E-learning: A click away from success

Last Updated : 15 February 2013, 16:48 IST
Last Updated : 15 February 2013, 16:48 IST

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‘I am a student of Bangalore University pursuing an online correspondence course from California University.’ A few decades ago a phrase like this would have been quixotic in nature. The world was a bigger place to be in and it was beyond a common man’s reach to explore all parts of it in his lifetime.

Before the evolution of internet, people had limited choice in terms of education. A student’s study material was confined to whatever he/she was provided with. After the inception of the internet, not only did the world undergo a drastic revolution with the help of globalisation, it also witnessed innovations in terms of something as basic as ‘learning.’

 Today a person, be it a child or a full grown adult has full access and variety of choice regarding the kind of education he/she wants to pursue. Along with assistance to current education system, it has also provided the youth with fresh ideas and practices prevalent in other nations that it could take inspiration from.
Another student says “With time, I realised its not just merely getting a certificate but this course has introduced me to a new kind of learning. I want to pursue a future in business and finance, and my e-course enables me to communicate with people from other countries so that I can understand business functioning in not just my country but also across the globe. The methods of teaching are personal, convenient and ensure that we actually understand what we’re being taught. I get to interact with a global virtual classroom which helps broaden my views, ideas and way of thinking.”

Creative ways

This is the scope of e-learning, anywhere, anytime, any course, and open to everyone. Learning is not about what we are taught but how we are taught. It’s not just about cramming up before an exam but absorbing, understanding the knowledge and being able to practically use it. For proper learning we require a lot more than what our books have to offer and that is where e-learning comes in. E-learning helps in providing a variety of creative ways to learn which helps stimulate interest in students towards the subject or e-course they’ve chosen.

There are many ways of imparting knowledge through e-learning. No single method is suitable for every learning need and thus one is required to use a combination of several e-learning technologies along with traditional learning methods when required. Blended learning can provide convenience, speed and cost effectiveness of e-learning along with the personal touch, direct authority and supervision provided by traditional methods. There are basically two kinds of e-learning methods, namely synchronous and asynchronous.

Despite the challenges posed by e-learning there is a great need for expanding the scope of e-learning. The first reason emphasising the need for e-learning is that the economy is evolving into a knowledge based economy where knowledge is created, acquired and disseminated more efficiently and effectively be individuals, organizations and enterprises. E-learning helps in reducing problems of time, money, geographical barriers by providing the right information effectively and in a clear and concise manner.

Corporations view e-learning as a competitive weapon. Students who are e-learners are considered as a boon for the organization as they have a higher technological know-how. Moreover superior quality performance necessitates top quality training and continuous learning to remain up-to-date with the changes. E-learning facilitates this process. Fourthly, e-learning is also a very cost effective manner of imparting knowledge.

One does not need to buy a lot of study material, or travel long distances to acquire it; the mere availability of a computer and internet connection can avail one to a large number of study matters without much efforts. Learning facilitates provision of knowledge to all the learners at any part of the world belonging to different backgrounds or educational levels. Lastly, e-learning is an effective way of delivering information to facilitate training and learning. It helps to provide the necessary information and does not overload the learner.

It is suggested that every 15 minutes, a new innovation takes place. The world is moving ahead at a pace difficult to follow. The wonders of internet have invited its share of limitations. But at the end of the day, it’s all about striking the right balance and making the best out of this new method of learning due to which the youth today is ushering into a new era where the extent of their knowledge knows no bound. The initial cost of e-learning might be high but it is eventually covered up with the benefits derived. The choice now lies upon the people, whether to make it a boon or a bane for the future of global economy.

Published 15 February 2013, 16:48 IST

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