E-Learning (2)

E-Learning (2)

Impacts and benefits of e-Learning

Prior to the first part of my e-learning article published last week, the following completes the benefits of e-learning phenomenon and addresses the future of e-learning 

5. Podcasts – Easiest Digestible Information 

More and more mentors in the e-learning industry are turning towards pod-casting. The simple reason behind it is that podcasts do not demand special attention while consuming the information. Formal instruction requires physical presence in the learning classroom, but it’s a completely different story with podcasts. Students can listen to podcasts while completing their daily chores, or while travelling, or during their leisure time. All it needs is attention and focus. Although pod-casting may not be comparable to webinars, its benefits cannot be ignored. 

6. Perceptions through Augmented Reality 

The use of Augmented Reality (AR) as a means of information and understanding has been of great interest; although it might need special devices to work with, its progression shows promised outcomes in the e-learning arena for 2018. Demand is growing for AR-embedded mobile apps in the education industry. Through superimposed images and text, users can learn more about the world around them. The possibilities are endless when applied to a working environment. 

7. Digital Textbooks for Faster Research and Study 

Digital textbooks and eBooks have been of great advantage because students no longer need to keep physical copies of books. Digital books provide faster text searching when a link or a quick word search can direct the user to the section they need. Navigation between books in related categories makes referring different books easier. Having a library of digital books in a mobile or tablet device can be compared to having a library of physical books. Transitioning to the digital format is cost effective and easier for students. 

The future of e-learning 

E-learning is here to stay. As computer ownership grows across the globe e-learning becomes increasingly viable and accessible. Internet connection speeds are increasing, and with that, opportunities for more multimedia training methods arise. 

With the immense improvement of mobile networks in the past few years and the increase in telecommuting, taking all the awesome features of e-learning on the road is a reality with smartphones and other portable devices. Technologies such as social media are also transforming education rapidly. Generally, learning is expensive, time consuming and the results can also vary. E-learning has been trying for years now to complement the way we learn to make it more effective and measurable. The result now is that there are a number of tools that help create interactive training courses, standardize the learning process or inject informal elements to otherwise formal learning processes. Several e-learning trends can give us a clear view of the future of e-learning and how learning tools will be shaped.

Micro-learning focuses on the design of micro-learning activities through micro-steps in digital media environments, which already is a daily reality for today’s knowledge workers. These activities can be incorporated into a learner’s daily routines. Unlike “traditional” e-learning approaches, micro-learning often tends towards push technology through push media, which reduces the cognitive load on the learners. Therefore, the selection of micro-learning objects, and pace and timing of micro-learning activities are of importance for didactical designs (1. the scientific approach to resources for learning and learning as a transformation process and sign-making activity; 2. how different environments, resources and media are designed for learning). Micro- learning is an important paradigm shift that avoids the need to have separate learning sessions since the learning process is embedded in the daily routine of the end-user. It is also perfectly suited for mobile devices where lengthy courses can be covered with ease. 

Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and solve problems. It is an educational approach to motivate students to learn by using video game design and game elements in learning environments. The goal is to maximize enjoyment and engagement through capturing the interest of learners and inspiring them to continue learning.

Personalized Learning is the tailoring of pedagogy, curriculum and learning environments to meet the needs and aspirations of individual learners. Personalization is broader than just individualization or differentiation in that it affords the learner a degree of choice about what is learned, when it is learned and how it is learned. This may not indicate unlimited choice since learners will still have targets to be met. However, it may provide learners the opportunity to learn in ways that suit their individual learning styles and multiple intelligences. 

Conclusion 

E-learning is on the rise because it evidently has benefits over conventional or traditional learning. Faster and easier learning experience is the need of time. It allows students to get through the material at their own pace, and without having to wait for others e-learning participants can learn almost five times more material. In the past years, e-learning has increased in popularity. There are many benefits to e-learning for both the learners and the organizations that encourage their staff to do so. For companies looking to train employees, online courses are an affordable, time-effective way to increase knowledge.

Author: Peter Van Kazin Ayittah (Full Stack Developer & Digital Trainer | Member, Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana) 

For comments, contact author pvayittah@gmail.com; +233241651020