E-LEARNING AND THE SCHOOL EDUCATION MARKET
There is no denying that the digital transformation of the education sector is already well under way. Growing right alongside it is e-learning which is a market in full bloom. The general interest shown by universities as well as engineering and business schools speaks to this expansion.
How is it manifested and what are the benefits of e-learning in the education sector?
Its educational approach interests some, but also leaves others skeptical. E-learning seems to have as its primary goal to overcome the difficulties remote learning entails, but it can also be appreciated in its own right as a teaching tool. In fact, certain universities have begun to rethink their teaching practices in order to integrate e-learning into their day-to-day reality as a compliment to their traditional classroom classes.
E-learning still has some way to go before it is fully integrated into educational programs and considered as a true added value, but it is on the right track.
Learning through new technologies is not always universally accepted. Yet two studies – one from the GfK Institute and the other from Imperial College London – focused on the use of digital learning tools. Their findings point to the same conclusion: such tools have increased in popularity all while earning credibility in the eyes of learners and trainers in the education sector.
Although parents are often fearful about the use of screens by their children, it is believed that learning with e-learning tools has a positive influence on their behaviour in the sense that it fosters interactivity and curiosity.
In addition, digital tools can also facilitate access to education in developing countries while also reducing the impact of the lack of specialists, provided an Internet connection is available, which makes it a real challenge to take on.
While it goes without saying that the success of an online training program is linked to the quality of available training tools, it is the human element (like tutoring) that makes it possible to optimize the learning process.
Two options are made available to the trainer: a training program managed by a company’s internal tutor or a training program conducted by an outside company. The trainer’s role is an important one which allows for the gauging of the autonomy level of the trainee while addressing the effects of any resistance to change if necessary. He or she can monitor participants’ progress throughout the training process, address the group at a meeting and individually supervise participants.
Unlike traditional on-site training, the tutor is not an expert in the field of training and instead must only be able to reassure learners about available learning tools, communicate and, of course, be a good teacher.
There are a number of support tools: chat, virtual or asynchronous classes, forums, emails, etc. The cohesiveness the group is created through collaborative tools such as resource libraries or customized access portals.
In conclusion, it is important to admit that this upheaval hasn’t occurred without there being a number of questions asked, most notably due to how e-learning has shaken up the traditional teaching model as we know it. This change is mostly educational given the way it transforms the role of the teacher.
Caroline Irrmann, web editor