E-learning – the convenient way to study?
With the ever broadening use of the internet, even universities and educational institutions are expanding their presence online and are making an effort to make their courses accessible to as many prospective students as possible. As such many are offering to educate students’ at-a-distance.
The concept is as simple as it is convenient. Yet, there are up-sides and down-sides to this innovative format of delivering learning material.
E-learning refers to the presentation of educational programs via electronic media, specifically the internet, thus making courses accessible whenever and wherever. All it takes is the access to the respective institution portals via a computer or other such receptive device.
In our fast paced world where we may have to be here today and there tomorrow, moving to a campus locality in order to receive a degree or to pursue continuing education can, particularly in the case of further training or learning , mean a lot of upheaval for the home environment, social and personal relationships. This format, of providing tuition at-a-distance, enables students and learners to participate in programs without the hassle of relocation, without associated costs and travel expenses; not to mention the complications that may arise work wise, lest the student is in employment and has to remain so in order to secure an income. An educational institution far distanced form the home base and the work place, is not infrequently the main reason for, in particular, adult learners abandoning their pursuit of further education. The e-learning format therefore offers a wide range of chances for an employee to promote his or her career by continuing education.
E-learning brings the course, the tutors and participants into the very home, to one’s own writing desk, and one does not have to be a trained computer-literate or informatics-ace in order to participate. Course delivery programs are becoming simpler and easier to use, and are ever more aimed at an older clientele, namely that of the life-long learner.
Yet, there are also down-sides to this educational delivery format. For a younger or new student, e-learning takes away the natural feeling of University or School. There are no chances for meet-ups for a cup of tea with classmates after lectures, at a campus cafeteria or the library. The environment remains somewhat sterile and getting to know one another is left to social media or VoIP platforms. One remains somewhat isolated, albeit there being other students on the course. Furthermore, while the pleasantries of being in the comfort of one’s own home, not having to leave the house to make it to campus on time, being able to swiftly get a coffee or tea from the own kitchen, and sitting at one´s own desk and computer, are certainly aspects to consider when opting for an e-learning course, the distractions of one’s own comfort-zone are likewise present. Whether it is someone vacuum cleaning, or a new face crossing the street outside the window, or one´s own thoughts that wander in the familiar environment. In the home-zone there are many opportunities for distraction and procrastination.
Nowadays, there are many courses or programs accessible online, and whether to attain a certificate or degree, or just for informative purposes, e-learning offers the possibility to get enrolled in a course, module or workshop from anywhere in the world. It is a great opportunity for the student to become, and stay connected with the developments in a selected field or topic, and at that to acquire knowledge and understanding from the comforts of the home-zone. E-learning is studying, made fit into the everyday life and the home schedule, and learning is learning, no matter the format it is delivered in, it requires dedication and persistence either way!
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