Wednesday, May 31, 2006

advantages of e-learning

Advantages of E-Learning

There are many advantages of e-learning, including:

Greater productivity since staff will not have to spend time traveling to courses

Increased profitability. Staffs who are better trained in technical and personal development areas will be able to better identify and understand problems areas when they see them.

Enhanced employee loyalty. Studies have shown that professional development is one of the major reasons why staff stay or leave a firm.

Speed. You won’t have to wait for the course or multiple copies to be sent to your firm. Once ordered on line, it will be immediately available for review and use.

Training will be available 24/7. Staff and partners will be able to fit it into their schedule without sacrificing client time.

Information from a greater variety of sources. The Internet offers more possibilities and opportunities than can be imagined. These will only increase within the next few years.

Increased access for lifelong learners.

E-Learning encourages the development of an independent learning culture.

E-Learning enables more engaging materials to be created for a range of abilities and preferred learning styles.

Learners work collaboratively to identify solutions and test their conceptual understanding through peer-to-peer discussion.

Effective use of interactive functions in some technologies can engage and motivate learners, reducing disengagement with repetitive tasks. Learners can participate kinaesthetically to reinforce their learning.

Asynchronous interaction. Unlike face-to-face or telephone conversations, electronic mail does not require participants to respond immediately. As a result, interactions can be more succinct and to-the-point, discussion can stay more on-track, and people can get a chance to craft their responses. This can lead to more thoughtful and creative conversations.

Group collaboration. Electronic messaging creates new opportunities for groups to work together, creating shared electronic conversations that can be thoughtful and more permanent than voice conversations. Sometimes aided by on-line moderators, these net seminars can be powerful for learning and problem-solving.

New educational approaches. Many new options and learning strategies become economically feasible through online courses. For instance, the technology makes it feasible to utilize faculty anywhere in the world and to put together faculty teams that include master teachers, researchers, scientists, and experienced professional developers. Online courses also can provide unique opportunities for teachers to share innovations in their own work with the immediate support of electronic groups and expert faculty.

Integration of computers. The online learner has access to a computer, so computer applications can be used without excluding some participants. This means, for instance, that a mathematical model implemented in a spreadsheet can easily be incorporated into a lesson and downloaded so all participants can run, explore, and refine the model and then share their findings and improvements.


E learning is overarching umbrella which covers learning, information, communication, knowledge Management and Performance Management and most importantly Training. It’s a web enabled medium which helps people to increase knowledge and education at the connivance of time and energy.

As opposed to the computer-based training of the 1980s, the term e-learning refers to computer-enhanced training. E-learning is usually delivered via a personal computer. It includes learning delivered by other communications technologies. Methods include online lectures, tutorials, performance support systems, simulations, job aids, games, and more. Effective e-learning is often a blend of methods.

E-learning, therefore, is an approach to facilitate and enhance learning through both computer and communications technology. Such devices can include personal computers, CD ROMs, Television, P.D.A.s, M3 Players, and Mobile Phones. Communications technology enables the use of the Internet, email, discussion forums, WIKIs, collaborative software, classroom management software and team learning systems

E-learning may also be used to suit distance learning through the use of WANs (Wide Area Networks), and may also be considered to be a form of flexible learning where just-in-time learning is possible. Courses can be tailored to specific needs and asynchronous learning is possible. Where learning occurs exclusively online, this is called online education. When learning is distributed to mobile devices such as cell phones or PDAs, it is called M-learning.

Supporting learning online

Some view e-learning as a means to effective or efficient etc. learning, due to its ease of access and the pace being determined by the learner. Others point out that e-learning software developers tend to limit their focus on course delivery and content, while online education institutions require a much wider range of educational services.
Others are critical of e-learning in the context of education, because the face-to-face human interaction with a teacher has been removed from the process, and thus, some argue, the process is no longer "educational" in the highest philosophical sense (for example, as defined by RS Peters, a philosopher of education). However, these human interactions can be encouraged through web-conferencing programs such as Macromedia Breeze.
Further, continual advances in technology allow a wider range of learning experiences such as educational animation to be made available to support online learning

Four main pedagogical perspectives that are often used when developing e-learning are:

Cognitive perspective - which focuses on the cognitive processes involved in learning as well as how the brain works.

Emotional perspective - which focuses on the emotional aspects of learning, like motivation, engagement, fun etc

Behavioral perspective - which focuses on the skills and behavioral outcomes of the learning process. Role-playing and application to on-the-job settings.

Social perspective - which focuses on the social aspects which can stimulate learning. Interaction with other people, collaborative discovery and the importance of peer support as well as pressure.