E-learning is not just about learning new things – it’s about learning differently.
e-learning is not the same as classroom instruction: it is a completely different way of learning.
It’s a way of learning because you can do it anywhere and anytime, with anyone who has access to the Internet.
e-learning uses technology to help you learn differently and takes you away from your desk and away from your book or laptop. It provides you with access to knowledge, whether you are studying for an exam, completing homework, or simply researching a topic.
It is probably the biggest change in education since the introduction of printing books on paper hundreds of years ago. It has become so ubiquitous that many people have come to believe that it is an essential part of teaching and learning today, when in fact it holds no more than a tiny fraction of what is happening at any given time in schools.
What is E-learning?
E-learning is often a confusing maze, and the term itself can be confusing. Most people think of it as the process of learning digitally by using a computer, but there are many other ways to learn.
It could be through one-on-one interaction with a tutor or by studying in a class setting, or it could be by watching a video or listening to a lecture.
E-learning is also referred to as distance learning, Internet learning, online learning, online education, online training, online education system, and online learning.
The term “distance” here refers to the distance between you and the person you are interacting with (the “teacher”), whereas “interaction” means that you both have some sort of record/connection between you.
The difference between these two terms can make all the difference: if you are interacting with your tutor through Skype then that would be more like an office meeting than an actual conversation.
if this is not the case (for instance if your tutor is using a remote control device) then it would more closely resemble having a Skype session with another person.
Advantages of e-learning
There is growing evidence of the advantages of e-learning in terms of learning, productivity, and training.
Many companies are starting to realize the benefits of e-learning and are even using it for internal training programs. There are several different categories of e-learning:
• Online classes
• Short-term courses (e.g. a series of lectures)
• One-off course
• Self-paced courses (e.g. individual work sessions)
The advantages of one or more of these types include:
• Easier to set up and operate an online course or class, especially if you want it to be interactive, in other words, you don’t want someone to just sit in front of an empty screen clicking on links all day long.
which is cumbersome and doesn’t help anyone learn very much when you only want something short, interactive, and involving people, these are much better solutions to get your message across with ease; see also the section above on how to create value on launch day.
• Costs can be reduced by moving costs from hardware/software/fees into subscription fees for the software or hardware; this reduces both your cost base as well as gives you more flexibility about what equipment you need, at what prices & what can be used within your organization.
so many companies have a mix between hardware needs & software needs and this makes them faster & better at responding to change; while there is no free lunch here (costs will still rise over time), there is less fixed cost & network investment needed per month; see also the section above on how to create value on launch day.
• There is less risk involved in setting up an online course because people can handle it themselves, without specialized training or experience – all you need for most people are their own time and computer skills.
so companies have lower risk when launching new products (the only real downside here is that there can sometimes be more manual work involved in setting up an online course than there was with traditional instruction).
This means that oftentimes organizations will cut out one type of training entirely by simply not requiring it anymore, which reduces costs enormously but also makes them slower at responding to change; see also the section above on how to create value on launch day.
• There are fewer upfront costs involved because people don’t need specialized training or expertise with your product – they just need their computers on their own.
Disadvantages of e-learning
Ever since E-learning has come, all people give importance to it and are keeping their distance from all books, people are learning from other sources instead of books.
They think, ‘I don’t need a textbook because I can do this.’ That is not true. You should have a textbook, but you should also have a good reference book on the topic too.
You will get more out of it if you read the textbook alongside it, and you will understand what happens in context.
Just because textbooks exist doesn’t mean that they are always useful for learning about things that happen in the real world. No one else is doing what you want to do, so you must do it yourself and make it better for yourself.
That was a quote by Steve Jobs during his keynote at the MacWorld 2006 event (which he delivered before most of us even knew what we were getting ourselves into).
The point here is that while people don’t necessarily need to learn new things when they can watch videos on YouTube or read a book, they certainly should be aware of how knowledge works and how it is acquired.
