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E-learning as we know it has been around for ten years or so. During that time, it has emerged from being a radical idea, the effectiveness of which was yet to be proven, to something that is widely regarded as mainstream. It's the core to numerous business plans and a service offered by most colleges and universities.
E- learning and its relationship to emerging computer technologies have together offered many promises to the field of education, the use of network technologies to create, faster, deliver, and facilitate learning, anytime and anywhere. The term will still most likely be utilized to reference out-of-classroom and in-classroom educational experiences via technology, even as advances continue in regard to devices and curriculum. The delivery of individualized, comprehensive, dynamic learning content in real time, aiding the development of communities of knowledge, linking learners and practitioners with experts. A phenomenon delivering accountability, accessibility, and opportunity to allow people and organizations to keep up with the rapid changes that define the Internet world. A force that gives people and organizations the competitive edge to allow them to keep ahead of the rapidly changing global economy.
Millions of students, career professionals and lifelong learners can now acquire diplomas, degrees and other certifications through online learning. However, certain problems continue to affect the dissemination of online courses and their fast-paced adoption. Issues related to technology and downloading of applications, real-world interaction with fellow students and professors and standardization of instructional methodologies can limit the online learning and education experience.
While online programs have significant strengths and offer unprecedented accessibility to quality education, there are weaknesses inherent in the use of this medium that can pose potential threats to the success of any online program.
2. Student Concerns
When asked what are the problems faced by open distance learners, life and its ensuing complications seems to be the number one response. Most enrolled students in open distance learning are committed to their life in some other fashion apart from school such as a family to care for, a necessary full-time job to pay the bills, or some aspect which occupies the majority of their time. Sometime open distance learners don't have good place for study.
Students may also have a difficult time reading the reactions of the remote location class members. This lack of interaction can cause problems when there is a dissenting opinion that cannot be picked up on with non-verbal cues, and is misperceived as a verbal attack. This type of miscommunication can cause the community problems as the class progresses
This type of interaction is an important workforce tool because if students can't communicate and learn to work well with other personalities, students will soon limit their job performance. Also, not everyone learns the same way. This problem with open distance learning would definitely hinder a kinesthetic or tactile learner, and if the program doesn't provide video interaction then an auditory learner would also not fare as well.
Student must be well organized time table, self-motivated , and possess a high degree of time management skills. So every day, students must plan 2 hour fully for study and before than students have other commitment must settle 1st and self motivated 2hour for study. At least with a traditional school environment, students had to report to a certain room at a certain time, and usually you could train your brain that this time in the classroom was for learning. Thus, Students in a traditional school environment, open distance learners must create a dedicated place for studying and learning to take place Successful students commit to a time to study and a place to study. It's part of establishing a routine that keeps students plugging ahead when times get tough.
Students also must concentrate and attention in the class, because students open distance learner have full time in classroom , so students must pay attention in class and ask question when students not understand, prevent misunderstand message .If you learn new concepts best by and discussion or by building something or working with manipulative, like study group because more information and also can share opinion and Instructors needed to be comfortable with the medium, and that the students needed to have more guidance on how to fully take advantage of the presentation and students were highly satisfied with the instructors and the course, but that direct interaction with the instructor played no role in the students' satisfaction.
The best way students must self-motivatied and to deal with all this is to plan ahead, keeping in mind that it takes a two years to complete a degree program.
Finally, the loss of teaching spontaneity or modifying instruction to ensure student comprehension might not initially seem like an issue, but it really does matter. As an instructor, monitoring student comprehension is crucial; otherwise, students don't understand a concept, the lesson moves on, and one or more students are left behind to try and figure out what they didn't grasp. Feeling lost while all others continue with the lesson will quickly deflate a confidence level. What are the odds of continuing with a program when you feel like a failure? Not very high at all.
The instructors to adapt their teaching methods to the distance learning format. The instructors can better prepare for the classroom including multimedia use, speaking voice, and even font size considerations. Instructors also need to realize that the technician is an integral part of the experience of distance learning and treat them as such. Many times opinions and communication between the technician and the instructor are not shared either because the technician's role is unclear, or there is a shared perception of a difference in status between the two. Instructors must be motivated to prepare adequately for classes. Part of the responsibility for motivation must lie with the administration and their support of the program.
Misuse of Technology and Problems with Equipment
Besides the cost of the technology, there is the possibility of not utilizing all its potential. Some of these problems arise from students and instructor lack of training used technology, like cant sign in OUM website, don't know how to search digital library and still others by hardware problems. Equipment and hardware malfunctions must be a great detriment to the effectiveness of distance learning, because a problem occurs in a class everything comes to a standstill and the learning environment is interrupted.
The failure of the hardware can be a very frustrating thing for all involved in distance learning. For the instructor, it means they can be well prepared for the class only to have a bad connection or camera failure cause the entire lesson to go bad. For the technician, the frustration and inability to keep the class running smoothly may affect the instructor's view of their competency, causing friction. For the student, an inability to get a flow to the class and feel like progress is being made can hinder the learning process.
If there are too many instances, the entire course can be affected. For instance, if an overhead projector goes out during an instructor's presentation, an alternate way of delivering that information can easily be found. However, if a compressed video presentation has problems, problem with technology the entire class must be stopped until the problem is resolved. A program studied by Teaster and Bliesner (1999) found that unanticipated technical problems with the system shortened the class time and discussion that negatively affected the overall quality of the presentation. compressed video had connection problems and did not work well broadcasting information delivered by lecture.
The instructors need to be trained to use distance learning technology. So , that mean university must send most of instructors go to trained to use distances learning technology and instructors also must self-motived take advantage to learn. And, the instructor should be trained to take advantage of both their experience and being able to adapt that experience to the new environment of distance learning.
As a students must also pay attention in class and learn used technology. The instructor will always monitoring student comprehension is crucial. If students have problem with technology, ask the instructor or technician, they will help to solve that problem.
Distance learning programs that the technicians play important role. Of course they play a large role in the technical delivery, but little is known about the non-technical activities of the technicians that could have an influence on the instructional process. This type of role, if viewed negatively by the instructor, can have a huge impact on the quality of the learning program and quality in equipment. The technicians also saw a difference in the instructors who could adapt their styles to the technology, and those who could not. Those who adapted were, in the opinion of the technicians, superior in conducting the classes. So not only does the instructor need to adapt to the educational environment, they must also adapt to another person in the room that can help or hinder the delivery of the lesson.