One of the strong arguments against eLearning is that it is rather impersonal. On the contrary, instructor-led training is more personal, as there is face to face interaction, resulting in the instructor being able to gauge the reactions of the participants and altering his/her mode of instruction accordingly. However, Dr. Daphne Koller begs to differ. Dr. Daphne Koller, as many learning professionals might know, is a pioneer in starting “Coursera” which is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.
She made an interesting point during a TED talk titled,
“ What we’re learning from online education”, which challenges the claim that face to face instructor-led courses are more “personal” than online courses. Instructor-led classroom sessions may not be providing personal attention after all! She says that when she asks a question to group of students in a classroom, chances are:
- Quite a few of them are not paying attention.
- Others may be still jotting down notes on what she last spoke.
- A few, who were paying attention, might respond to the question with an immediate answer.
As a result, those were not paying attention and those who were still jotting down notes, don’t even get a chance to pause and contemplate on the question. The instructor moves forward, satisfied on receiving a correct answer to the question. However, would this qualify as personal attention?
On the contrary, let’s take an example of an eLearning course. At the end of an eLearning module or session, there are questions. The participants are given time, to pause and think of a suitable reply. If a wrong response is given, there is an immediate feedback, urging them to reconsider the answer. It is only after the correct response that learners can proceed further. You can control and program the assessments, as per the requirement of the course material and learners.
Another advantage, which online instruction provides, is the freedom to break a long lecture into a number of smaller modules, of 7-8 mins duration, which are easier to assimilate. It also provides multiple learning paths to learners, who can approach the subject matter based on their prior knowledge and background. Some might choose to take refresher modules, while others can dive directly into their subject of focus. Isn’t that a case of personalized learning environment for students?
Dr. Koller makes many other interesting points in her talk. Click on the play button to watch the complete video.
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E-learning and m-learning are powerful learning methods; both are dynamic and effective ways to teach people. So then, what are the differences between and e-learning and m-learning methods?
E-learning involves a series of modules with in-depth subject-matter while m-learning involves smaller chunks of information which can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Modules are designed differently, depending on the kind of format used to learn. M-learning breaks the barriers of time and place and provides easy access to courses. E-learning also enables learners to access information anytime, anywhere through a laptop, and a stable environment is needed for the learner to take training.
As a college student, I had an opportunity to read Wings of Fire, the autobiography of the former Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. The story of the “missile man” who rose to great heights from humble beginnings is truly inspiring.
The sudden demise of this eminent scientist is a great loss to the country and has saddened millions. The life of Dr. Kalam is a testimony to the fact that determination and hard work can overcome the shackles of financial and other constraints.
There were a few letters marked “Never sent. Never signed” that were discovered in Abraham Lincoln’s desk after his death. When he was upset with someone he would write a letter expressing his anger but would refrain from sending it to the intended person. This practice allowed him to vent his anger, yet not allow needless or unpleasant consequences. One of the famous unsent letters was to Gen. George G Meade, who was blamed for letting Robert E Lee escape after Gettysburg. Unfortunately, in today’s age of social media, people have “lost the art of the unsent angry letter” – an expression used in a NY times article by Maria Konnikova.
It is common knowledge that good assessments play a key role in the making of an effective online course. They not only help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of the subject-matter, but also reinforce the learning effectively.
We all know the e-learning industry is full of acronyms. Even the word e-learning itself is the shorthand for electronic learning. As an e-learning professional, it is important to be familiar with various acronyms used in the field of e-learning. Here, I would like to share some acronyms that are commonly used in e-learning.
E-learning is increasingly used by organizations as online courses are effective, affordable and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. But, many organizations are not able to realize these benefits offered by the online training medium due to a serious problem – high dropout rates.
Day-by-day, the demand for rapid e-learning is increasing, and so, everyone is using rapid authoring tools to develop online courses. There are many authoring tools available in the market but a few became very popular. Most of our customers and prospects prefer Articulate Storyline to other rapid authoring tools such as Captivate and Lectora. Developing courses in Storyline is very easy, and the tool offers a lot of flexibility to customize the features or look and feel of the online course.
When it comes to mobile learning, HTML5 with responsive design is required to provide the best learning experience on mobiles, especially on smart-phones with small screens. Courses developed in Storyline and Lectora work fine on mobile devices such as iPads and other tablets, but it is difficult to view them in smart-phones. Captivate has a responsive design feature. So, we must choose it if we need to develop courses for all mobile devices. Captivate is not very intuitive and flexible to develop customized features. We can also build mobile- compatible courses using manual coding but it is time-consuming and expensive.
Recently, I read the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design” and in it, I saw the great news for which I was waiting for a while. I thought I should share it with you all. The developers of Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, Lectora Online and other authoring tools are in the process of adding responsive design feature by the end of 2015.
Here is some information from the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design”.
|Scales to multiple screen sizes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Responsive design features||Coming by end of 2015||Yes||Coming by end of 2015|
2016 will be a watershed year for mobile learning as all courses may be made compatible to all mobile devices. Storyline may become the first choice to develop e-learning or m-learning courses because of its intuitiveness. This may force all learning management systems to be compatible with mobile devices. MOODLE is ahead in this regard, and it has a responsive design feature and works on all the mobile devices.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.
Despite today’s technology and a connected world, classroom training is still an effective method to impart training to all employees. But, instructor-led teaching may not be appropriate for all training needs. Suppose there is a requirement for an organisation to train its employees spread across the globe, on a particular product, in a month’s time, classroom training will not serve the purpose. Here, e-learning serves as a good option to train employees, at comparatively lower costs, within a given schedule. Due to improvements in reliability and speed, converting classroom training materials into online courses has become a justified and cost-effective opportunity.
In my previous blogs, I have discussed about the importance of instructional design strategy and visual design strategy, the two main elements of e-learning in terms of design approach. In this blog, I will discuss about the significance of audio and audio strategy.