The problem with e-learning platforms is that they tend to be very narrowly focussed on certain kinds of content (e.g., “channels”) and tend to be designed as applications rather than as educational products (i.e., they don’t teach anything).
The advantages of e-learning platforms like Udacity or Coursera are that they cover more topics than just programming: there are courses in economics, business communication, statistics, etc that would be difficult for anyone to learn otherwise.
But since those courses build on existing knowledge, many learners would still prefer to spend their time studying the same material in their way (like reading books), or looking up information online instead (which is why Udacity exists).
As an example, Coursera offers courses covering everything from programming languages to digital marketing.
Udacity offers courses covering everything from data analytics and machine learning up to AI; both offer free tutorials for each course.
Python tutorial for Udacity (as well as hundreds of additional tutorials), and each tutorial includes sample code that can be viewed online.
Udacity has its great tutorial series using MongoDB; Coursera has its great series using PHP; etc… And yet both Coursera and Udacity have their shortcomings: people who know something go back to their reading material
Future scope of e-learning
There is no doubt that e-learning will become a massive industry in the coming years. The new learning management systems (LMS) are already here, and many others are still in development.
There are also many niche choices that either don’t seem to be worth the trouble or don’t have enough traction to make their development worthwhile.
We want to focus on e-learning which has a clear set of objectives and can be built in a scalable way. If you look at the history of online learning, there has always been a focus on giving students access to content, with no real control over access.
This is certainly true for our current LMS but it’s not right for e-learning in general.
• Control access (by making it optional)
• Automate access (so that the student doesn’t need to worry about financial constraints)
• Make it easier for people who can afford an LMS to get started with e-learning (in particular, simplify step 1 so that people can pay for an LMS without worrying about payments first).
The goal here is not to turn all learners into millionaires, but just as importantly, we don’t want people who cannot afford LMSs to keep using them.
We want them to go back to the budgeting side of their brains and realize they can get better value elsewhere.
Here is how we will accomplish this:
• Make it easier for people who can afford an LMS not only in terms of payment but also other things such as personal data protection
Here are some things we need from you:
• The ability to use some or all of your money wisely and responsibly (in other words avoid paying for dead trees etc.) – so we have confidence it is going where it should go when you buy an LMS. If you have doubts about whether your money will be well spent on our products then please share your concerns with us before buying one of our products!
I’ve been looking at e-learning for a few years now, and I wouldn’t be averse to it.
First, let me clarify why I think it is something worth considering. I’ve seen too many people make the mistake of thinking that every learning experience needs to be a “classroom” or “lecture” experience. While in some cases this may be true, what you want is not necessarily the same as what you need to deliver.
E-learning offers advantages over traditional classroom learning in the following ways:
• It has the advantage of being context-free and flexible, so once you are comfortable with the way it works, you can adapt it to whatever kind of learning environment you have in mind. This can be in person, virtual, or some combination thereof.
• It allows for high levels of personalization (which is rare with traditional classroom learning).
It doesn’t matter if your students are from India or Ireland, they will all learn about the same things when they come here; however different geographical locations and cultures might impact how they learn.
With e-learning, you can look at different audiences at different times; this means that what works well for one group (say middle school students) will work well for another group (say high school students) so that there is no need to reinvent the wheel each time an audience comes together.
It also means that everything can change easily on a day-to-day basis — if one group finds what works best for them it will always remain so because they know their audience better than anyone else anyway.
• You don’t have as much overhead on your side — with e-learning projects per student are usually minuscule compared to traditional classroom education (which usually involves an entire school year).
This further lowers overhead costs and allows for lower costs per student — hence making e-learning an attractive proposition even if your budget is limited (such as when there are only enough room for 20 students to take part in a class) but not quite enough students who want to participate (if you have 100 students but only 50 who want to take part).
• It gets rid of one of the biggest reasons users get turned off from traditional classroom learning: having to wait days or weeks before seeing any results from their work since other groups might also be working on similar material while they wait — which can cause anxiety and disrupt productivity