E-learning: From The Blackboard To The Screen
Who hasn’t googled the answer to a homework question in their school days? Or a tutorial on how to fix a work problem after you’ve told your boss that you did? The digital transformation has been so crucial that perhaps you learned to use a program from scratch by using how-to videos on Google. This means that, to some extent, e-learning has been – and is – part of your everyday life, if not daily.
Today, without so many tools and web pages, it would be pretty tricky to expand our knowledge on our own without making some expense. At other times, it was the expense of the course and the investment of time in classes and methods of at least three months to learn. Now, if you need to know how to download a document, apply a formula, or how the Industrial Revolution happened, all you have to do is Google an article. Or, if you are one of those who learn more visually, look for a video on YouTube.
The Internet has always been a handy tool for independent and collaborative learning; However, in recent years, it has faced its most challenging task: keeping up with the growing e-learning, which has become increasingly popular and necessary for today’s students. Next, we will learn more about this new learning modality and its advantages and disadvantages.
What is e-learning?
E-learning is a teaching and learning method that occurs through the Internet and uses technological tools as support methods. Unlike a class in a college or university where they use blackboards and flipcharts, e-learning uses platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet, and you can use some additional ones if necessary to expose what you want to teach.
There are generally two types of online teaching: the synchronous mode where the class is ‘live’ and all are connected to the same time and actively participate; and the asynchronous way, where the teacher records his style and up to a platform so that students can then enter and see the kind recorded, pause or putting backing it up if necessary. Once the class is over in synchronous mode, there is no way to see it again or to “retrieve” the information. However, in asynchronous mode, the recorded class is permanently saved on the platform until the teacher or instructor deletes it, or the student loses access to it after the end of the semester.
Advantages of e-learning
Perhaps the most significant benefit of e-learning is its cost. They are usually much cheaper than taking a course or class at an institute or university, without having additional expenses such as transportation or books.
For a busy student – or someone who wants to expand their knowledge – e-learning has many other points in its favor. One of these is the ease of having the class recorded in advance and accessing it from wherever the user wishes, at the time he wishes, and with the electronic device he wishes. How to access from a laptop, desktop, tablet, and even in some cases, from the same cell phone. The user is not subject to schedules or transfers from point A to B. He connects from a device with an internet connection and can start the class. This also means that the user does not need to complete the course once they enter, as they can pause the video at any time and pick up where they left off when they have a free moment.
Another significant advantage is the group forums that are formed within a class. In this space, all members can talk to each other, ask questions, and leave answers or comments on the topic discussed. In this way, a feeling of belonging is created within the participants. This prevents the user from feeling that he is learning alone and without the support of other peers, as would happen in a classroom.
Disadvantages of e-learning
However, and like everything in life, there are also points against that could prevent a person from choosing this learning method.
The lack of interaction with classmates and the teacher prevents students from sharing opinions and doubts in ‘real time’ with other class members. Therefore, they do not get immediate answers that could help them better understand the material.
Another point is internet access. If the user can connect to the Internet from wherever they want, then an online course is a good idea. However, many people have to go somewhere with a stable internet connection to access the recorded systems and class material, which is a disadvantage for them.
An important point to consider is the discipline it takes to complete an online course that can last several months. The user will not feel the pressure to advance with the classes because there is no time limit to finish the system, and the material will be there permanently. E-learning requires a lot of discipline and time management on the user’s part. It would help if you established schedules or schedules, both for classes and for jobs or tasks that may arise from them.
The lack of practice is another disadvantage, although this will depend on the type of course you choose. Since the classes are online, they all focus on theory; Although it is true, there are graphic examples that help the student to understand the concept better, there are no practical tasks in which one can actively participate. The theory is not always everything; You need to put it into practice to see if an idea works and learn why it failed or succeeded.
Expand your learning
E-learning is alternative gaining popularity due to the various benefits it presents. In many cases, its advantages outweigh the disadvantages mentioned. These courses are especially popular with working people, as they are the ones who have the least time to attend face-to-face classes.
Online courses or classes are essential for professional development; however, due to their excellent availability and variety, they are helpful for any human being who wishes to expand their knowledge on a particular subject. Today, learning is no longer seen only as a tool to excel or succeed in life, but it is also possible to learn just for the simple joy of learning.