Quality And Efficiency Of Elearning Education Essay

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During the last years, the nature of the internet was constantly changing from a place used to read web pages to an environment that allows end-users to run software applications. E-learning is a technology enhanced web based learning application used for transferring knowledge and to impart learning across geographical locations. In the field of e-learning there is vast expansion of technologies and techniques which change the scenario of education in developing countries. The big question for many researchers in the area of educational systems now is what is the next step in the evolution in the field of e-learning. There are some challenges and shortcomings of e-learning which are considered by education institutions, business organizations and learners which slow down the innovation in e-learning. This paper focused on the current challenges faced by of e-learning in developing countries and some solutions to overcome it.

Keywords- Sectoral , framework, Reluctant, E-learning, Efficiency, Vocational

Introduction

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In the scope of globalisation we have to ask whether there can be a global culture without global information. And, can global information exist in a world without global education. Electronic learning - or eLearning as it's called - is not a new phenomenon. One can trace back its beginning to the 1980s and has in the 1990s begun to flourish. Today eLearning is gaining more and more significance within the realm of higher education. This paper gives an understanding of the history of eLearning and a look into the future of eLearning in Indian Education with challenges of e-learning.E-learning is often regarded as a 'new' form of learning that uses the affordances of the Internet to deliver customized, often interactive, learning materials and programs to diverse local and distant communities of practice. This view, however, is historically disconnected from its antecedent instantiations, failing to recognize the extensive links between developing educational theories and practices that had shaped the use of E-learning over the past 40 years. Education is seen as one of the most important factors for poverty alleviation and economic growth in developing countries. The term e-learning refers to set of applications and processes and includes many other similar terms such as, web-based learning, on-line learning, virtual classrooms, distance learning. E-learning could be defined as the delivery of education content via all electronic media, including the Internet, intranets, extranets,satellitebroadcast ,interactiveTV, and CD or DVD. On-line learning makes just oneaspect of e-learning and means learning via Internet, intranet, and extranet. E-learning is, however, facing a lot of obstacles and challenges in developing countries and drop-out rates are usually much higher than in traditional, classroom based, and teaching. It is therefore relevant to investigate which e-learning obstacles are of particular importance for developing countries and this paper does so by using a conceptual framework on e-learning.The goal of this paper is to present and analyze the main aspects and research trends concerned with the different scenario e-learning and the challenges for e-learning in developing countries .. Our aim is to provide a ground for the design of more process-, context- and user-aware systems that facilitate efficient learning delivery, authoring and consumption

(A)E-Learning Application

E-learning is a technology enhanced web based learning application used for transferring knowledge and to impart learning across geographical locations. Innovations in internet and multimedia technology has made e-learning possible. Our e-learning applications are best suited for educational institutions, medical companies, training institutes for providing distant education and training purposes. Large organizations having their branches at different locations can also benefit from our e-learning application to manage learning events and corporate training purposes. E-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual education opportunities and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self-paced or instructor-led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio [2].

(B) Quality and Efficiency of E-learning

A final consideration was the potential of E-learning to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the learning process. For many regions, cost benefits had been achieved by increasing students' access and use at reduced costs without jeopardizing quality. Some foresaw eventual benefits through a reduction of teacher management and administration time, and increased organizational efficiency through innovative total management systems. However, there was a key concern that efficiency should not override concerns of effectiveness, stressing the importance of improving quality. Many asserted that eLearning methods provided the potential for better quality learning, with improved student results and outcomes, but recognized that there was still a lack of evidence-based evaluation[1].

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The quality of e-Learning materials and the whole teaching/learning process, in general, should be a matter of main concern. The poor quality of some eLearning products has spread a wrong message among the potential users, creating a mistrustful atmosphere regarding eLearning.

II E-LEARNING BENEFITS

The key advantage for most regions was enabling wider access to digital learning for any person, anytime, anywhere. E-learning's key benefit was its capacity to overcome the digital divide and extend digital literacy to ordinary citizens, overcoming geographical, time and social barriers. This meant connecting effectively with isolated communities in rural, remote or mountainous regions or to key groups that currently suffer from exclusion, particularly disabled people. Time flexibility was seen as particularly advantageous for workers, enabling a better work/life balance and providing encouragement to small enterprises to more actively promote virtual and blended workplace learning. For most regions, E-learning was not just about opening up existing learning structures and content to new customers. A significant number of regions emphasized the new methodological potential of eLearning to transform the learning process. Key advantages are its greater interactivity and connectivity, its adaptability and capacity for promoting digital and key skills.

