AN EXPOSITION ON E-LEARNING.
Constant learning and a commitment to a never-ending personal development plan are vital prerequisite for any individual whose desire to achieve his or her goals in life is topmost on his or her scale of preference.
Learning crystallizes your thinking, it increases your problem-solving skills, it opens you to a world of limitless possibilities. The dividends of constant learning are unending.
A nation whose citizens are constantly developing themselves is a nation that will make progress faster. This implies that, every citizen of this country should commit themselves to a personal development plan by utilizing the numerous available channels through which knowledge can be acquired. By so doing, most of the challenges we are facing in our society will be eradicated.
METHODS OF LEARNING.
There are different methods by which people can acquire knowledge. This includes;
- Instructor-Led Method: This is the predominant model used in Nigeria. This entails a Face-to- Face interaction between teachers and students in a classroom or with an instructor in a workshop setting. Thismodel is a one-time class that must be scheduled. For that class to happen again, it has to be rescheduled and it is time consuming.
- E-Learning Method. This will be discussed extensively in this article.
One medium of learning that has been heavily under-exploited in Nigeria over the years is E-learning.
WHAT IS E-LEARNING?
E-Learning is short for Electronic Learning. It can be defined as the science of learning without using paper printed instructional materials (1).
It involves the use of digital tools for learning and teaching. It makes use of technological tools to enable learners study anytime and anywhere. It can also be defined as a network that enables the transfer of skills and knowledge and the delivery of education to a large number of recipients at the same or different times (2).
A number of terms are also used to describe this mode of teaching and learning. They include, online learning, web-based learning, virtual learning etc.
E-learning incorporates all educational activities that are carried out by individuals or groups working online or offline (Son Naidu, 2006).
E-Learning is the future of education. This is because, it is interactive, interesting and entertaining.
THE MARKET OF E-LEARNING.
The global E-Learning market is estimated to worth over $170 billion and it estimated to reach $331billion by 2025. Nigeria is yet to benefit so much from this industry (3). According to a research carried out by techpreneurs, people are foregoing traditional methods of learning due to the benefits of E-learning which includes convenience and cost saving (3). As a resilt, the country needs to be well-positioned to tap into this market.
E-learning will be beneficial to entrepreneurs. This is seen in the success recorded by the McDonald’s online E-learning initiative for food and restaurant safety. They made a significant cost savings of £4 million since the introduction of their online training course. The training also increased the standard of hygiene across all their restaurants (1).
An online E-learning initiative for 8,000 people saved M&S over £500,000 in a year and also delivered connection with learners, customer feedback improvement and contribution to sales (Kineo.com, 2012). There are numerous opportunities available with the E-learning Model.
ADVANTAGES OF E-LEARNING.
- It is faster and accessible at all times provided the individual has access to the internet. It gives the advantage of 24×7 and 365 days a year access as compared to the Instructor-Led learning method which is a one time class that must be scheduled. For that class to happen again, it must be rescheduled and it is time consuming.
- It is cost effective as course content once developed could be easily modified in the future, used for teaching and training, whereas Instructor-Led teachings isexpensive as there are several costs associated with it like course development cost, professionalteachers cost, printing cost, paper cost, infrastructure cost, electricity cost, training material cost, travel expenses, meal expenses, lodging expenses etc.
- It can lead to financial gains which could improve the standard of living of the people offering the services.
- Online courses can bridge the huge education gap through training from professionals.
- It offers speedy tutoring irrespective of location.
- It is convenientfor the learner as trainingcan be taken from the comfort of their homes and offices.
DISADVANTAGES OF E-LEARING.
The disadvantages of E-learning are the advantages of Instructor-Led Learning. They are as follows.
- Instructor-Led learning features the physical presence of a tutor who can provide answers to the questions of students instantly. This is absent in E-learning except for live webinars.
- Self paced E-Learning can lead to laziness on the part of the student, however this can be changed via time band E-Learning.
- Learning is more interactive when done in groups. This is because learning is mostly a social-cognitive activity. Based on this, most extroverted students will not find E-learning suitable.
Examining the cons and pros of E-learning, the merit outweighs the demerits and as such, it should be encouraged.
WHO SHOULD HAVE AN E-LEARNING PLATFORM?
- Secondary Schools.
- Technical Schools (Catering, furniture making, fashion designing etc).
- Life Coaches.
- Cooperate Companies like banks, manufacturing companies etc. This will enable them to efficiently train their staff and new employees on company policies and strategies while saving time.
WHY SHOULD INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING IN NIGERIA ADOPT THE E-LEARNING MODEL?
In this present times where movement of people is restricted due to the “lock down” and “stay at home” policies that is being adopted by government of nations across the globe as a result of the global pandemic, COVID 19, it becomes expedient for learning institutions, coaches and resource personnel to develop innovative ways to reach their students and clients without physical contact with them. This includes building a flexible E-Learning Website for their students and clients.
There are several companies that can help you build an excellent E-Learning platform. One of the best is Cilus Media Technology. We are efficient, customer friendly, time conscious and resilient. We will help you translate whatever dream you have concerning E-learning to reality.