Equipped for Online Learning?

Online Learning Shapes the Academic World
Developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have impacted all sectors of society- mainly the corporate organisations as well as the education sector. In higher education, application of ICTs in form of e-learning is already changing teaching and learning processes. There are many pedagogical and socio-economic factors that have driven higher learning institutions to adopt e-learning. These include greater information access; greater communication via electronic facilities; synchronous learning; increased cooperation and collaboration, cost-effectiveness (e.g. by reaching different students and in greater numbers) and pedagogical improvement through simulations, virtual experiences, and graphic representations. Both trainers and learners can choose more appropriate applications which are flexible in time, in place, personalized, reusable, adapted to specific domains and more cost-efficient.

Why should online education be adapted for todays generation?
No generation is more at ease with online, collaborative technologies than today’s young people— “digital natives”, who have grown up in an immersive computing environment. Where a notebook and pen may have formed the tool kit of prior generations, today’s students come to class armed with smart phones, laptops and iPods.

E-learning offers individualized instruction, and with the modules involved, the learner can locate and target individual learning preferences. Additionally, asynchronous e-learning is self-paced. Advanced learners are allowed to speed through or bypass instruction that is redundant while novices slow their own progress through content, eliminating frustration with themselves, their fellow learners, and the course.

How will Technology shape the future of Learning?
This era of pervasive technology has significant implications for higher education. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of survey respondents from the public and private sectors say that technological innovation will have a major impact on teaching methodologies over the next five years. “Technology allows students to become much more engaged in constructing their own knowledge, and cognitive studies show that ability is key to learning success,” says New York City-based Queens College vice-president of institutional advancement, Susan Henderson.

Online degree programmes and distance e-learning have gained a firm foothold in universities around the world. What was once considered a niche channel for the delivery of educational content has rapidly become mainstream, creating wider access to education, new markets for content and expanded revenue opportunities for academic institutions. Most of the universities are in favour of e- learning as it opens avenues from a one dimensional (physical) concept to a multi-dimensional (physical and online) one.

New technologies are also affecting other areas of campus administration. Social-networking tools are helping to build connections with alumni and support career service activities. E-marketing campaigns expand the reach and success of recruiting and fundraising efforts, and drive down the cost of direct-mail campaigns. Moreover, automated self-service programmes reduce administrative requirements, streamline course registration and enhance academic life.

Cost efficiency & Flexibility
If you are hard ridden for time, because you are working, managing household, too old to attend the course physically or pursuing formal means of education, then online education is meant for you as it is very flexible in regards to time lines and there is no energy drain or excess time or money loss on transport or food expenses.

Shifting trends in Education
E-learning makes learning exciting, engaging and compelling. Hard and boring subjects can be made easier, interesting and appealing with e-learning. E-learning is extremely convenient as it easily approaches you and you do not need to shift or locate in order to be part of E-learning. E-learning makes learning an active experience, considering the interactive platform, which makes the students adapt to the method of “learning by doing”, therefore along with theoretical aspects the practical elements can give a better comprehension on the subject matter. E-learning gives an individual an opportunity to have an individualized and personalized experience by making use of various resources and therefore learning in different ways-reading, watching, exploring, researching, interacting, communicating, collaborating, discussing, sharing knowledge and experiences. An individual is exposed to the global learning trends and the learning experience is on a wider spectrum.

Organizations adopt Seamless Online Trainings
Many organisations now encourage online courses, in order to upgrade the employee’s domain knowledge. As they cannot afford to loose out on the employees working hours, online education works as the best substitute as it does not curb on the office hours and anyone from anywhere around the world can take the courses as per their leisure time.

E-Learning has helped organizations with their bottom line. Many organizations have reported improved time to competency and faster time to market, and a reduction in learning times has meant savings on salaries and opportunity costs, and increased customer and staff satisfaction has led to higher customer and staff retention rates. For organizations, E-learning is playing a major part in helping keeping them agile and competitive in their market.

Easy to Use
Virtual education is offered in a very structured and organized format as documents, transcripts, live discussions and training materials are all archived and recorded so that they can be retrieved via post, e-mail, downloading, and printing. Instructors, Mentors and online guidebooks are available as part of online studies.

Blended Learning
Blended Learning is a combination of traditional face-to-face classroom methods with modern computer-mediated activities. This Learning creates a more integrated approach for both instructors and learners. In Blended Learning technology is very important, it is a combination of face-to-face facilitation with computer-mediated instruction. E-Learning is a part of blended learning and in this learning approach learners and professors work together to improve the quality of learning and teaching.

The main outlook of blended learning is to provide realistic practical opportunities for learners and teachers and to make learning beneficial, sustainable and progressive.

Although educational institutions view these changes as having a largely positive impact, many institutions struggle with the twin challenges of rising information technology (IT) costs and the need to avoid technological obsolescence. In addition, insufficient resources, a lack of adequate instructional design staff and other technological support issues can also impede the adoption of new technologies. However, many corporate organisations have adopted the e-learning methods which help them accelerate their business by training their employees collectively. Despite certain technical challenges faced in the academia, most believe that technology will be even more interwoven into the fabric of academic life .

Leave a Reply