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In present scenario computers have become one of the key parts of human life. Computers are playing a key role in every individual’s life starting from kids to business professionals. The new generation is very much familiar with computers and internet (Mahmoodand Hafeez, 2013). There is no doubt that computer are giving a comprehensive edge to human life and taking the life standard to a new extent. At present computers are being used in every filed such as communication, education, transport, medical, science, etc. and plying vital role in their development. Computers have made human’s life so easy and comfortable like never before. Starting form communication to learning and shopping everything is so instant and easy. But the impacts of technological developments are not only positive. There is a dark side too which cannot be neglected while evaluating role of computers in human life.
The use of computers for education is significantly increased in last few years. Due to the introduction of different new techniques online learning has become easier and interesting. The development of new technologies and software tools are providing practical learning experience, which is helping in manufacturing a real true learning society based on technology. It is an effective way of introducing wealthy training and merged learning techniques so that well-organized and effective learning practises can be implemented in the surroundings. There is no doubt that computer based learning has become effective like never before but then also it is still not so effective in the way it is being promoted. There are still many drawbacks in this technique that are decreasing its effectiveness. This present essay is going to assess the effectiveness of e-learning. This essay will assess the advantages and limitations of e-learning and will compare the identified facts with promotions. Promoters are presenting e-learning in a way like it doesn’t have any limitation but this study will examine the drawbacks of e-learning. This essay will evaluate that “E-Learning is over-hyped and low on content”.
There is no doubt that computers are making several positive changes in human life but at the same time some negative impacts are also there. A variety of negative effects can be resulted on a person due to computer addiction (Ettinger, Holton and Blass, 2006). An addicted user spends more and more time on the computer and thus he withdraws from friends and family. In order to get more computer time individual skips meetings with friends and avoids family members and stops attending social gatherings, so relationships begin to wither. The user cause further social harm while they do interact with their friends as he becomes irritable when away from the computer (Freund, 1988). Using computer for long hours can also result as emotional toll. The studies shown that user establishes their own artificial world after playing computer games for long time.
Along with entertainment, computers are playing a vital role in learning too. The use of e-learning tools is significantly increasing and technological developments are largely affecting learning pattern. Education in this 21st century is greatly affected by technological developments. In present scenario, E-learning has become an important term in the field of education. Due to e-learning pattern the present scenario in higher educational institutions is changing. E-learning has become modern educational concept (Unneberg, 2007). This new concept is completely different from traditional concept of education. Developed new technologies and software tools are providing practical learning experience, which is helping in manufacturing a real true learning society based on technology. It is an effective way of introducing wealthy training and merged learning techniques so that well-organized and effective learning practises can be implemented in the surroundings. It is the technology that allows users to learn from anywhere at any time.
Electronic learning or E-learning can be defined as the process of gaining knowledge through internet based learning programmes. In current technological world use of internet is significantly increasing (Megan, 2002). Students are self-motivated and managed in e-learning. E-learning is based on several principle of learning theories as well as different technological tools. An e-learning is developed in five different phases. The development starts with the analysis of learning problems. Then, connect of training is designed. On the third stage the training modules are developed and after that the plan is implemented (Owens and Price, 2010). On the last stage feedback of learners are invited for the evaluation.
In present scenario the demand of higher education is significantly increasing and technological developments are playing key role in fulfilling these demands. Electronic learning is providing powerful and modern ways of satisfying these requirements of education. Through cost savings, precise delivery, on-demand availability of training etc, the training and education opportunities are increased by e-learning (Wang, 2009). It is focused towards providing high quality education and training to every individual. There are several ways in which this type of learning can be applied and that will be included into the majority of education and training programs (Young, 2008). It plays an important role in education field as need of higher education is rapidly increasing.
There are several issues that are reported by students using e-learning. The very common issue is regarding very slow response times. It is reported by many users that some e-learning tools long time in responding and that have made their e-learning experience worst. Slow internet connection is another very common issue. Pop-up advertisements and other disturbances also affect the learning (Waddill and Marquardt, 2011). Thus, internet based learning is not so easy and effective as it appears in promotional campaigns. The technologies being offered for e-learning is sufficient for learning objectives but the quality and content the programmes may not be satisfactory. Different technologies are offering compressive tools to provide a real life learning experience but chances of error are always there with every technological aspect (Lori and Kent, 2001).
