E-Learning reaches beyond traditional face-to-face classroom learning environments by combining teaching and the Internet so students have the option of learning in a different modality. E-Learning uses technological devices and computer software applications to deliver the curriculum. The instructor uses the Internet to deliver the curriculum over methods and applications like Web-based training (WBT), computer-based training (CBT), synchronous, and asynchronous classroom modalities, and digital delivery. Students learn through self-paced or instructor-led delivery. E-Learning Purposes and Characteristics
The purpose of e-Learning is combining technology and communication to provide an alternate method for students to earn a degree without physically attending a traditional classroom setting or academic institution). E-Learning is available for academic progress from grade school through doctoral degrees. E-Learning teaches sequentially so student learning builds upon the previous curriculum. E-Learning makes learning fun for the students by varying the curriculum. Instructors combine imagery and content that creates student attention and engages interaction so students retain the material . Students receive immediate feedback so they can correct assumptions and misunderstandings. E-Learning encourages students interact with each other by using chat rooms, instant messaging, e-mail, and discussion forums to communicate with other students and the e-Learning instructor). E-Learning Benefits
E-Learning easily accommodates numerous delivery and learning styles globally. Students have convenience and flexibility within the e-Learning modality that traditional classrooms lack). Students have several options to select among the different e-Learning modalities thereby creating a student-centric learning environment catering to his or her needs urriculum and supporting classroom materials through the Internet. Flex-net classes combine online and face-to-face instruction. Ease of location and convenience is crucial to e-Learning students because the only requirement to attend class is a computer with Internet accessibility and proper hardware and software applications Students can attend class anywhere in the world that has access to the Internet. E-Learning allows students the ability to work full-time, part-time, or stay-at-home while earning a degree. E-Learning reduces expenses for students because they do not have to pay for gas, parking, or vehicle maintenance Another convenience factor is the pace of the e-Learning classes. Students attend class by setting their own pace of learning. The self-directed learning allows students to complete and submit assignments within the deadlines while maintaining an appropriate comfort level so to reduce unnecessary stress E-Learning Challenges
Some of the challenges for e-Learning students are the same as the benefits. These challenges include flexibility, the lack of a traditional classroom, self-motivation, and accountability. Students need a computer with proper hardware, software, and Internet accessibility connections to attend e-Learning courses . They also need a working knowledge of the computer and intermediate to advanced computer skills.
Students need self-discipline, time management skills, and good study habits to attend an e-Learning class or they may fail (E-Learning, 2011). Students also needing face-to-face interactions may find that e-Learning is not beneficial because of the lack of communication and interpersonal skills. They cannot work alone because of a lack of self-motivation. Another challenge is the global aspect, as some students may believe this hinders networking opportunities because of professional applications E-Learning Instructional Methods
Instructional methods to use within e-Learning include incorporating technology, teaching, and interactive learning specific to the audience into each lesson plan curriculum. The lesson plan needs course related objectives, organized material, and easy navigation. The course should not exceed one hour of CBT . Instructional designers often create a storyboard to organize materials and include student activities like games into the lesson plan. Storyboards allow the designer a visual representation of the web pages of the curriculum so to identify missing content or kinks easily
Once the designer creates the storyboard or outline, the presentation can vary by adding text, audio, video clips, and animation to help students retain information visually and orally . The incorporation of visual and oral content must reflect the subject matter into the context use and expand on existing knowledge levels among the students
Quizzes, games, and discussions help students use critical thinking skills to identify the correct response by combining visual representations with content Interactions with different outcomes allow the designer to incorporate web-based games. Students watch a video game and select the appropriate animated action response as a best solution to the learning they receive. These selections create a final game scenario that the instructor grades from correct moves The immediate grade and feedback allow the student to learn and correct mistakes. Conclusion
E-Learning eliminates the boundaries of traditional classroom learning to reach a global environment. E-Learning combines teaching, communication, and the Internet so students enjoy learning and engage within classroom activities . Students decide which e-Learning platform to attend based on their learning preferences. Instructors vary the content and incorporate text, video, animation, and audio so students retain content through visual and oral methods
The most popular benefits to e-Learning include a globally diverse student body, convenience, flexibility, self-motivation, and self-paced curriculum). The challenges include needing a computer with appropriate Internet accessibility, a working knowledge of the computer, solid study habits, self-discipline, and accountability. The student may fail the course without possessing these items and traits.