E-learning is an approach to facilitate and enhance learning through, and based on, both computer and communication technology. It refers to the use of computer-based electronic technologies of the internet, e-mail, websites, and CD-ROMS to deliver, facilitate and enhance both formal and informal learning and knowledge sharing from any place at any time. The communication devices can also include digital television, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and mobile phones.
E-learning is also called ComputerBased Training (CBT). Generally, CBT and e-learning are treated as synonyms, but CBT is the older term dating from the 1980s. The term e-learning evolved from CBT along with the maturation of the internet, CDs, and DVDs. It includes Internet-based Learning, Web-based Learning, and Online Learning.
SIGNIFICANCE: E-learning has now knowingly or unknowingly become a part and parcel of today’s day-to-day life. Wherever you go you will be faced with the electronic media.
For example, go to the shop or Mall you will be introduced to electronic processes. From the preparation of Cash Memo to debiting your amount for procuring the goods are done by electronic process. If you see one step more, book your air ticket, railway ticket even your advance booking for your favorite entertainment show are done from your office or home.
If you think a little more about e-learning, you will see the ample avenues of its applications. Just, start with electronic typing through your computer, and explore the possibility of your desired interest in the various fields from business to scientific works you are connected to the broad network. Data recording, preparation, graphics simulation to telemedicine, and voyage to each nook and corner of this world are linked with electronic media for effective and efficient output. Therefore, in this today’s world, we cannot think a single minute without e-learning.
E-learning can be availed at any point in time according to your need. Implementation of e-learning in different curriculums of schools and colleges has made the community much more aware of it. Earlier, e-learning is limited to educational institutions but now its area has broadened and it is one of the options for the companies to give training to their employees. By providing these types of education to their employees they can save millions of money. It also helps to get expert employees in specific areas.
They also offer varieties of services like web designing, creating, student training courses, and coaching to increase customers’ demand. You can find many websites offering e-learning services for business purposes. Through these websites, you will get all the important information about the companies and their works. Thus, e-learning is not only helpful for students but also helps business employees do their job at their best.
Pros and cons of E-learning :
There are many advantages of e-learning for students as well as employees. Through this process of learning the students can schedule their study works and can select the learning materials of their interest. Thus they will be able to get the highest level of knowledge from their interested topic. It saves their time to go and come from school along with the travel cost. This learning process allows the learners to learn at their own pace and they can learn in different learning styles which improves their creative power and build self-confidence.
These computer-based courses develop their skill and encourage the students to take the responsibility for the success of their education. It also helps the employees to broaden their knowledge in some specific areas. They can do their work perfectly through the computer and internet facility provided by their company. The company offers special training programs to their employees so that; they can learn more about the advanced technologies and get benefited from them. Apart from these advantages, there are some disadvantages also, like those students having poor study habits will not get satisfactory results because these learners need proper guidance which is not possible through e-learning.
In this learning procedure the learner, especially the students may feel isolated as they totally miss the social interaction that adversely affects their learning. If the internet connection is slow then the students may get frustrated and stop their learning. Besides these, the most important disadvantage is the lack of an instructor or teacher in this process. The instructor is not always available like in traditional schools, which directly affects the learning process, as the students find difficulty in searching and implementing the topics.
Virtual learning environment: A Virtual Learning Environment or VLE is a design space for teaching and learning For some, “virtual” conjures up an artificial world that replaces real life. But virtual learning environments neither replace classrooms nor existing educational practices. They enhance them. They add value as they extend the space of the physical learning environment. They provide opportunities to stretch the imaginations of teachers and students alike. Technically speaking, virtual learning environments are designed spaces that resemble architecturally sophisticated buildings. Think of an ideal place of teaching and learning, one where the messy desk covered in coffee-stained assessments and the equally large pile of lesson plans all moves to your laptop.
Teachers effortlessly move between assessment, feedback, sharing, and monitoring without knocking over their coffee in the process. Students have their assessments returned swiftly — unstained. A virtual learning environment offers not only an elegantly designed space for teaching and learning but a place where learners, teachers, and students feel at ease. A good VLE allows users to co-construct their learning environments together over time. With all that goes into a physical classroom – the lesson plans, the homework, the conversations – why not make use of virtual learning environment software to organize, share and process it all?
Far from being an anti-social space that replaces real life, the right VLE enhances the social space of a classroom. It opens possibilities for discussion threads, polls, and surveys. It allows students to submit work without having to find their teachers. It provides hubs for an infinite number of resources in the form of documents, worksheets, and PowerPoints. Using a VLE, teachers can link students to other online pathways and embed videos from YouTube, and articles from newspapers and provide platforms for student-created podcasts. More than just a virtual repository for learning resources, the most valuable virtual learning environments and virtual learning software offer gateways to limitless pathways of connection, content, and learning from which teachers, school leaders, students, and parents all benefit.