In todays world of technology, the role of internet and rapidly advances internet base technologies is undeniable. Internet created great potentials for doing electronic commerce as well as streamlining service providers not only in private section but also in public section of our new technical society as well. It facilitate the role of training and create a perfect infrastructure for training and educational activities and due to the significant of internet base technologies the services that have been available through that is in reach at anytime and anywhere.
During recent years the subject of electronic learning and distance learning has become the most popular idea to study by researchers and lots of attempts to actually build one in real world.
Electronic learning or in another word web base learning programs are consisted of online or offline activities that have been conducted through digital tools and software that able their subjects to have remote access to the database or virtual classes. In addition by growing the internet technology and increasing the relative knowledge surrounding this matter such as introducing the wireless technology, the advancement of using internet base services moves to a higher level where it has been easily creates access for anyone at anytime and anyplace rather than staying home or in office by using this new technology enables us to use it with our daily routine works simultaneously.
By giving this new situation we can find a very powerful and relatively simple usage of e-learning programmers and software, there would be no need to attain classes as it happens traditionally, in its very fundamental form students and lectures can virtually attend classes from their home or office or even by using wireless systems from any place that gaining access to internet is hard or even impossible. And the benefits of such system doesn't stop there, lecturers can conduct exams through electronic exam system, handle the exam remotely, collect student's answers, grade them electronically by few clicks and within few seconds they can release the results as well.
2) Revolution and evolution
Are we in the middle of a revolution in learning, as many would describe it, or an evolution? Revolutions happen quickly and sometimes have a great, direct impact on all. Evolution happens slowly and mostly without impact to surroundings or in isolation of other related entities.
Fundamentally the reason of changing the education system and learning and development in corporate culture has been an effort in the making for over several years. There have been changes, but education and learning and development are fundamentally the same as they were decades ago. The winds of change have begun to blow harder in recent years however. These changes are mainly fueled by technological advances, but advances in brain/human behavior research and environmental variables have also impacted the evolution.
Even though I feel I've driven the evolution more often than not in my first decade as an instructional technologist, I'm living proof that it's an evolution not a revolution. This is my first blog post. Even as someone who's been pushing for social learning as a component of corporate learning programs, I never found the relevance or the time for blogging myself. I've been an active participant in discussion forums and commented on other people's blogs.
I start the better part of my second decade in instructional technology as Director of Learning Technologies and Assistant Professor of Learning Technologies at Harrisburg University. In this new role I hope to drive the evolution, more often than not, through curriculum development, teaching, speaking, writing, and research and product development. I'll write in this blog to share and reflect on my thoughts, experiences, findings and design and development efforts in the hope that what I learn and share can advance the evolution - an evolution whose apex is efficiently and effectively designed learning, learning that is optimized through technology and media, and learning that engages and inspires learners to improve their skills, change their attitudes and share their knowledge.
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) describes quality assurance asÂ Â "the means through which an institution ensures and confirms that the conditions are in place for students to achieve the standards set by it or by another awarding body", andÂ quality enhancement asÂ "the process of taking deliberate steps at institutional level to improve the quality of learning opportunities.... Quality enhancement is therefore seen as an aspect of institutional quality management that is designed to secure, in the context of the constraints within which individual institutions operate, steady, reliable and demonstrable improvements in the quality of learning opportunities".Â Â In advice to audit teams the QAA goes on to say:Â "The definition of 'enhancement' QAA has adopted for institutional audit leaves room for institutions to follow their own definitions of 'enhancement'. Some institutions may define enhancement as 'continuous improvement', others as 'innovation' and there may be other definitions"Â (J.B. Arbaugh, Alvin Hwang 2005).
There are a wide range of perspectives on the nature of QA and its relationship toÂ QE, here is a summary of the perspectives of fourÂ prominentÂ authors in the field.
Quality assurance and quality enhancement are not the same as the first is concerned with determining that objectives and aims have been achieved, while quality enhancement is concerned with making improvements.Â
Quality assurance may be either 'retrospective' or 'prospective' depending on the type of quality it is aiming to assure.
