The concept of e-learning can seem suspiciously foreign and bizarre to those who did not grow up in the Digital Age, or to those who have not integrated computers into their day-to-day lives in general.
However, for most people learning online makes perfect sense, especially when you consider just how interconnected with technology we already are.
Rapid growth of online technology
If you have not kept up with the fast-paced growth of computer and Internet technology, it can be difficult to wrap your mind around the idea of learning off of a computer screen. After all, education has taken place in the classroom for hundreds of years. It seems unnecessary, and even detrimental, to take students out of the classroom in order to further their education. Outside of a classroom setting, students would not have access to their instructors or classmates. They would miss that direct interaction, and the unspoken motivation to stay focused and work hard. Or would they?
Interaction via virtual classrooms
In reality, e-learning has a lot more in common with classroom learning than you may think. Online education programmes act as virtual classrooms, complete with a real-life instructor and real-life students. In fact, many online classes even cap their class numbers at around 20-30 students, much like a real moderately-sized classroom. This allows for instructors to be able to interact with all of his or her students without leaving anyone neglected.
A learning resources platform
Much like beginning a class day by trekking into a classroom, e-learners begin their day’s activities by logging into their LMS. These platforms list all of the assignments that a student will have to complete, as well as all of the reading selections and lectures a student will have to study. Assignments are also either turned in through the platform or e-mailed directly to the class instructor. The lectures are wide and varied as well, much like lectures in the classroom. Some instructors post lectures in video format, allowing students to see their instructor speak about course materials. Other instructors may post their lectures as PowerPoint presentations, interactive slide shows, or plain blocks of text. There are even regular quizzes and tests with online learning, meaning that online students do not have it any easier than classroom students when it comes to coursework. Read Part Two of this blog post here to find out how e-learners can perform better than classroom students.