Advantages and Challenges of E-Learning

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Introduction

E-learning or electronic learning is changing the educational scenario rapidly, Learning is a part of life and every day we learn new things. The moment we stop learning, we meet an end. In today’s technological and dynamic environment, we have the latest trends growing up to enhance our learning experience. Everything is on our tips and screen.

E-Learning is also part of the latest technology, which is acquiring most of the space in the market. It is making a positive impact on most of our digital users. It requires good investment to set up such types of technologies and it requires “TIME” and “MONEY” investments to teach all the existing users of technology to adept or to upgrade themselves for the latest booming technology. India is making fast and positive steps towards digitalization and Globalization so that it could stand and can give competition to the rest of the world. Many new schemes like Digital India and Make in India have also been introduced by our Respected Prime Minister to make INDIA a Superpower in the coming time. Present Generations are very dependent on technology but it is having a hard time for the existing technology users to be in the race. Each Nation is working hard to make itself a better one in terms of Technological Advancements taking place in the world because they have understood the grounds of reality that this is the only way to remain in this race and the gateway to many more opportunities, which would take place in the future. This is the Truth of the time that “The Technology Is Future” and it depends totally on us that we want to learn and grow with the help of this technology or we want us to be thrown out of this Technological Marathon.

The virtual world is growing faster than the actual world. In today’s environment, it is truly said that “We can move ahead of time”. Artificial Intelligence is much more advanced than the actual person working on laptops and computers. Technology has definitely reduced our workloads by giving us the speed in our working experience but somewhere we are making ourselves adapt to technology. Gone are the days when we study for about 6 to 7 hours per day with continuous attentiveness on blackboards because it is maximum replaced by the Digital Classes and Smart Classes (Adeoye et al, 2009). Data and Communication Technology has opened another sky for the trials on instructing learning techniques to make training additionally intriguing, adaptable, and more extensive. The education which may include training these days is more popular through online mode, commonly known as electronic earning or E-learning.

As compared to traditional institutions or colleges, e-learning is instrumental in spreading the knowledge in the United States to the extent of 90 percent whereas India at present has great scope for the spread of this mode and makes educational modules more popular in the higher education sector (Naresh, B. et al). E-learning becomes important to millennials because of its flexibility with respect to time, place, and experience to students (Adel, 2017). It is also noted by the researchers that there are several academic institutions that are offering courses in higher education face to face as well as online mode. This trend has geared up with the development of internet-based communication technologies (Imran, 2014). The government is also making a dedicated effort to make online education or e-learning accessible to every part of the country with platforms like SWAYAM etc.

The literature on e-learning presented us with some of the keywords which play a significant role in this domain. A word cloud is prepared on the basis of research work explored as mentioned in the reference section of this article. Similarly, the word frequency query table result prepared on the basis of literature explored also highlights the keywords in e-learning given more than 40 percent weightage. That clearly indicates how important role is being played by technology, internet, library, and quality systems on knowledge and e-learning.

E-learning is the combination of technology and specially designed learning material. Learning material must be according to the medium so the special design is required. Based on the involvement of e-learning content we can classify it into two major types (Gaur and Kumar 2018): 1. Complete Online Learning: This type of learning depends completely on e-learning tools. Delivery of course materials, discussions, assignment evaluation, examination, and other evaluations are performed only on the e-learning platform. It provides maximum flexibility to the learners regarding place and time of learning 2. Blended Learning: In this category, e-learning tools are used to increase the effectiveness of conventional face-to-face methods as an add on tools. Sometimes these tools are used for reducing face-to-face contact time. Some parts of the learning activities have occurred in the classroom and the rest of the part at the eLearning platform.

Advantages of E-Learning

  1. Global Connectivity: E-learning provides fast and vast access to learning resources. There is no meaning of the campus boundary of institutions in e-learning. We can connect ourselves around the globe. We can chat or contact via e-mail to our resource persons and fellow learners. It allows us to use various e-repositories. It provides us the opportunities to create various groups of worldwide learners and teachers with common interests.
  2. Fast Access: Fast access to knowledge resources is an important feature of e-learning. We can get into the endless e-resources by just one mouse click. We can have access to various e-books and e-journals in few seconds only. We can easily compare this new facility with the painful and time taking old day’s library hunt.
  3. Flexibility: E-learning gives choices to the learners of time of learning and place of learning. In the conventional classroom, based learning method learning time and place are fixed. Students are bound to come into a particular classroom at a particular time. E-learning allows learners to learn according to their convenience. Learners can see their course material anytime and anywhere. They can have recorded audio-video lectures at any time and at anywhere. The concepts of online and on-demand examinations are a complete revolution in the traditional education system. The examination was most heavy and fearful part of the traditional education system. If a student misses that particular day and time of the examination, he/she will lose his/her whole year. Now examinations are quite flexible due to e-learning tools. Students can go for the examination according to their convictions.
  4. Quick Creation, up-gradation, and revision of course material: In eLearning, we can update study materials faster than any other mode of education. All technical supports are available to create vivid e-learning study materials. We can use our day to day equipment to develop study materials with a combination of text, audio, video, graphics, and photographs. We can use our cell phones to take useful photographs, audio clips and upload them on e-learning platforms.
  5. Ability to serve a large number of students at low cost: Providing education to all is the biggest challenge for a developing country like India. India has a huge population and limited resources. Research and studies are showing that we need thousands of universities and colleges but financially it is not feasible to open universities and colleges in such a large number. In this scenario, e-learning is the way of hope. We can educate a large number of students at a comparatively low cost. E-learning is a combination of quality and low cost but we need basic internet infrastructure all over the country.

