One of the most often used terms after the recent pandemic is the phrase internet learning or e-learning. The internet has obviously been affected by the swine flu outbreak. This means that many people who were forced to take cover have found it difficult to do so. The swine flu epidemic is still spreading; hence, the difficulties encountered by learners. However, as more schools and universities try out internet learning, the phenomenon will surely see positive results one way or another.
The term e-learning brings to light a whole lot of other terms and definitions. These terms are used interchangeably, especially by non-academics and academics alike. It is also commonly associated with the idea of online learning. But online learning is not necessarily restricted to taking classes via the internet. It also involves social interaction.
So, what does e-learning involve?
E-learning can broadly be explained as the combination of online learning and classroom learning. Through the internet, learners and instructors can communicate using electronic devices such as email and chat platforms. Online learning also involves the integration of certain practical skills such as project management, brainstorming, problem-solving, as well as presentation.
One very common example of online learning is the MBA degree online. An MBA is one of the highest sought degrees in the business world. Students who choose to enroll in an MBA program can expect to have a great career ahead of them. An MBA degree can be obtained through online learning, and the benefits can be quite profound.
E-learning introduced the concept of discussion boards
In addition to this, online learning has also introduced the concept of discussion boards. These discussion boards are usually moderated by experts from within the educational institution. Students can ask questions or share ideas on a wide array of topics. For this reason, the level of communication involved is higher when compared to conventional classroom learning. This is because the discussions do not happen in the classroom where classmates and lecturers can simply overhear something that makes one feel uncomfortable.
Students are able to enhance their knowledge base
But the biggest benefit of online learning cannot really be explained in terms of academics alone. The fact is that students are able to enhance their knowledge base without having to spend long hours in the classroom. With the help of discussion boards, they are able to develop better technical skills. This in turn can help them in securing jobs or better employment opportunities.
It allows for much more flexibility
But perhaps the biggest advantage of online learning lies in the fact that it allows for much more flexibility in terms of scheduling and the scheduling of classes. With online classes, you can take courses at a time when it fits best for you. You can also move ahead of other students and take classes that are currently being taken by other students in the same field. Thus, you get to take advantage of the advantages offered by virtual learning while ensuring that you meet your degree goals.
It lacks the personal interaction
However, there are disadvantages as well. One of the major disadvantages of online learning is that it lacks the personal interaction that is required to make a learning experience more interesting and meaningful. Since the students are never given the opportunity to talk to an instructor in person, they will often find it difficult to engage in discussions or ask questions. In fact, many have argued that without the ‘face-to-face communication’ required to foster learning, the benefits offered by the technological aspect of online learning are nullified.
This is why many people are now opting for distance learning institutions that provide a more flexible online learning environment. Such online learning environments usually allow the students to interact with their instructors via the internet. Some even offer online forums or chat rooms that enable classmates to ask questions or share opinions. In fact, it has been argued by some experts that such flexibility can actually help students learn faster and become more motivated in the process.
Some online programs still rely on one-on-one instructor-training sessions
Of course, some online learning programs do not follow this format at all. For instance, some online programs still rely on one-on-one instructor-training sessions that rarely include any form of student discussion or forum. While some think that this type of rigid format may be necessary in order to provide the most effective training, many people who have taken online courses say that it has had a negative effect on the quality of education.
In the end
What matters the most is how well you learn. This is the bottom line. Do not make the mistake of focusing only on the benefits of e-learning over face-to-face learning. While e-learning has its own benefits, face-to-face learning offers these benefits. As such, if you are considering an education career, you should not just consider one option – but look into both online learning and face-to-face learning options.