Knowledge is power. It strengthens the thoughts and beliefs and contributes to shaping an individual’s personality. Learners acquire knowledge in many ways, and this may take place either through individual or group learning. Also, the environment acts as a stimulus for learning. A child learns many things from his/her surroundings and applies the same to different situations. Traditional classroom learning is the most common method of knowledge dissemination. However, with technological advances, it is becoming a thing of the past. ELearning is now becoming more than a trend and is supplementing and even replacing traditional classroom learning rapidly.
Let’s take a close look at e-learning, its types, advantages/disadvantages, and importance.
What is ELearning?
E-Learning (or electronic learning) is a formalized learning system that uses technology for knowledge impartment. The use of computers and the Internet is fundamental to e-learning. Thus, it entirely depends on electronic resources.
Moreover, e-learning facilitates the transfer of knowledge and skills to a large group of learners at the same or different times. The learners can easily access the courses/lessons available on the Internet without any space or time constraints.
Hitherto, the concept of e-learning was not embraced by many educators as it lacks the human element. However, with incremental evolution in technology, e-learning started gaining ground as one of the most efficient and preferred methods of learning. It is currently not only used by learners who wish to learn a skill but is also used in the classrooms to supplement in-class learning.
Types of ELearning
E-Learningrequires certain tools to operate. There is low to zero human interference with electronic learning. Most often the only time there is a need for human interference is to create a course/lesson. Creating an e-learning course/lesson requires some tools that cater to the specific needs of the course/lesson. Educational scientists identify different types of e-learning according to these learning tools.
Computer Managed Learning (CML)
Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI)
Synchronous Online Learning
Asynchronous Online Learning
Interactive Online Learning
Individual Online Learning
Collaborative Online Learning
Benefits and Potential Pitfalls
Importance of ELearning
E-Learning is rapidly taking over in-class learning because of the various advantages it offers. Over the years, it has become an efficient and popular way of learning. It is particularly popular among Gen Z. The reason for this being that technological developments have led to a tech-savvy generation that likes to spend more time in front of screens.
Moreover, the fast-paced lifestyle also demands less time-consuming activities. Thus, e-learning becomes a great choice to acquire knowledge with lower time and money investment.
Additionally, learning becomes more effective with learner participation. Online courses involve the use of multimedia in the form of images, videos, quizzes, and much more. Thus, electronic learning courses involve the learners in the process as they interact with multimedia in the course. As a result, the learners gain knowledge and are also able to retain information for a longer time.
Furthermore, e-learning is not only a substitute for classroom learning but also supplements it. For instance, in schools, e-learning modules of the lessons taught in the class are used as a supplement to strengthen the understanding of the concepts and assess the students with the help of quizzes and questionnaires.
All these factors contribute to the growth of eLearning in the contemporary world. It is gradually emerging as an important and affordable solution for learners around the world to gain qualifications from the comfort of their homes. With e-learning, the Internet, smartphones, personal computers, and other similar gadgets open the window to numerous opportunities on our screen.