E-learning is a fantastic tool that has the potential to truly create equality. Often we associate learning with large sums of money, with University fees typically being particularly through the roof. With e-learning though, it could be possible for everyone to get access to high quality education at a much cheaper rate, without having to travel and while juggling other important tasks.
For these reasons e-learning is really catching on and many people are opting to learn new subjects and take courses online rather than actually attending universities in person.
But while e-learning has a lot of great benefits in terms of the price, the flexibility and the delivery, it’s important to think as well about the ways that we could make it better. Of which there are many…
How to Make E-Learning Better
The main problem with e-learning is that it varies a lot in quality. Some e-learning courses are amazing and can genuinely provide the same quality of education as being taught in person. But in other cases, e-learning amounts to little more than a scam on the part of those selling it. So how do you spot the difference and how could we ensure that more companies and institutions did their clients and customers justice?
One of the hallmarks of good e-learning is that it is multimedia. Having reading materials and tests is fine but ultimately that alone doesn’t provide anything that you couldn’t get for free online. These sorts of online courses offer incentive to learn, but when all you’re doing is staring at a screen, you’re really not getting the kind of tuition that makes the difference between remembering a concept and truly grasping it.
Great e-learning should involve videos, interactive games, books and all kinds of other tools that the student can use to learn in the way that suits them best. In theory, watching a video is just as effective as watching a lecture in person – with the added ability to be able to pause the video while you take notes.
Interaction is also an important aspect of e-learning though too. This is something that some courses get right by providing Q&A sessions, Skype conferences and manual marking of papers and tests. Other companies though will attempt to automate this process to remove the human element and this ultimately results in a lack of tailored feedback that the learner should be able to use to improve their understanding.
The very best e-learning courses though go one step further than this too by providing communities for those learners to discuss the subject among themselves. This is something that is actually very important in any college class – the ability to ask for help from peers and to discuss the subject matter. Good e-learning courses should facilitate a similar type of community among members by using forums, buddy-systems and other methods to encourage interaction and communication among learners. This is particularly important for those learning another language or who want to escuela de Ingles. It’s even possible to encourage interaction between students from different courses who perhaps are learning complementary subjects!
The Future of E-Learning
Some e-learning courses get these things right and provide multimedia learning materials as well as genuine interactions with teachers through digital means. But as technology improves, so too might the possibilities for e-learning.
For instance, imagine the potential power of VR. This could allow students to actually sit in interactive classes as though they were really there and to interact with their teachers. Or what if you were to take this one step further: what if a historian could put on a VR headset and explore Ancient Egypt as it was at the time?
And what if you could leverage augmented reality to provide prompts and cue cards throughout the entire day – or even just as you were drifting off to sleep when you would be susceptible to memorizing information you were shown.
E-learning is already incredible tool but it could be better and it will be better. In the future e-learning may become the primary way that we get education in fact!