It's potential for enabling a more stimulating and motivating learning environment for students and teachers alike, is another key benefit [3].

(A) E-learning in distance education

Whether through distance learning or in the classroom, regions highlighted the potential for increased communication between the teacher and the student, as well as student-to-student communication. Teachers could more easily monitor and support individual students' work, whilst connectivity between students was being dynamically used to promote team work, joint projects and student information exchange.

Some regions were already profiting from the potential to promote global communication between students and teachers across the globe, whilst others particularly valued the interactive debate promoted by a new social mix of students, a direct result of the widening student base.

The use of digital materials and methods allowed easy adaptation and updating of material for an increasingly diverse student base, incorporating an ever wider range of teaching tools e.g. the capacity to provide content in 2nd or minority languages for specific learner needs. For most regions, digital content meant enabling providers to improve the digestibility of learning units, breaking it down into bite-sized chunks, according to the specific needs, learning styles and time available to the learner. This handed back the control to the learner, deciding on how the materials would be used, adapted to their own needs and resources.

(B)Creating Learning Organizations for E-learning

For many regions, the full potential of E-learning and the use of digital technology have not been fully realized yet.

Some respondents were exploring the benefits of extending new E-learning methodologies into total, integrated knowledge management systems within the organization. This might be focusing specifically on common information source and use, or more ambitiously to develop active integrated strategies and systems for human resources, valorization and training.

Technology platforms are often generic and there are surprising similarities between the support needs of different courses. The concept of learning objects and reusability is a concrete example where it is clear that, for example, E-learning resources for human biology are sharable between medicine, nursing, health care, pharmacy etc. The potential for more effective management of learning assets across an institution would also be a positive value proposition.

(C)Regional and Sectoral View of E-learning

Given the limited scope of the survey, it is obviously not possible to draw systematic conclusions on regional and sectoral variations. This would need to be the subject of a more detailed analysis. However, the following are some insights from the responses received [3].

Regional Views: Although there was substantial common ground on perceived benefits of E-learning, several of the Mediterranean regions emphasized the potential of E-learning to improve and extend distance learning and to extend the geographical ambit of operation of regional education and training providers.

Sectoral Views: In terms of sectors, the main responses were from the university/higher education sector, followed by vocational education and Training institutions and large companies.

Private Sector: As would be expected, training providers and business users, emphasized the importance of E-learning in providing flexible and adaptable provision, geared to specific professional profiles and the needs of business.

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University/Higher Education (HE) Sector: The sectors' responses reflect their involvement with virtual learning methods within distance learning and in the classroom, with a more notable interest in the pedagogical benefits and development of new models.

Vocational Education: This sector appears highly focused on the potential for widening participation in all areas and impressed with the potential for flexible learning systems, based on bite-size modules and the adaptability to adapt content and methods to individual students' needs and learning styles.

Regional and Local Government: This sector appears primarily interested in the potential benefits for increasing quality, efficiency and effectiveness. Some regions focus more on benefits for students and improved learning processes.

Trade Unions: The response emphasized the potential of E-learning for promoting greater social mix, as well as the benefit of using E-learning methodologies as vehicles for building ICT, key and social skills.

NGO/Community Sector: In some regions, the sector emphasized equal access for all as the primary benefit, particularly for the socially excluded and disabled learners. The sector also sees potential benefits from new developments linking formal and informal learning styles which are well embedded in the sector.

II MAJOR CHALLENGES FOR E-LEARNING

Following are the major challenges faced by e-learning in India [4]:

Adaptation Rule in E-Learning Course Development :When instructors first decide to incorporate an e -learning element into their instruction, most adapt a current course.

Instructors tend to start with less complex activities. Obviously one of the major ways that the faculty members use the technology is simply by posting relevant documents in our course management System.

Instructors then begin to focus on pedagogical aspects: The faculty member must decide whether an activity is best for a discussion board or e-mail.

Instructors rethink their course concepts accordingly Faculty had to build the template and plan extensively. They were developing the technical and instructional aspects of the course in parallel so that the instructional technology would fit within the technical constraints.

