In todays fast pace world when time is becoming a critical factor, the pattern of learning is also undergoing major transformation. Populace want and need to learn according to their schedule, anytime, anywhere, so learning must be available on a 24x7 clock, with just-in-time delivery to the office, home and holiday spots. In this context information technology has emerged as a revolutionary vehicle, giving rise to inventive mode of learning, e Learning. Any learning that utilizes a network (LAN, WAN or Internet) for delivery, interaction, or facilitation and the medium of instruction in computer is e Learning or Electronic Learning.
E Learning is an umbrella term that includes distributed learning, online education, Computer Based Training (CBT) delivered over a network, and Web Based Training (WBT). As e Learning is self-paced, hands-on learning, it endows with very rich learning experience that can even surpass the level of education one might experience in a crowded classroom. It can be synchronous, asynchronous, instructor-led or computer-based or a combination of both.
Coupled with the communicative powers of technology, today e Learning has influenced different facets of education & training. It is now used, as an option by companies for training, disseminating information and other information management needs for their employees. By using this mode of instruction, companies can save millions of dollars in education and training their employees.
Although used for various purposes, e Learning is one of the most promising innovations to improve classroom teaching and learning after the school hours. E Learning permits teachers to develop study materials using the worldwide resources of the Web and communicate information in a more engaging fashion. Availability of wide-range of texts, diagrams and images with video and sound, including virtual reality technology makes teaching an interesting and effective process that holds the interest of students in the classroom.
As learning is a continuous, cultural process, so access and opportunities to learn should be available to students in real time after the school hours. e Learning fosters self paced learning whereby students can access the study support round the clock at their pace and convenience. A real time study support to students through subject experts via Virtual Classes further solve the queries of students and make them more proficient in the subject. It is highly appreciated by the teachers and students for its economic value as it eliminates the travel time and costs without compromising the quality and requirements.
Amidst all such benefits, e Learning has a major pitfall, viz. lack of face-to-face interaction between the students and the professor. But the quality education at economic cost available as per the convenience and flexibility of learners conceal the snag in e Learning and makes it a foremost choice of today’s knowledge driven generation.
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