Today, the computer is here to stay in all teaching forms, from primary and higher education to continuing education. Because to remain in the labor market, people need to keep themselves more active «in working form.» It is not always possible to do this without the Internet and a computer. It is impossible to imagine a higher education institution or an educational enterprise that does not have a computer class or does not use the Internet to publish its educational materials. Learning online has recently been known collectively as e-learning. The Internet allows students to expand their capabilities significantly.
E-Learning with Modern Webinar Tools
However, technological capabilities expansion is only one of the learning processes when getting an online education.
Another significant aspect is didactics:
- How to prepare materials.
- What should be the possibilities of communication?
- How to organize forums.
- What should be the possibilities of self-control, and, finally, how to ensure the actual conduct of examinations/surveys?
There are indeed enough problems, but opportunities for higher education and additional training are expanding.
Naturally, there are specialties where direct communication with a teacher, such as medicine, aviation, and sea navigation, is necessary for mastering the material. However, computer simulations can also be used in these specialties. Nevertheless, it is clear that starting from a certain level of skills. One must have direct experience learning a profession.
The Understanding of E-Learning
Because e-learning is a relatively new type of thinking in education, understanding the features and applications is somewhat different. Without getting deeper into the different kinds of organization of the educational process offered by various schools of pedagogy, note that absolute truth, one and the best teaching method, does not exist. One approach and a student is close by one approach, the other by another.
In general, e-learning is a relatively wide area of the educational process, starting with audio-visual objects in the classroom and ending with conducting electronic training courses in a particular Internet environment, essentially never meeting with the teacher indirectly. Also, to improve your skills and cope with specific tasks more successfully, you can use the software’s additional functions (installation procedures, hyperlinks, various tutorials, etc.).
Lecture materials in universities have recently been considered e-learning and loaded into the educational information system. However, in recent years, people have believed one can view e-learning as a learning process through universal e-learning environments. E-learning systems, of course, are many, as the specialization and accents can be very different. Moodle, IVA, Edutizer, etc., mainly use the method of higher and secondary specialized education.
The main characteristics of E-Learning
If to somehow generalize and systematize the approaches above, then the main characteristics of eLearning are the statements:
- Some opportunities within the software (Microsoft, Linux, etc.) allow users to learn and use all sorts of additional features and options.
- There are also simple knowledge testing systems in some educational information systems and homepages where teachers can upload their materials.
Unfortunately, developing such systems is time-consuming; therefore, their number is small, but they are the most effective means of learning the material. Universal e-learning environments that are designed either at the request of large universities or for commercial purposes, such as WebCT, Edutizer, Luvit, Moodle, IVA, etc.
Along with the existing social networks (Facebook, Twitter, various blogs, Second Life environment, etc.), object-oriented Internet environments are emerging that will allow students to study subjects much more efficiently, using the principles of “learning by doing.”
For the above list, it isn’t easy to make a rating. It is preferably the evolution of the learning process due to the development of technology and our beliefs – from simple to complex. Simultaneously, the less direct contacts between teachers and students occur, the more motivated the student should be.
Independent work that requires willpower and concentration is an integral part of e-learning. Unfortunately, these very traits of character are very different for students. When comparing student motivation, it is interesting to note that, on average, students are more motivated when studying career subjects and less motivated when studying basic education subjects. During advanced training, where students choose the field they want to fulfill their knowledge, motivation is much higher than students.
Video lectures as a part of e-learning
There are many discussions about video lectures – whether to use them and to what extent. Since audio-visual technology is developing rapidly, students will likely listen to video lectures. However, talks at a technically poor level or, even worse, with a poor methodological level of explanation will not attract anyone. Thus, preliminary preparation of lectures and technical support should be at the level. Moreover, a lot depends on the artistry of the teacher.
All this should give an acceptable learning outcome. Worries that video lectures will be in use by the best specialists only, whose talks are audible, are as unreasonable as fears about the disintegration of theaters after the invention of sound recordings. A direct display will always be because the nuances of the presentation and the disclosure of professional problems, characteristic of each teacher-personality, cannot be tracked in the recording.
Problems may arise when using aids to check the level of knowledge, which is relatable to motivation. If there is a desire to acquire knowledge, then the students will do the tests by themselves, if the goal is only to get a high mark, then the experience will remain in the background, and there will be attempts to use dishonest approaches.
In conclusion, we can say that e-learning has its positive and negative sides. Considering the positive aspects, it is important to note that e-learning allows students to use their time more rationally, study when they have the opportunity to do so, and pay more attention to those parts of the subject they consider essential. Students who cannot attend regular lectures will find their way to education.
Within the modern paradigm of lifelong learning framework, this is an excellent opportunity for many to improve their skills and knowledge. On the part of the training organization, you can bring savings in training and educational activities. You can note the financial savings for students in the form of lower transportation costs.
Skeptics believe that the negative side of e-learning is, first of all, reduced opportunities for communication. There are fears that communication skills will deteriorate, and anonymous e-acquaintances with whom they never meet face to face will replace personal contacts. The teacher’s personality, the role of an example, which is to experience during direct listening to lectures because it is impossible to transmit emotions via electronic channels, will also disappear. Besides, they often underestimate the costs of developing new courses, an entirely new approach to constructing material.
One should always remember that e-learning is not just the automatic copying of traditional learning within new opportunities. E-learning requires an entirely new approach, which already concerns the field of didactics. Thus, the preparation process is very long.
Melisa Marzett is a writer of guest post articles living in Phoenix, Arizona and working for my papers and findwritingservice. She was a journalist and a translator for about ten years has a particular interest in translation techniques and keeps an ear to the ground. She has focused more on writing and composing for the last four years.