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Making e-learning effective
learning attempts to bridge the distance gap in learning. Online
education exists to meet the needs of trainers and students separated by
physical distance. Physical location of the trainer or training
institution becomes immaterial to acquiring knowledge and skills. Online
learning can be the primary or a supplemental means of learning.
Essentially by bridging this gap, online learning increases access to
learning. Many in this category are those who want to learn while
working. They may be unable to attend on-campus classes. With online
learning, workers can keep their jobs and at the same time, develop
their knowledge and skills. It could also be for the development of new
job skills or training for a new job.
learning makes education available to many who are outside the formal or
traditional education system. It
therefore provides opportunities for individuals and corporate learners
by increasing access to education and training.
What are the other benefits of online learning?
main benefit is convenience. Learning is on your schedule, at your
convenience. You have the ability to access learning from your home or
workplace. It's no wonder some have dubbed it "anytime/anywhere
learning". You don't need
to go to a physical classroom.
today's world, you can't afford to become a dinosaur. Stop learning and you become a dinosaur (http://www.jidaw.com/dinosaur1.html). Lifelong
learning is essential to remain competitive and to enable us grow,
create opportunities and achieve our career ambitions. The right online
learning programs and planning make it possible for you to acquire the
skills you need, when you need them, in a timely manner.
Unique learning experience
learning can be used to create unique learning experiences that
incorporate online forums, community and discussions. Online learning
facilitates the interaction of learners and teachers in different
locations, all over the world. The world is now a global village and
such learning activities with people from diverse social, cultural and
economic, backgrounds often provide more career and related
effective is online learning?
Your Preferred learning style
focus of any form of education should be effective learning by the
technologies, techniques and methods vary. One size does not fit all. It
is very easy to get carried away by technology. If you have the best
technology but your students can't cut the grade, what is the value of
your technology? As a student which system will meet your need? You have
to choose your preferred e-learning style - self-paced or instructor-led?
tutorials, study guides, and multimedia technology all contribute to
student understanding of the program. Would you prefer a system that
allows interactive simultaneous interaction of learners and teachers? Or
do you simply want to access instructional materials when it is
convenient for you?
choice could be based on the flexibility of your time schedule.
of training style delivery must be appropriate to content requirements.
The type and usage of technology can make or break a successful training
program. Again what are your expected educational outcomes? Use this to
choose appropriate learning solutions. Not all online learning programs
will be right for you. And wrong solutions waste time, money and effort.
A problem with many online learning programs is their inability to
incorporate content that requires a hands-on approach. This is why many
still prefer instructor-led training (http://www.jidaw.com/article9.html)for such courses.
example, if you need to develop knowledge and skills relating to the
configuration of routers, will the learning solution provide effective
practice through simulation or access to routers?
What works for you?
Choose your online solution by analyzing and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the options available to you in terms of delivery, flexibility of your time schedule, your learning needs and course/content requirements.
The motivation of the learner determines the effectiveness of any form of learning. The primary role of the student is to learn. However, the student needs to be motivated to learn. Career ambition is an important motivator, but with e-learning there are additional related issues to bear in mind.
Consider the lack of physical contact with other students or competition with other students. Students often learn more effectively when they interact with other students.
Consider also the physical absence of
trainers. Trainers need to be responsive to students' needs. How're
questions, assignments, and other related concerns handled? Regular
contact with the instructor makes learners more motivated. It also
provides feedback for the trainers for developing and evaluating the
learning process. These issues make motivation critical.
does the training solution address the absence of a trainer that can
motivate and support the student when actual requests and problems occur
during the learning process?
ambition is great, but you must take an active role in the online
learning process by taking responsibility for your learning. The absence
of face-to-face interaction requires a more serious attitude toward the
courses by learners and instructors. The importance of motivation cannot
be overstressed. Indeed lack of motivation is the primary reason why
many students drop out.
Interaction, Feedback, Evaluation
follows that effective online learning requires quality
student-to-student interaction, as well as timely teacher-to-student
feedback. How is online
learning evaluated? How it deals with interaction, feedback, evaluation
is the challenge and the opportunity provided by online education.
example, discussion and study groups may provide support, encouragement,
group problem solving and additional feedback on course assignments. In
this way forums create the feeling that help is readily available.
need to reflect on what they are learning. How do you evaluate what is
taught? Examinations, tests, practice assignments and
presentations provide opportunities for students and trainers to
evaluate learning. However, such evaluation will be more meaningful for
students, if it promotes reflection on experience and relates new
knowledge to examples that make sense to students.
it is possible, online
communities and forums should be created and implemented as part of the
learning experience for student-to-student interaction, trainer to
student feedback, study groups and practice evaluation. Positive
feedback and interaction, not just training sessions produces effective
learning by students.
e-learning produces results. But is e-learning the solution for you?
Your approach also determines whether you will get benefit. As you make
your choices, never forget - that the essence of any learning is not
the training school, the online facility or the instructors. The essence
is effective learning by students.
Jide Awe is the Publisher of Jidaw.com. Drop him a line.
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