While the term “e-learning” has been thrown around quite a lot in recent
years, many are still unaware of what it actually means and how it can help
them achieve success in both their professional and personal lives. This short
e-book aims to provide an introductory level overview of the e-learning field
for those people
When it comes to education, the model has been pretty straight
forward - up until the early ‘00s education was in a classroom of students
with a teacher who led the process. Physical presence was a no-brainer, and
any other type of learning was questionable at best. Then the computer
evolution happened and it radically changed the learning landscape.
In essence, e-learning is a computer based educational tool or system
that enables you to learn anywhere and at any time. Today e-learning is
mostly delivered though the internet.
There is a plethora of different e-learning systems and methods, which
allow for courses to be delivered. With the right tool various processes can be
automated such as the marking of tests or the creation of engaging content.
Whether you're a high-school teacher looking to engage your students in a
more interactive way, or a corporate trainer hired by a large company to
design training curricula, e-learning packs a punch when it comes to benefits
that make the creation and delivery processes easier and hassle-free.
Important benefits are outlined below:
No Boundaries, No Restrictions
Along with locational restrictions, time is one of the issues that learners
and teachers both have to face in learning. In the case of face-to-face
learning, the location limits attendance to a group of learners who have the
ability to participate in the area, and in the case of time, it limits the crowd to
those who can attend at a specific time. E-learning, on the other hand,
facilitates learning without having to organize when and where everyone
who is interested in a course can be present.
Designing a course in a way that makes it interactive and fun through
the use of multimedia or the more recently developed methods of
gamification enhances not only your engagement factor, but also the relative
lifetime of the course material in question.
This is directed to both learners and teachers, but there is a good
chance that whatever your role you had to pay exorbitant amounts of money
at some point to acquire updated versions of textbooks for school or college.
While textbooks often become obsolete after a certain period of time, the
need to constantly acquire new editions is not present in e-learning.
It Just Fits!
As companies and organizations adopt technologies to improve the
efficiency of day-to-day operations, the use of the internet becomes a
necessity. As multinational corporations expand across the globe, the
chances of working with people from other countries increases, and training
all those parties together is an issue that elearning successfully addresses.
Let's blend all of that together and apply it in a real-life scenario:
In an effort to enhance the credibility of course material, oftentimes a
professor will summon a field specialist to give a lecture relevant to the topic
at hand. In the traditional model of education, the professor would have to
extend an invitation to said expert, and incur the costs of his flight, stay and
With e-learning the professor has the ability to host a guest lecture without
having to spend much money. It can be done virtually, with cameras for both
the lecturer and the students, and with the use of microphones to facilitate
the same level of interaction that would be possible if the lecturer were
physically present in the room. The added benefit comes in when we are able
to replay the lecture and gain even more out of it. Students that missed out
can view the recording, or students that attended can watch it again to
further their understanding.
Concerns that arise with e-learning
Even given all the benefits of e-learning, one cannot deny there are some
drawbacks. Practical skills are somewhat harder to pick up from online
resources. For example, although building a wooden table is something you
can easily share information about, record videos of and explain, the practical
experience is essential. Pottery and car engineering are examples of skills that
require hands-on experience.
Though e-learning offers ease, flexibility and the ability to remotely access a
classroom in the student’s own time, learners may feel a sense of isolation.
This is because learning online is a solo act for the most part, which may give
the learner the feeling that they are acting completely alone. As technology
progresses and e-learning benefits from the advancements being made,
learners can now engage more actively with professors or other students
using tools such as video conferencing, social media, and discussion forums
Health Related Concerns
E-learning requires the use of a computer and other such devices; this means
that eyestrain, bad posture and other physical problems may affect the
learner. When running an online course it’s a good practice to send out
guidelines about correct sitting posture, desk height, and recommendations
for regular breaks.