e-learning is simply defined as a computer-based educational system that enables you to learn from anywhere and at any time.
By Dr Daviender Narang
New Delhi: The Covid-19- led pandemic has changed education forever. The entire academics witnessed an emergency erupt with the outbreak of the virus. The virus also resulted in educational institutions getting shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children were out of classroom, deprived of minimum facilities of education. Overnight, education changed its course dramatically, from a brick-and-mortar learning to an online learning. The main question faced by educational institutions is how to continue the teaching-learning process without any hindrance? The solution they found is to move away from the traditional ways of learning to e-learning methods. The sudden change in the educational system has sparked many positives as well as negatives.
With the help of advanced technology, humans slowly tried to get along with the transformation and that is how this unexpected and abnormal condition brought a full-stop to the physical face-to-face learning and forced the educational institutions across the world to take online teaching in hand to keep students in touch with the curriculum through e-learning.
e-learning is simply defined as a computer-based educational system that enables you to learn from anywhere and at any time. There are a lot of other definitions of e-learning: e-learning includes the use of the internet and other important technologies and applications to produce teaching materials, to teach learners and also to regulate courses for effective online learning. Ed Tech companies bolstered their capabilities to provide a one-stop shop for teachers and students. Online learning is cost-effective. Academicians have endorsed the fact that e-learning can address a vast group at a given point of time. It can cater to the need of a bigger classroom. In fact, the boundaries of classrooms are blurring with the advent of online learning.
The collaborative nature of online learning can never be ignored. Being a common stage for students from all over the world, it is highly diverse. Learners get to interact with international colleagues and masters.
Reduced time is one of the significant benefit of online learning. The materials needed for the course can be updated and received in no time without any delay and there is no need for anyone to wait for the materials to be distributed in hand.
Rich student interaction, feedback and evaluation are some of the other benefits of online learning.
The most prominent drawback is technological issues. Though technology is the main reason behind online learning for being a successful venture, this turns out to be the reason for the drawback as well.
The next drawback is related to teachers or instructors. Although e-learning is technology-driven, the position of the teacher as an instructor is much needed. Most of the teachers still are digital migrants, whereas the young learners are digital natives who were born after the technological revolution came.
Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information and take less time, meaning the changes Covid-19 have caused might be here to stay.
With this sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, some are wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic and how such a shift would impact the worldwide education market.
In the present pandemic situation, where teaching in a physical classroom is not possible, online teaching is the savior. Amid the challenges in implementing it completely, educational institutions have partially succeeded in executing it.
(Dr Daviender Narang is the Director of the Jaipuria Institute of Management, Ghaziabad. He has also worked on a World Bank-supported project on capacity-building in Ethiopia for two years.)