E-LEARNING AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
“People expect to be bored by eLearning—let’s show them it doesn’t have to be like that!”
– Cammy Bean
The world today is rapidly progressing on the road to utilization, with the ever increasing number of technical applications that are used to communicate and pass on knowledge.Since the Internet was adopted and further developed as a means of communication by educational institutions in the 1970s, academics have been aware of its massive potential as a learning tool. In recent years, governments of both developed and under-developed nations have become increasingly excited about the possibilities of online learning to deliver cost effective, easily accessible and ever-current education to all ages and social backgrounds, regardless of time and geography.
A learning system based on formalised teaching but with the help of electronic resources is known as E-learning. E-learning can also be termed as a network enabled transfer of skills and knowledge, and the delivery of education is made to a large number of recipients at the same or different times.
E-Learning enables the learners to learn anytime and anywhere. It enables the development of perfect learning content through the application of sound instructional design principles to perfectly analyze the basic requirements of learning as well as learning objectives.
These include: virtual classrooms, web-based learning, computer-based learning, digital collaboration, video and audio recordings, interactive TV and many more. Thus, e-learning is suited to flexible learning methods and distance learning. E-learning can however be coupled with face to face instruction, which is called blended learning.
Scope of E-learning-
- There are basically two parts or phases of elearning. In one phase e-learning is used for educational purposes and at another level it is used for training.
- The educational; use is limited to secondary and higher secondary level.
- In the second phase it is used to provide training to the employees and to upgrade their skills.
- Elearning is growing at a very low rate in India as compared to the international market where it is being used at all levels.
- In India if we are able to make e-learning as a source of learning in rural areas then it is the easiest and fastest tool to educate people.
Types of E-Learning-
Fundamentally, there are two categories of eLearning:
1. Synchronous E-learning-Synchronous eLearning is real-time learning. In synchronous learning, the learners and the teacher are online and interact at the same time from different locations. They deliver and receive the learning resources via mobile, video conference, Internet or chat.
In this type of learning the participants can share their ideas during the session and interact with each other and they get detailed queries and solutions. Synchronous eLearning is gaining popularity because of improved technology and Internet bandwidth capabilities.
2. Asynchronous E-learning-Asynchronous eLearning is a pause-and-resume kind of learning. In this type of eLearning the learner and the teacher cannot be online at same time. Asynchronous eLearning may use technologies such as email, blogs, discussion forums, eBook’s CDs, DVDs, etc.
Learners may learn at any time, download documents, and chat with teachers & also with co-learners. In fact, many learners prefer asynchronous instead of synchronous learning because learners can take online courses to learn at their preferable time by not affecting their daily commitments.
Top 10 Growth Rates By Country:
Growth rate shows how each country adopts eLearning and is a significant indicator since it can reveal revenue opportunities. The growth rate of self-paced eLearning by country is-
1. India: 55%
2. China: 52%
3. Malaysia: 41%
4. Romania: 38%
5. Poland: 28%
6. Czech Republic: 27%
7. Brazil: 26%
8. Indonesia: 25%
9. Colombia: 20%
10. Ukraine: 20%
Advantages of E-Learning:
(i) Flexible, On-Demand Learning:
The biggest advantage of e-learning is access to on-demand courses. Many a time one requires access to certain learning material. E-learning provides an abundance of such material (for enhancing both hard domain skills and soft skills) that can be accessed year-long at any time of the day or night.
(ii) Privacy of Learning:
Some people feel intimidated by the presence of peers during the learning process. If they do not understand certain sections of a course, they feel awkward to ask these questions in public. E-learning obviates this issue.
(iii) Lower Cost:
Well-architected e-learning systems typically cost lower than traditional systems, if the right scale is achieved. This is because it leads to savings in terms of travel, time and distribution of content, etc.
(iv) Increased Access:
E-learning brings the world to one’s finger-tips! It is possible to easily access the best global experts through the electronic medium. The learning experience is also of higher quality. It is enhanced through the use of audio, video, and graphics and imaging aids. This multimedia experience greatly augments the quality of learning.
Elements of E-Learning-
Some common elements of e-Learning are as follows:
- The role played by the teacher/instructor is vital. He/she is necessary to offer necessary feedback to students. He/she is also sometimes responsible for keeping students’ progress or scores.
- The learning material is the key feature in e-learning. Usually, course material is formatted in a way that is simple and easily accessible for students.
- Communication is important for learning. To be able to access online coursework from the instructor, students have to use one or more of the many modes of communication or delivery methods.
- A well-organized Learning Management System is necessary. It should be easily navigable by both the student and the instructor.
Challenges to E-learning:
(a) Cost: While delivery costs of e-learning are significantly reduced compared to costs associated with classroom learning delivery, especially when large numbers of learners are involved, initial development and purchase of e-learning products represents a major barrier to the adoption of e-learning training within organizations.
(b) Lack of time: Lack of time as an obstructing factor comes second, after the cost barrier. Long development cycles prohibit many institutions from engaging in production of custom e-learning training.
(c) Content Incompatibility and Penury: Locating appropriate off-the-shelf e-learning material or converting custom e-learning (i.e., classroom-based) material for use on an e-learning platform proves a major challenge for institutions.
(d) Human Resistance: Enthusiasm for e-learning technologies is limited for those who do not have the skills to use the technology, think it is more cumbersome than traditional tools or simply prefer the human interaction provided in instructor-led training.
No doubt, it is equally important to take forward the concept of non-electronic teaching with the help of books and lectures, but the importance and effectiveness of technology-based learning cannot be taken lightly or ignored completely.The concept of E-learning is getting very popular these days, as many universities are offering degree and diploma programs through E-learning mode. Many big companies are investing in Elearning and setting up their interactive classrooms like Reliance and Tata. Also subject matter experts are developing new and versatile tools to create E-learning modules.
Thus, the day is not far away when E-learning will become the future popular method of education throughout the world.
References- TOI, The Hindu
Article by – Avantika Pandey, She is a BBA Student from Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women.
Edited By- Shweta Mittal