Various Methods Involved in E-learning

Virtual Classrooms: “A virtual classroom is an online classroom that allows participants to communicate with one another, view presentations or videos, interact with other participants, and engage with resources in workgroups.” This is the best and the most interesting way to learn while studying in our classes. A person understands well when he is taught through video lectures with sound instead of reading in books. This is the most demanding technique in today’s world for classroom teachings. Every student in the classroom learns well when he or she is taught through video lectures with lots of animations, which attract as well as indulge the audience. This method is fruitful for the students of the age group 5 to 10 years where they need to learn various new types of learning experiences.

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Online Discussions: Discussions are a much more fruitful way of learning new things. It is boring to study for 2 hours a day but when we discuss in groups than we learn more and more from others and also we get a chance to represent our viewpoint. It becomes much more interesting when discussions are conducted online because technology breaks our barriers and we are able to connect from a huge audience at one go. This is also one of the most interesting methods of e-learning where various people sit in a group chat or a video conference and they discuss specific topics by representing their views.

Mobile Learnings: Mobile Phone is nowadays the best and the most important part of life. Though we waste most of our time chatting on our phones it is yet a very useful way of learning just by having a few clicks. It is a very easy way to learn and grow because every gadget is very useful when we use it in the right way. Mobile is nowadays a very useful gadget for us.

Interactive E-Sessions: This is the most widely spread technique in the e-learning sector where people mostly students attend e-sessions online. They get to learn new techniques and methods to develop themselves and mostly make them adapt to the technology needed in the global environment. The level of interaction depends upon the length of the session as well as the method used for teaching the students. They learn and grow with the use of the latest technologies.

Technology is evolving at a huge and global level and if we want to grow in this global environment than we have to need to make ourselves adapt to this technology. Change is life and if we do not change according to the Global Environment than we are thrown outside the box because people working with the technology and according to the technology are only capable of winning the race.

Emerging Issues and Challenges of E-Learning

Technological Challenges: The e-learning raises significant challenges in the technological research area. The development of e-learning resources that meet the user’s requirement, need to be addressed. The technological challenges of e-learning can be considered as two key technological research areas.

Development of New Forms of Learning Community and Interactive Learning: In e-learning environments interaction, cooperation and community play an important role to support learning. The developments in the area of e-learning environments provide new forms of interaction for learning experience Beetham, H. (2004a). It generates new relationships between learners and computers and forms a new learning community.

Key issues include

  • New forms of the multimodal interface to support learning.
  • New techniques to understand and support learning communities.
  • The development of systems to support mobile communities of learners.
  • Personalization techniques that meet user personal needs and current activity.
  • Techniques to promote and support interaction.
  • Discovery of new learning communities.
  • Support for time to time assessment services

Developing New Knowledge Facilities for E-learning:

The E-learning environment needs to support the rapid increase in the size and variety of data by appropriate semantic services. The semantic services generate a surrounding semantic context for learning support. Research that needs to work on

  • Development of learning and reasoning theories for uncertain and incomplete knowledge.
  • Support for the development of large-scale learning facilities.
  • Support for a dynamic learning process.
  • Support for information sharing across different learning facilities.
  • Developments of lightweight knowledge capture technique for the promotion of lifelong learning.

Conclusion

The world is changing day by day; each person needs to maintain a pace with this dynamic world, and for that, he needs to adapt to each change taking place in the environment. Man-made the technology to make his life easier and it could only be possible if we use it in a proper manner so that we could get the best out of it. If we want fruitful results in the future than we need to prepare ourselves from today itself. E-learning and Artificial Intelligence are very useful and productive techniques, which could help our younger generations and the upcoming generations in a huge manner.

A man should not be completely dependent on these latest technologies as they are also harmful to them in many ways. “Excessiveness in anything is harmful”.

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Advantages and Challenges of E-Learning. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/advantages-and-challenges-of-e-learning/> [Accessed 18 Jun. 2024].
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