e-Learning: Promise and Pitfalls EDUC 391Web-based Technologies in Teaching and Learning Assignment 1 Sonia Yu
Definition and Features of e-learning • Definition: Training or instruction delivered on a computer (including CD-ROM, Internet, or Intranet) that is designed to support individual learning or organizational performance goals. • Features: • What: Includes content relevant to the learning objective • How: Uses instructional methods such as examples and practice to help learning • How: Uses media elements such as words and pictures to deliver the content and methods • Why: Builds new knowledge and skills linked to individual learning goals or to improved organizational performance
What about? • Hybrid forms of e-learning? i.e. combine classroom in-person teaching with “e-learning” where instruction is conducted via computer medium
What about? • Learning community? • How different is e-learning community from a classroom community • Learning in virtual community? • E.g. Second life?
What about? Coursework, websites, blogs, chatboards?
What about? Search engines, Wikipedia
What about? • Social network sites • Facebook, friendster
e-learning Promises • Practice with feedback • How “tailored” and how relevant is the feedback vs. classroom instruction? • Collaboration in self-study • Risk of self-study is the student might lack direction and might go down the wrong path without teacher pulling him/her back • Collaboration is good, but hard to coordinate • Use of simulation to accelerate expertise • True, but maybe situation specific and more performance (esp principle) oriented
e-learning Pitfalls • Failure to define job knowledge and skills • True for all forms of learning? • Failure to accommodate learning processes • Maybe some day technology can take care of that? Will we have robots to replace teachers in school? • Attrition • Drop out rates may be higher, but e-learning can also be more convenient for continuing education candidates • Technological hindrance • Computer performance, internet connection etc