The best way to deliver online learning but overcome some of the the disadvantages of this medium, is to combine it with social networking and also real-world get togethers. An optimum mix of different media like this is often referred to as Blended Learning.
Social networking, sometimes known as Web 2.0, embraces a wide range of sites including this one (HubPages), Twitter, Facebook and U-Tube. The common feature of these sites is they all allow the users to add content and to interact with others across the globe. This approach, when coupled with e-learning, helps to remove the sense of isolation online learners often experience and enables them to share ideas with fellow learners.
To understand some of the characteristics of social networking sites, consider this site, HubPages:
It is a writing platform which provides a high ranking with search engines and the opportunity to earn from one's writing (In other words, it is monitorised).Although there is no specific learning material here (Self paced learning modules) people learn here from one another about writing, earning money online and using the web generally. It provides a platform for social networking via Hub comments and the forums.It provides an element of personal ranking for members via both Hub Scores and Hubbers Scores
Ranking is important in informal web-based learning as it helps us to know who's information to trust. I always take more notice of a Hubber I already know and respect or who has a high Hub score and/or lots of hubs as opposed to someone who is very opinionated but has yet to publish their first Hub. I expect fellow Hubbers have already come across some these people in the Hubpages forums!
There is a tremendous amount of wisdom and collective knowledge here at Hubpages but it is only validated by the statistics surrounding the individuals and the quality of their writing content.