Today, the world is making rapid progress on the road to utilization, with an ever-increasing number of technical applications used to communicate and transmit knowledge. In traditional classrooms, knowledge acquisition is limited to the information that the instructor has and can access. However, connecting students to the outside world enhances their ability to construct new knowledge.
E-learning is an umbrella term used to describe a wide variety of electronic ways of accessing education and the process itself. These include virtual classrooms, web-based learning, computer-based learning, digital collaboration, video, and audio recordings, interactive TV, and more. Therefore, E-learning is suited to flexible learning methods and distance learning. However, e-learning can be coupled with a face-to-face instruction called Blended learning.
Evolution of E-Learning
E-learning has radically changed over the last decade. In the early days, e-learning courses were typically custom-built by groups of programmers who were supported by software-based tools. Advancing technology has led to the creation of the worldwide web, making e-learning courses a simpler task for anyone without programming knowledge to complete.
Technology changes have brought new hardware like portable computers, making it easy for learners to access online course materials. Nowadays, many people use tablets and smartphones for online classes and web seminars or webinars.
Types of E-Learning
E-Learning can be classified by how it is shared between the instructor and the student. An informal distribution form of e-learning is one in which students are trusted to view the available course materials and are not tracked or tested for completion.
In the formal distribution form of e-learning, instructors usually keep track and record the progress of the learner and the results. Most of the educational institutions that offer certifications for students have specific systems and standards to measure student scores.
Learning Management Systems or LMS are used to track scores and ensure that the student standards for each course are maintained. They are platforms that make it possible for users to create good online courses; and also for students to be able to access these courses. These platforms are of different types and have different capabilities. Some of them are free while others are offered at a fee.
Elements of E-Learning
When creating an online course, there are some criteria to be met. Setting a list of criterion ensures that students benefit fully from the course they signed up for. 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. A well-organized Learning Management System is necessary. It should be easily navigable by both the student and the instructor.
The learning material is the key feature in e-learning. Usually, the 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.
Today, there are a wide variety of devices that allow teachers and learners to share knowledge. The trainer connects interactively to viewers or listeners, using multimedia, voice communications, videos (live or pre-recorded), presentations, product demonstrations, and text chats, mostly over the Internet.
Advantages of E-Learning
The impact of the rapidly evolving technological world on ways in which learning is delivered is immense. Today, many institutions of higher learning are offering off-premise schooling since it has many advantages over on-campus learning. One of the major reasons for this is space. Through e-learning, schools can accommodate as many students as they wish for courses offered since factors like accommodation space and classroom space are no longer limiting factors.
E-learning is very flexible, as learners can access the material at any time they want. Students who reside in places far away from physical classrooms, or who do not have the time to be with the instructor, have the luxury of choosing a time of their convenience, of going through school coursework.
The wide variety of fields to choose from
There are thousands of school course-works, online degrees, and certifications being offered online today. E-Learning does not limit students’ access to fields of study that traditional face-to-face mode of learning did. It is now possible for a student in Africa to access and complete course work that is not offered in their school, but in a school that is located on a different continent. That is the power of E-learning.
E-learning reduces the need for students and instructors to be located in a central learning place. This saves money that could be spent on travel, accommodation, and other uses that school-based learners can not avoid. Time spent switching to class could also be used for other duties.
Better participation and individual instruction
Students are happier to interact with online tutors than with a physical classroom meeting. This helps students understand the concepts they are getting trained on better. The instructor can offer complete attention to a single student online for a longer period, which is difficult in a conventional classroom.
Consistency in course delivered
Teaching in a classroom is different every day. Unlike online tutoring, teachers in a physical classroom present information to students in varied ways, every day. This results in differences in the input that the learner receives – it may be qualitative on some occasions and not so effective at other times. However, e-learning like a previously taped performance is delivered without varying every time and this provides a constant consistency in coursework.
Timetables are rigid in a school-based learning system. For example, in a two-hour class, students have to sit through the entire class. In e-learning, students have the luxury of spending halfway through the tutorial and resuming at a later time or date.
Although e-learning is most widely used in school, a variety of uses have also been found in the corporate world. Firms are increasingly turning to e-learning, to train their staff in the skills they may lack. This not only helps firms educate their staff while cutting costs but also helps them save time.
In a fast-pacing, technology-oriented world of today, people are adopting technology and finding new ways to integrate it in support of education. E-learning is leading the way, redefining ways in which knowledge is acquired.
Teachr LMS is a complete e-learning platform. Teachr LMS will help you discover everything you need to know when opting for an LMS for training companies to achieve your business objectives. It provides classroom, virtual, mobile, gamification, and e-commerce features into a single, secure platform to meet any teaching or training needs.