Dynamically changing realities in modern society requires more dynamic and adequate changes in education. Tertiary institutions in Nigeria which is made up of universities, polytechnics and colleges of education (federal, state and privately owned) are increasing in number at an alarming rate. Hence, the use of technology has become a necessity as the traditional educational system cannot be used to effectively implement educational policies.
Educational activities in our institutions are in traditional, face-to-face lecture format which does not take into consideration individual learning preference and personality.
However, a new model of instruction follows the learner-centred approach. Collaborative, Active and Personalised learning are fundamental principles to this instructional paradigm. E-learning is the use of Internet tools to provide and enrich students’ learning anytime and anywhere. The usage of technology in education released new opportunities for providing personalised learning to learners and meaningfully enhanced the potential of personalised learning. Internet offers the impeccable technology and atmosphere for individualised learning because learners can be individually identified, content can be personalised specifically, and learners’ improvement can be examined, supported and assessed (Essaid et al.
, 2011). The main challenge of the traditional learning system is space-time constraint. Most of the learning system usually used in educational institution such as learning management systems, offer the same courses, similar in structure, composition, and content, for all learner (Graf, 2007).
Every individual learner has a learning style that allows for better learning and if that is not considered it can lead to unbalanced or ineffective learning solutions.(Harris et al., 2005). Learning preferences and instructional activities ranges from simple to complex.
Because of this levels of thinking within different learning styles must be considered. For true learning to take place, it has to be personalised and adapted to the individual learner, as personalised content is more easily assimilated by learners. Personalised learning, or personalisation is a diverse variety of educational programs, instructional approaches, learning experiences, and strategies that support academics, intended to address the unique learning needs, aspirations, interests or cultural backgrounds of individual students (Adewale, 2007). E-learning allows the learners with the ability to fit learning around their lifestyles, effectively allowing even a very busy person to further a career and gain new qualifications. The available technologies to make a course exciting are always changing in the world of e-learning, and course content can and should be updated quickly to give students the very latest information (Epignosis, 2014).
Traditional learning is very expensive, takes longer time and the results can vary, e-learning offers a cheaper, faster and alternative that is potentially better. Individuals do not respond to one teaching method in the same way; some are visual learners, and others learn better with repetition or writing; some prefer to learn by themselves, while others need someone to guide them all along the way; some are extroverts that feel comfortable talking in front of people, whilst others are introverts that are afraid to communicate openly inside the classroom. E-learning responds to those different needs using different tools and a variety of materials. E-learning also allows people to communicate through email, forum or chat, allowing even introverts to take part in related conversations (Folorunso et al. 2003).
The search for new and efficient ways of integration of technology into education for improved teaching and learning experiences and the delivery of robust educational services has resulted in a dramatic increase in the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based solutions in educational service delivery generally known as electronic learning (e-learning). Different ways of measuring learning styles were proposed to assist instructors or educational researchers to realize the characteristics of learners.
Learning is the process of absorbing information in order to increase skills and abilities and make use of them under a variety of contexts. There are many definitions learning is and it is difficult to get a definition acceptable by all. Mayer (1982) in Amah (2011) defines learning as a relatively permanent change in a person’s knowledge or behaviour due to experience while Chance (1988) in Amah (2011) defines learning as what occurs when information is assimilated and remembered by an individual, and can be presented in various ways. In education, learning theories attempts to explain how people learn, thus helping in understanding the complex process of learning. There are basically three main schools of thought in learning theories – Behaviouralism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism (Amah, 2011).
Behaviourism theorists define learning as the acquisition of new behaviour. From the perspective of education, the behaviourist learner is seen as a passive recipient of knowledge. Learning can then be viewed as the attainment of this objective knowledge through rehearsal and correction. From teaching perspective, behaviouralism maintains that the role of a teacher is to strengthen correct behaviour from their students. The behaviourist expects the teacher to determine in advance all the skills they believe are necessary for the students to learn and then present them to the group in a sequenced manner (Conway, 1997). There are two influences of this theory on personalised e-learning: firstly, the learning system should buttress all student behaviour that it perceives to be correct and secondly, the learning system should have a predetermined view as the best order in which skills and knowledge should be presented.
Cognitivism theorists maintain that there is an external reality and an internal representation of that reality. Information equals learning, so outward appearances to that effect are merely communications revealing the result of learning rather than learning itself (Amah, 2011). As the mind seeks a view of the objective reality it gives through a number of processes when it receives information, this information is then incorporated into the inherent order of memory via a process of encoding; information becomes knowledge when it is incorporated into the existing cognitive structure; and knowledge can then be recalled in the process of retrieval. There is no computers process information in a similar manner to how cognitive scientists believe humans do. Information is received, stored and recovered. When viewed from personalised e-learning perspective the role of the computer in the educational domain would be to present a view of the information to be learned and drill the students until they understand it (Adewale, 2007).
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