The cognitive science principles of effective e-learning are decried by E-learning theory. According to this theory, the effectiveness of e-learning can be improved by the selection of appropriate concurrent multimedia modalities (Selim, 2007). The modality principle introduced by Richard E. Mayer defines that the study materiel includes both graphical and verbal information then the verbal information should be provided in auditory format rather than only written text. Alan Baddeley and Graham hitch developed the model of working memory on which the modality principle is based. According to this model there are two largely independent sub-components of working memory that tend to work in similar - one verbal and one visual. As per this theory, if the related material such as words and pictures are presented together then effectiveness of learning can be improved. Basically, e-learning is based on this theory which believes that availability of all the related material in their proper format significantly increase the effectives of learning (Koschmann, 1996). Thus, e-learning programs are developed by considering these set of materials. Different audio and video supportive tools are used in e-learning programs so that effective learning can be delivered.
There are several learning theories that provide a solid base for good educational practises. E-learning includes a set of teaching styles rather than being focused on a single one. With changing educational technology different potential ways of technology are being implemented to make the learning process easier and effective. The first approach of learning is social-constructivist that is well afforded by the use of blogs, discussion forums, on-line collaborative activities and wiki (Venkatesh and Davis, 2000). This approach is dedicated towards wider groups including students themselves as it opens educational content creation for them. This approach is used by One Laptop per Child Foundation in their project. Another approach is Laurillard’s Conversational Model which is relevant of e-learning particularly. The cognitive perspective theory focuses on the process which is involved in working of brain and leaning. E-learning also considers emotional aspects like engagement, fun and motivation by the use of emotional perspective (Khan, 2005).
Students must have a clear understanding of their educational objectives as well as different tools to be used for achieving them. It is must for the students to consider above defined barriers to enhance the performance through competitive technology (Capogrossi, 2002). In lack of clear understanding of goals there is use of electronic learning as it is vastly based on the self-regulatory skills.
There are several objectives of e-learning. The key aims of e-learning are to provide flexible learning chances for students, to change the learning style and fulfill the need of the millionaire students, to develop the skills of self-managed learning in students, to develop technological skills in students as per the needs of current technological world, to break the physical boundaries for education, to provide low cost training modules to the higher education, to enable students to plan a successful future of electronic learning training and to improve the quality of the learning (Anthony and Jill, 2002). E-learning is dedicated towards changing the traditional learning pattern and introduces a new pattern based on technologies.
It is must for the developers to consider the technical limitations for example network bandwidth and hardware. It is suggested by the e-learning theory that graphical representation of course material along with audio attachments but on the other hand these technological limitations are major barriers. Pages with too many graphics and audio attachments take a long time to open with slow bandwidths (Baylor and Ritchie, 2002). In some courses students need to use large monitors and projectors also for make the clear and effective understanding of the concepts. In online distance learning environment the course activities can be impeded by the technical infrastructure deficiencies on the student side. Technology and the knowledge at the other end are major factors that can make serious impact on the effectiveness of learning. So basically in presence of these limitations the application of e-learning theory is doubtful (Adams, Nelson and Todd, 1992). All these limitations are neglected by promoters while promoting e-learning that can be misguide the users.
There is no doubt that e-learning is the process of learning from anywhere at any time but at the same time the user must have required skills, equipments and self-regulated motivation of learning. In lack of any of these elements e-learning is not as effective as it is being promoted. In current technological world where most of the people are familiar with internet and basic computer skills, e-learning is a compressive feature change in educational world but it is not as effective as it is being promoted (Ainsworth and Fleming, 2006). There are several drawbacks of this technique which can make significant effect on its effectiveness. It is accepted by researchers that e-learning can be very much useful in higher education where students have good ethnological knowledge. But in present secretion e-learning is being promoted for primary students too. It is being presented as a essential element of learning for school going students but in real life practises it is not so effective for as them due to lack of technological knowledge.
In current scenario the environment of e-learning is not so developed in under-development countries such as India. The Indian education scenario is not so affected by the progress of electronic learning as there are still several barriers like slow internet connections and unavailability of equipments (Owens and Price, 2010). Compared to developed countries the network connections are not so fast in countries like India. So basically there is still a long way to go for developing e-learning in the way it is being promoted (Venkatesh and Davis, 2000). The developments talking place in technological world are ensuring that very soon the e-learning technique will overcome from its key barriers and will increase its effectiveness.
From above discussion it can be said that e-learning is a comprehensive change in educational world but still there are many limitations which are the major barriers of this technique. There is no doubt that e-learning can take the learning experience to a new extent but it is still not as effective as it is being promoted.
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