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Frank Reynold

Importance and Effectiveness of E-learning

Frank Reynold

Technological development and the internet have changed people’s lives on different scales including for instance teaching and learning. The web has become one of the channels of learning that opens the door for people around the world to access education for free, or for fewer costs.

The IT booming and the internet have opened the door to largely access knowledge, high quality education and training. This easy access using information systems and the web can improve people’s skills for fewer costs. Knowledge delivering to some people would have never been possible without the opportunities offered by technology and the web.

A recently published study has highlighted the importance and effectiveness of e-learning and how students are satisfied with web-enhanced teaching. For that purpose, researchers collected data through surveys “for a total of 45 undergraduate and 26 graduate students enrolled in landscape construction studio courses at Texas A&M University during 2011 and 2012.”

To understand the issue, researchers made comparison with another study that previously conducted in 2003-04. “They evaluated students’ learning satisfaction and the effectiveness of e-learning in landscape architecture construction studio courses, compared trends in learning vehicles preferred by graduate and undergraduate students, and examined preferred learning vehicles between students expecting an A grade and those expecting a B or C grade.”

This study which is published at a Journal of e-Learning and Higher Education found that “satisfaction level with web-enhanced teaching increased to 95% in the 2011-2012 investigation, compared to 73%-87% in the 2003-2004 one.”

The study results indicated that “students were highly satisfied with web-enhanced teaching in both investigations. Particularly, students in recent years were more satisfied with web-enhanced teaching than those in the past. Undergraduate and graduate students preferred different types of learning vehicles, in which undergraduates preferred interactive types. In addition, students expecting an A grade were more likely to prefer individual or independent learning vehicles whereas students expecting a B or C grade relied on interactive learning methods.”

For teachers and instructors, they can learn from this study that the web-enhanced teaching “is no longer an add-on feature in teaching but a necessity” as stated in the research. What can still be missing in online learning and teaching is the interactivity and communication offered in class-based lessons. As stated in the study “undergraduates who are more likely to rely on interactive learning may suffer from web-based teaching that often lacks interactive communications.”

Today, the use of web to teach and learn is inevitable for both teachers and students. Online courses are becoming more and more necessary for education to and for knowledge spread. Thus, teachers should consider this trend in education and get prepared technically and pedagogically to take online teaching in consideration. In turn, students need to get enough skills that will help them effectively benefit from the advantages e-learning is providing.

Today, e-learning is adopted not only by students, but also by organizations that want to offer training for their employees. E-learning is a priority for businesses that look forward to improve employee’s skills and the economic benefits they can generate from that. That’s why online learning has become an important factor for both, education and business.

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