The Developments and Issues of E-Learning
Clark, Don “The Pros and Cons of E – Learning”. P. 2007
Presentation of the Issue
E-Learning is trying to provide a more individualized, self-paced, self-directed learning experience (Clark). A survey by a Sociology Professor at CSU-Northridge showed that students in his virtual class performed 20% better than students in his traditional class (Clark). On the other hand, issues concerned with E-Learning includes the fact that students may not be as motivated since, another survey found out that only 66% of the students involved with E-Learning earned credit with a passing grade for their classes (Washington Post).
E-learning promises to provide ways of learning for all Auditory, visual and kinesthetic learners (Kruse). It also provides benefits that traditional classrooms cannot, For Example, individual attention and courses that local schools don’t offer (Florida Today). Both the teacher and student have easy-going environments where they can work according to their pace, thus reducing stress and producing better outcomes. Online courses can be delivered anywhere where Internet is available and E-learning usually costs less than traditional schools while providing similar education (Clark).
However, there may be social impacts on the student since E-learning provides very little opportunity for interaction (Obringer). People also remember more when they are encouraged to interact in the activity and E-Learning sometimes contains boring slides with monotonous speech (Obringer). Because of these reasons, the online student dropout rate is around 35% whilst the average dropout rate for universities in the US is around 20% (Clark). Another issue is that some students have difficulty with maintaining the motivation to work that they simply just stop working (Clark).
The IT Background of the Issue
Students can sign up for courses and choose a format of learning that suits them best; video, interactive tutorials, hyperlinked textbooks or face-to-face group sessions. (US NEWS) Quizzes are given occasionally to ensure that students are learning the material. There are four different types of E-Learning; Knowledge databases (step by step instructions, few explanations and questions), Online Support (Chat rooms, online bulletin boards, email or live messaging), Asynchronous training (Self paced learning based on CD’s, Networks, internet or the intranet) and Synchronous training (Internet using Real Time - communicate directly with the instructor) (Howstuffworks).
Television was one of the first medias that E-Learning was available by but since it was too expensive and the information was too dry, people started to lose interest (Lyon). Videotapes then evolved and were used in school classrooms (Lyon). When the Internet was invented, E-Learning used it to allow students to work with tutors from various places...