WHAT IS E-LEARNING?
E-learning is any type of learning that takes place through or with a computer and is primarily facilitated through the Internet but can also be accomplished with CD-ROMs and DVDs, streaming audio or video and other media. The purpose of e-learning is to allow people to learn without physically attending a traditional school or academic setting. E-learning is versatile enough to accommodate all learning styles. The ‘E’ in E-learning stands for ‘Electronic’. Hence, it is originally ‘electronic learning.’
The term may also refer to a network that can provide knowledge and skills to one or more individuals. The network can provide the knowledge or skills either to everyone simultaneously or individually.
Earlier, e-learning was not accepted completely as it was assumed that the system lacked the human element required in learning. However, with the rapid progress in technology and the advancement in learning systems, it is now embraced by the masses. The introduction of computers was the basis of this revolution and with the passage of time, we get hooked to smartphones, tablets etc. these devices now have an important place in the classrooms for learning. Books are gradually getting replaced by electronic educational materials like optical discs or pen drives. Knowledge can also be shared via the Internet, which is accessible 24/7 anywhere and anytime.
BENEFITS OF E-LEARNING
1. LOCATION FOR LEARNING
Considering the fact that the only requirement for e-learning is just a computer with internet access in most cases, location for learning has been of great benefits to all. Students do not only have access to education at school but also at home, libraries, internet cafes and any other place you can think of as long as there is available internet access. This is one major reason why e-learning is a preferred option for all. The ease of location with e-learning also makes it preferable for young or special-needs children to learn from home. E-learning can also save money in that e-learners do not have to pay for transportation once they choose to remain at home while taking courses online. Ease of location is also beneficial to students who are home-schooled, as they can gain social interaction through online communications as well as educational materials.
2. PACE OF CLASSES
Another benefit of e-learning is that it is self-directed, meaning that the e-learner sets the pace of her learning. Unlike traditional methods of education, e-learning allows a student to pace her educational needs with her comfort level. Study structure is usually more flexible than the requirements made at traditional learning institutions.
3. LOWER COST
Learning is cost effective as compared to traditional forms of learning. The reason for this price reduction is because learning through this mode happens quickly and easily. A lot of training time is reduced with respect to trainers, course materials and accommodation.
4. QUICK DELIVERY OF LESSONS
E-Learning aids quick delivery of lessons as compared to traditional classroom teaching method, this mode has relatively quick delivery cycles.
Some of the reasons why the learning time is reduced by e-learning:
- Lessons starts quickly and also wrapped up in a single learning session. This enables training programs to easily roll out within a few weeks or sometime even days.
- Learners can define their own speed of learning instead of following the speed of the whole group.
- Saves time as a student does not need to go to the training venue. You can learn at the comfort of your own place.
- Students can choose to study specific and relevant areas of the learning material without focusing on each and every area. For example, they can skip certain areas they do not want to learn.
5. LECTURES CAN BE TAKEN ANY NUMBER OF TIMES
With online learning you can access the content several times. This is especially required at the time of revision when preparing for an exam. In traditional form of learning, if you can not attend the lecture, then you have to prepare for that topic on your own; in e-learning, you can attend the lectures whenever you want with ease.
- It results in improved scores on tests or examinations.
- Enhanced ability to learn and implement the new processes or knowledge.
- Helps in retaining information for a longer time.
Schools that use e-learning technologies are a step ahead of those that still use the traditional approach towards learning. It is important to take forward the concept of non-electronic teaching with the help of books and lectures but the importance and effectiveness of technology-based learning cannot be taken lightly or ignored completely. It is believed that the human brain can easily remember and relate to what is seen and heard via moving pictures or videos. It has also been found that visuals, apart from holding the attention of the student are also retained by the brain for longer periods. Various sectors, including agriculture, medicine, education, services, business, and government setups are adapting to the concept of e-learning which helps in the progress of a nation.
Originally written by Ashley Brooks and can be found here.