The eLearning Fundi

Random reflections about eLearning in Africa

What eLearning Promises

An article by Vinay Choubey: E-learning and its Benefits, lists some of the promises of eLearning. I will paraphrase them according to my understanding, eLearning promises to:

  • Anytime, anywhere access: you do not need to travel, and you have the flexibility of where and when to access your learning materials
  • By making hard and boring subjects more interesting and appealing, eLearning can “make learning exciting, engaging and compelling”.
  • Through the use of online societies and networks, learning cooperative and collaborative learning is achieved.
  • ELearning can be conveyed using a variety of media including computers, PDAs, mobile phones – making it more convenient for the learners to use the most appropriate media.
  • ELearning allows the learner to manage and take control of the learning process.
  • ELearning is embedding the culture of learning within organisations.

Choubey also states the features of eLearning (read the article). I will however highlight on two features:

  • Learning is self-directed, allowing students to choose content and tools appropriate to their differing interests, needs, and skill levels
  • Draws upon hundreds of years of established pedagogical principles.

Learning being self-directed- and allowing learners to choose content of interest can only be for leisure learning but not for academic purposes. For Higher Education institutions, the the objectives of the course are well set, and the learner has to achieve them to earn credits for that particular course. On eLearning drawing up from hundreds of years of pedagogical principles – this is still questionable, and it has formed a question of research for the past few years: Do we need a different pedagogy for online learning? Or how do we change or align the traditional pedagogical knowledge for technology enhanced learning? This are still questions we need to answer when designing eLearning courseware.

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