Current Approaches to E-learning Activities {Guest Post}

I would like to thank Mallory Zoe for today’s awesome guest post. She provides some great information about education and technology, and how e-learning helps to engage students. Enjoy!
E-learning refers to the use of education, teaching and learning carried out using electronic educational technology. Originally initiated with the use of computers and information and communication technology in education, it has now expanded to including the use of tablets and mobiles as tools to promote educational efforts and to enhance engagement of teachers and students in learning.

It has become very common to include some or other kind of e-learning activity as part of pedagogy. There are different forms in which e-learning can be included such as computer aided or assisted learning activity, virtual learning, learning through online activities through wikis and blogs, online learning, web based learning etc. The developments in technology have helped enable the development and advancement of e-learning activities as well as the development of learning apps and software. Hence, work on new and advanced e-learning activities have to be on going to keep up with changing trends.
courtesy of Microsoft Clipart

E-learning activities can be of different kinds

E-learning activities can be carried out both synchronously and asynchronously. Current approaches in the incorporation of e-learning activities can be divided into the following strategies:
  • Individualized E-learning activities; asynchronous; can be carried out at own time in own place. This can be online or offline. These kinds of activities are part of virtual learning and distant learning activities. Students can access such activities through specially designed platforms such as intranets or virtual web. These activities promote individual thinking and understand and are especially good for self motivated students who are capable of working on their own.
  • Group based E-learning activities; where the activities require the participation of a number of participants. Again, this can be carried out online or offline. This can be synchronous and asynchronous. These activities not only promote learning but also promote team work and interaction between different participants. It is an important way of improving social skills. Social students would enjoy this experience more.

E-learning activities are not just of importance to schools and colleges but also to organizations and corporate as they are finding it a very easy way of managing the lifelong education and training of their staff. They can incorporate corporate training and educational modules in the form of distance learning or as part of in house coaching websites. Adult learners are very independent and can manage their learning along with their work. Companies can save valuable amounts of time and money by incorporating these modules in their company website.

Wikis for collaborative e-learning activities

Amongst the recent approaches of using e-learning technology in classrooms is the use of wikis and multimedia conferencing for collaborative learning activities. Collaborative learning activities are
those where groups of students assign roles to each other, which help them collaborate on a project- applying their skills, knowledge and resources to ensure that it comes to completion. Wikis are a great way of pooling and sharing information related to a project. It provides a space for collaborators to interact, share their ways, store their research, send updates and liaise with each other to ensure completion of project. It can be accessed from any place, both in and outside campus. Wikis are great for short projects as it helps provide structure in place to ensure completion of task. They provide great, safe environments for students to talk and interact and to develop a sense of community bonding, even when they are away from the campus; they also provide a way to collate and track meeting progress.

Mobile learning

Another trend is the increasing use of mobile technology to facilitate e-learning activities. Because of increase in mobile usage and increased popularity of devices such as mobile phones and tablets, designers are developing e-learning activities which can be carried out on the move. This is called M-learning or mobile learning. It provides an additional advantage over traditional e-learning- you do not need to be stationed at a place or get hold of the required hardware to do your learning. All you need is just your mobile device and a data plan or WIFI. Sharing is instantaneous and everyone can be engaged at the same time. It is very portable and easy to carry. Some devices which can be configured for this are smart phones, mobile PCs, tablets. Using such technology frees up space and saves on paper- can minimize use of paper based resources and makes learning fun. Alerts can sent through smses. Class management software for mobiles is also available to schedule and manage classes; notes can easily be shared in the form of PDF files. In addition, you can even listen to live or recorded lectures of your teachers via you-tube or podcasting, which you can download and attend.

In short, technology has never made learning so enjoyable, convenient and exciting. More  

exciting avenues of opportunity for making e-learning even more convenient exist with the 

development of smart watches such as Apple’s watch or the Google Glass device. Students 

would be certainly looking forward to exciting developments in this area.

Mallory Zoe is a freelance writer and a student counselor with http://sortmyassignment.com she was formerly a lecturer at Samford University and, she loves writing and blogging about education, finance, investment, family and health.