The internet is indeed a boon to the world and has its presence in almost every aspect of life. Internet has changed the traditional learning system. Education via internet is called e learning. E learning is a right mix of information, knowledge distribution and presentation of learning programmes for students or individuals in a creative manner-using internet.
E-learning enables people to learn from anywhere and anytime. Initially e-learning industry never got much attention as it got in the recent times. It is growing at an increasing rate. The online education is set to be a boon with e-commerce players beginning to take notice of this category. More and more e- commerce companies are investing in the field of e-learning.
Features of E- Learning
E-learning programmes can be based on the needs and objectives of customer. E-learning system helps in documentation. Now lectures can be recorded and viewed online. It is possible to update and upgrade the data whenever required. Blended learning is possible i.e. one can learn in traditional way as well as online.
Benefits of E-Learning
It can be said that e-learning is igniting an education revolution. The benefits of e-learning are being enjoyed by teachers as well as students and society at large. The benefits are as follows:-
- It is highly interactive and reduces dependence on traditional system of learning and allows the teachers and students to open up to global knowledge.
- It is more individualistic approach.
- It is not a replacement of real classroom but complementary to it. Using blended learning, teacher can give more time to students to help them to understand specific concepts using internet.
- It saves time and is flexible.
- Students can learn according to their grasping power.
- Students and teachers can download information and upload assignment projects.
- Learning can be a fun filled and enriching experience-using visuals, animation, video films, charts and diagrams.
- It is most suitable for mass education.
- Reducing dependence on traditional system of learning.
- Teachers can evaluate and assess student performance and prepare reports online and send to the parents online. In turn, parents can track children’s progress and provide guidance and support.
- Distant learning is possible. Several online education programmes are available nowadays, where student can study and participate in video conferencing.
- It is a convenient way of learning as there is no fixed schedule and available 24*7 and no lesson would be missed out.
- One can get expertise knowledge online and is cost effective as well as self-paced learning.
- Information can be updated and modified anytime, giving better understanding of content.
Barriers In The Way Of E-Learning
Internet is still not accessible to all. Cost of setting up an e-learning system and producing e-learning material is high. There is no face to face teaching. Irregular supply of power may be a major hindrance in the path of e-learning. Teachers can use e-learning only when they have the knowledge of computer. There may be health related problems like long exposure to computer or any other device can cause eyestrain.
Lack of qualified teachers compiled with infrastructure deficiencies, high student teacher ratio etc call for immediate attention on the concept of e-learning. Government should play an active role in enhancing and promoting e-learning. Government should ensure that internet is accessible to all at affordable rates and teachers should be given proper training. Government should itself invest in this sector, which in turn will motivate private sector to invest in such area. Investing in this sector is profitable for investors. Government can provide subsidies for private investors to set up e-learning.
E-learning is an effective tool for learning as it removes time and place hindrances. Although in the initial stages, it is costly to set up the system but at the later stages it will become a cost effective tool for mass education. E-learning will help many individuals to learn in convenient way and they can also contribute towards the development of society at large and to the economic growth also.