In general, formal external evaluations have accountability and compliance focuses rather than the encouragement of continuous quality improvement of the student experience. In most institutions where it occurs, improvement of the student experience is a function of internal review and monitoring processes, usually heavily reliant, nowadays, on student feedback, examiners reports, and internal improvement audits, periodic revalidation of programmers of study and staff teams critically self-reflecting on their everyday practice.
4) Advantage and disadvantage
In this part there are some advantages and disadvantages that any e-learning system may have are mentioned, regarding learners, tutors, and organizations with compare to the traditional ways of learning.
Flexible and convenience:
Ease of access at anytime and anywhere.
Lots of options in terms of learning programs and materials from a huge database of courses that have been offered online base on the needs of the learners.
Ease of distributing of courses through email, web-sites, and forums.
In case of online homework, online exam or testing, the speed of immediate feed backs from teachers and lecturers.
Ease of access and edit learning materials when there is need to.
Ease of gaining access to various resources.
Allows each student to study at home regardless of the state of him/her and reduce afford and stress.
Electronic learning brings this opportunity to practice numerous way of learning through email or discussion.
Provides strong retention on subjects because of various methods which is able us to use through electronic learning systems such as multimedia, quizzes, and two way interaction. Also facilitates the means for retrying of repeating any specific part of the training.
Ease of management in these systems regardless of the size the groups that are going under such system to learn.
Easy to take the track of student s while they are learning.
Save the time by reducing the time takes for traveling.
Learners can manage their classes while they are spending time outside or even around their families, or at their work.
Reduce employee's wastage time.
It can process faster since student can attain any necessary part they find interesting or new to them rather than thing they have been already studied.
Reduce cost of traveling, meal, and loadings.
Reduce cost of producing learning materials.
Reduce the cost of office, building and salaries.
There is a network between students and teachers which makes it possible they can have communication.
Students can study in any environment that gives them chance to gain access to internet via core base or wireless servers.
The level of interaction among students and lecturers is better in e-learning programs than traditional ways of study.
The policy of pushing students toward the course rather than pulling them via electronically learning programs.
There are some limitations in terms of distance learning programs:
The need for complicated software and infrastructure for having access to internet any other networks which in some cases hard to achieve.
The quality of learning can easily be affected with slow connection to internet or limited bandwidth thereby it effects the transmitting multimedia such as video and sound through the session.
Cost for initial development plan that may affect the schedule of business at some points.
Some students may gets confuse during the sessions and some might get lost, fells lonely and isolated since there is no classmate in their surroundings.
Limits such as courses contents that in some cases those courses cannot deliver through electronic learning systems.
E-learning is becoming increasingly prominent in tertiary education. All available evidence points toward growing enrolments and provision albeit from a low starting point. However, after the hype of the new economy, growing disenchantment with e-learning has replaced over-enthusiasm. Failures of e-learning operations have, at least temporarily, overshadowed the prospects of widened and flexible access to tertiary education, pedagogic innovation, and decreased cost that was once embodied by e-learning. So the question here is where do we stand after the end of the hype of the new economy? What are the next steps to move e-learning forward in tertiary education and to reap its potential benefits?
First, although student take-up is growing, enrolments are relatively low at most campus-based institutions and represent a small share of total enrolments. On the available quantitative evidence, provision with "high" online presence (that is with at least "web dependent" online presence) accounted for well under 5% of total enrolments at most OECD/CERI sample institutions. However, it should be noted that enrolments are currently difficult to track, not least because e-learning enrolments were often located at credit rather than degree level: in some institutions, the number of students enrolled in at least one course with high online presence would typically be much higher, and sometimes from 30 to 50% of total enrolments. (ShuYu, I-JuChen, Kuei-Feng Yang 2006)
Second, e-learning activities across tertiary education institutions are very diverse, with programmers located at different points of the e-learning spectrum ranging from none or trivial online presence to fully online provision. The diversity found within the case study institutions matched the diversity found on a larger scale by the Observatory survey. In most campus-based institutions, the growth of e-learning to date has not challenged the centrality of the face-to-face classroom setting.