the learning materials. Its strengths come from e-learning’s accessibility. Learners can access lectures, videos, assignments and other material remotely insofar as they have access to internet. It encourages self-paced learning which provides learners who prefer to study independently a platform to do so. However, online learning is limited by weak internet access and understanding of technology.  


Blended Learning

This approach integrates the features of both traditional classroom learning and online learning, whereas students may be in-person for instruction, then use technology to continue their education asynchronously. This format of learning is great for promoting elements of in-person learning such as active engagement and lessons with the flexibility of online reinforcement. A disadvantage with this approach is integrating both the aforementioned formats can prove to be difficult. 


Peer-to-Peer Learning

Peer-to-peer learning uses collaborative activities, group projects, and open discussion to facilitate learning with each other’s support. This more experimental format encourages students to problem-solve through sharing ideas among heir peers. While this format improves collaborative and communication skills, it requires moderation to keep this open communication directed towards learning. In addition to requiring constant coordination, there may be uneven learning as as result of varying levels of participation among peers. 


Experiential Learning

Experiential learning is similar to how it sounds. This format of learning delivery uses a hands-on approach to deliver education to students via experiences such as internships, real-world projects, and activities to actively engage the learner in the content and facilitate understanding. This format gains popularity by its lack of reliance on passive learning methods such as lectures, and rather seeks individuals to learn themselves through interaction. Some pitfalls with this approach is that it’s expensive/time-consuming to develop and may prove difficult to assess how much a student has learned. 


Game-Based Learning

Game-based learning involves gamifying learning objectives/content into interactive activities. This format uses reward-based learning mechanisms such as competitions, challenges and awards to motivate students to learn the material and enjoy the process. Similar to online learning, AI is used to complement this format as well. AI can be used to create adaptive game scenarios, which can respond to learners’ actions. This provides a dynamic and engaging learning environment. Game-based learning can lead to great engagement, though it is time-consuming to effectively develop these games. 


Immersive Learning

The final format this article covers is immersive learning. This newer format of learning delivery uses virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create immersive learning environments with simulated experiences. Students can utilize the advantages of experiential learning without physically experiencing the material. This method is immersive, however is still in development and often requires expensive equipment to carry-out.


Comparison Chart




1. Traditional Classroom

+ Social Learning

+ Immediate Feedback

– Schedule Conflict

– Location Constraints

2. Online Learning

+ Accessible

+ Self-paced

– Needs access to Internet

– Knowledge of Technology

3. Blended Learning

+ Flexible

+ Active Learning

– Difficult Integration

– Knowledge of Technology

4. Peer-to-Peer Learning

+ Social Interaction

+ Collaboration

– Coordinating Conversation

– Inconsistent Participation

5. Experiential Learning

+ Hands-on Learning

+ Application of Knowledge

– Expensive

– Assessment Complexity

6. Game-Based Learning

+ Motivating

+ Engagement 

– Difficulty Developing Game

– Time-Consuming

7. Immersive Learning 

+ Engaging

+ Immersive

– Underdeveloped

– Expensive Equipment


All in all, each learning delivery format has its own strengths and weaknesses which must be considered when selecting the ideal format tailored to one’s needs. By considering all aspects of your situation such as your learning goals, learning styles, and size of the experience, you can better stay informed on which format is most optimized for your situation. Whether you decide upon online learning for its accessibility or want to experiment with the practicality of experiential learning, don’t forget to explore what’s available to you based on your needs.


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7 Types of Learning Delivery Formats

Technology has revolutionized the way we live and learn, especially post the COVID-19 pandemic. Today there are a multitude of different formats in which we use to deliver education, each with its own benefits and challenges.