According to Cambridge Dictionary, e-Learning is a learning process using computers and courses provided on the internet. Meanwhile in Oxford dictionary, e-Learning is a learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the Internet. To me, e-Learning is more than a learning process or electronic media. The letter 'e' itself represents lots of meaning towards learning. The following describes the soul of e-learning based on the representation of the 'e'.
1. Empowered learning. We are no longer focusing on how we should teach our students. Refer to the picture below.
Nowadays, student's intake in a University has being increased tremendously. The growth is due to the need of our country towards developed country that requires more educated human capital. The challenge when there is lots of student in a classroom, the capabilities of students are different in term of knowledge or family background. Thus, we cannot teach the same way as we teach excellent student. We need to personalize our teaching approach to individuals. This will give more burden to lecturers as they also need fulfill other job scope such as research and innovation, administration and social works. Fortunately, by having the technology, lecturers can now empower the learning process to the students. Lecturers just need to provide the learning materials or activities, monitor the learning achievement and do some intervention to some individuals who are classified as having learning trouble. Student can also work on their own time and place to study the subject.
ii. Exchanged learning. With the habits of social media among us, learning process now conducted in peeragogical ways. Students can learn from other students without the need to sit together in a library discussion room. Using social media, we can post certain issue that we think need to be discussed, then anyone tend to give ideas or comment about the issues. This is good in term of learning especially in sharing knowledge and experience towards understanding on certain topics in a bigger perspective.
iii. Enhanced learning. In certain topics, it is hard to visualize and understand certain topics based on textbook. With the advancement of technology, layman can easily create their own video, animation, and even augmented/virtual reality to explain certain concept/ideas.
iv. Ease learning. Learning requires some efforts at least to read and think about certain topics. Among the challenge to stay focus in learning is time and place. Sometime, we may have something to be completed first that will limit us to attend a class. We may also experience tiredness or sickness that hinder us to give commitment on attending a lecture. By having online, we can have our own time to play and replay a video to understand a topic.
Above all of the e-Learning benefits towards humanity, this technology also enables lecturer to perform good deeds for their own benefits. E-Learning is a way for lecturer to spread knowledge to people. By recording series of lecture, many can view and learn from the posted videos from time to time even though the lecture is no longer in the university.
Additionally, e-Learning is not only meant to benefit the student, it is also benefit the colleagues among the lecturers. By providing learning plan with online materials/activity, any other lecturer can easily take over the course at any time without the much hassle of preparing them.
Hope you enjoy this reading.
Dr. Suhailan Safei
Faculty of Informatics & Computing
Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin