The old correspondence courses were the first Distance Learning courses but with the advent of Internet in the eighties, e-Learning became new mantra for delivering higher education courses over really long distances. The Internet opened new possibilities and now any type of learning content, be it for school, graduate or masters level, employee training, research activity or any other type of academic offering is called e-Learning. e-Leaning has already established its credentials and its popularity can be gauged from the fact that delivery is not restricted to just plain text but has crossed boundaries to video creating virtual class rooms via video conferencing. The introduction of a variety of technologies has made it possible to convert it from impersonal to highly interactive medium of pedagogy. Today students feel school is not challenging or interactive enough. It has been said that there are two reasons why we learn; some leaning is essentially forced on us while the other is what we sit back and enjoy. E-Learning has brought back the joy in learning through its innovative and interactive content and delivery.
Lecturer, Department of Education, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Cuddalore (DT), Tamil Nadu.
Need For E-Learning
In the old days, corporate value and value creation were defined principally through material and financial assets. Nowadays a premium is put on intellectual capital. To retain their competitive edge, organizations have started to investigate which training techniques and delivery methods enhance motivation, performance, collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to life-long learning. The life of knowledge and human skills today is shorter than ever, mounting the pressure to remain up to date with ones education and training throughout a career. In the age of globalization and technological revolution, four-year degrees are just the start of a forty-year continuing education. Life-long learning is quickly becoming an imperative in today’s world. Types of E-Learning
There are fundamentally two types of e-learning: synchronous training and asynchronous training. Synchronous
Synchronous, means "at the same time," involves interaction of participants with an instructor via the Web in real time. Asynchronous
Asynchronous, which means "not at the same time," allows the participant to complete the WBT at his own pace, without live interaction with the instructor. A new form of learning known as blended learning is emerging. As the name suggests it is an amalgamation of synchronous and asynchronous learning methods. Asynchronous Methods
Embedded learning is information that is accessible on a self-help basis. It can be delivered to the place of work, or to mobile learners. Electronic performance support system (EPSS) is a type of embedded learning. The advantage is that embedded learning offers learners the information they need whenever they need it. Courses
The clear advantage of a self-paced course is convenience. Participants can get the training they need at any time. This can include just-in-time training where a participant gets exactly the training he or she needs to perform a task. Discussion groups
A discussion group is a gathering of conversations that occur over time. They are also called message boards, bulletin boards and discussion forums. Discussion groups can be used to support a group of participants taking the same class or can be used to support participants performing related tasks. A discussion group is a very competent way to supply expert answers to a large group people. A single answer to a common question can help many. Synchronous Methods
Virtual classroom duplicates the features of a real classroom online. Participants interact with each other and...