E-Learning's Time Requirements Challenge Instructors: Perhaps the most frequently cited challenge of e-learning was the amount of time required to develop and maintainan e-learning course.

Instructors need to rethink and fundamentally restructure e-learning classes: In many if not most cases, faculty spend substantial time and effort reengineering the course to adapt it for online delivery.

Instructors need technical and pedagogical training: By and large, instructors tend not to initially comprehend that e-learning instruction differs fundamentally from traditional approaches and requires a major commitment of time and training.

Additional time is needed to communicate with students: One of the biggest issues we've seen is the enormous volume of correspondence with students, and the time that it requires.

New e-learning faculty tend, on average ,to marginally less technologically sophisticated: They're amazed at how labor-intensive and time-consuming it is-at the amount of time it takes to develop and teach the course, and the time required to respond to e-mail alone.

Technical Issues a New Importance to Faculty: When adapting e-learning courses, interviewees identified several technical issues that hamper instructors' activities. The lack of course prototypes and software standards raises the need for a common course development platform.

E-Learning Technical Issues for Students: When designing e - learning courses,instructors must consider students' technical limitations-bandwidth and computer hardware

(A) Students E-Learning Activities and Challenges

E-learning frequently requires hands-on activities, whether participating in an online discussion or creatinga Web page about research activities. This introduces new issues and challenges for Students, including computer experience and confidence, computer ownership, technical problems, and time management.Students enrolling in an e-learning class must not only master the course's subject matter but also possess the technical skills to participate in the course and study effectively.Even students who are comfortable using a computer might not possess all the necessary skills. A common problem is slower dial-up speeds at home, especially in rural areas that rely on online distance-learning courses. These students cannot take courses effectively unless instructors scale back course activities accordingly. As with their instructors, time management skills and self-motivation impact student performance in e-learning classes.

"Some students complain that if they actually Students and faculty members both need good time-management skills."He noted that older students tend to have better luck with online distance-learning courses because they have developed better time management skills [4].

Students don't have to come into a classroom to have knowledge poured into their heads. They have to take the initiative.This can be such a problem that St.Philip's created a series of self-diagnostic tools to help students determine whether they possess the right characteristics to take an e-learning course successfully. During class, instructors cannot assume that students understand fully the reasoning behind the incorporation of every e-learning tool.

Leading edge: Experiments frequently with emerging/cutting-edge computer Applications and technology.

Early adopter: Uses advanced features in generally adopted computer applications and might experiment with emerging or cutting - edge applications and technology.

Mainstream user: Uses generally adopted computer applications proficiently on a regular basis but is not prone to experimentation.

Reluctant: Tries to use generally adopted computer technology but has problems using basic features.

Avoider: Uses computers as little as possible, compares respondents' assessments of students' and instructors' computer skills. Although survey respondents assessed computer skills similarly for students and instructors, they identified different technology challenges for supporting them online survey respondents believe the most significant student support challenge is to enable students to use e-learning technology as much as needed by providing an adequate network infrastructure and keeping up with their technology demands. Survey respondents cite different support challenges for instructors.

(B) E-Learning and Support Requirements

Whether transforming a course for an online distance-learning program, Web surfing a topic in class, or creating a multimedia presentation, some instructors and students will need assistance with their e-learning activities .As a result, providing support for e-learning gains priority[3].

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(C)Support and guidance for students

Support and guidance' refers to the support systems needed for the student to easily make it through the course. Contact or intervention from the institution to its students and support from the tutor and other staff (including IT help desk) are said to improve learning and pass rates.

(D)Instructor and Student Technical Challenges

E-learning's success rests on the fundamental requirement that instructors and students possess adequate technical skills to use e-learning tools effectively. The survey explored the challenge this poses by asking respondents to assess instructors' and students'computer skills and identify significant technical challenges accordingly .The findings discussed in this section represent the respondents' impressions and not their firsthand experiences with these issues.Instructors might also want to learn computer skills to become better teachers[3].

IV Conclusions

Institutions place an overall higher priority on supporting technology use in traditional classrooms for several reasons. The bottom line is that whether it's an online distance-learning course, a hybrid course, or technology use in a traditional classroom, e-learning presents a host of new support requirements, and institutions must provide the appropriate resources to address them.