8 Insights Make You See e-Leaning in a Fascinating New Light
1. E-Learning Revisited: A New Era in Education
Most of us are familiar with e-Learning in some way, either from a workplace tutorial we’ve taken or from a distance learning course in college, or maybe just from learning a new hobby. Certainly, for millennials, e-Learning is fast becoming the educational norm (Nilles, n.d.). But how exactly does e-Learning differ from traditional methods of study and is it any better? The simple answer to that is Yes! There are numerous possible applications for e-Learning that are much more adept at responding to today’s learning needs in new and inventive, not to mention quicker, ways. From mobile technology systems to LMS Hosting to personalized automation, e-Learning bridges the gap between traditional, 20th-Century education methods with the virtual learning realities of the 21st-century and beyond. It also provides a present-day avenue for both learners and employers to keep pace with educational and technological expectations and norms in the global economy of today.
2. A Shift in Focus Creates New Benefits in Learning
There’s been an important shift in the way we learn today and what educational priorities are in the new knowledge-based economy in which we now live. How we learn and the value new knowledge holds in the economic world has fundamentally changed. This new millennial view to learning has moved education away from the old, inside-the-box, regimental way of teaching towards a more adaptive, problem-solving, interactive approach. Now, economic value and business growth are based on knowledge and skills gained that are applicable to the needs of the moment rather than just degrees and certifications alone. This allows for fewer gaps in current knowledge and keeps job skills and abilities up-to-date.
This new paradigm in how and what we learn lends itself well to creating the personalized, individually tailored learning programs consumers seek today. E-Learning and training systems can now base their content on someone’s specific educational requirements, their current experience level, and their preferred style of learning, and incorporate this information into each program. This shifts learning away from traditional, grade or degree-oriented benchmarks to a more flexible, interactive learning approach. It also encourages a life-long focus on learning that is less time-consuming and more cost-efficient than traditional educational programs (Philip, n.d.). Now e-Learning companies online offer courses and tutorials that can respond to the changing business and educational needs of the moment. In today’s fast-paced, global business environment, this is an invaluable asset. No wonder consumers are so focused on the myriad of possible applications in e-Learning today!
3. The Algorithm Method: Fascinating New Way of Personalizing Automated Course Content
Online E-Learning management systems and e-Learning development companies in general have long relied on predetermined automated course content to teach new skills and information. Most e-Learning training and development courses provide templates and preprogrammed activities, tutorials, and materials as part of their programs. One of the exciting features about e-Learning online is the growing reliance on algorithms to created personized content.
By using advanced coding and intricate mathematical equations, programmers can create complex computer algorithms that not only trigger knowledge assessments and tests at certain course intervals, they can adapt to any educational gaps uncovered, creating prompts for further resources when assessments levels aren’t achieved. The new knowledge or skills obtained from these prompts is then incorporated into the original course material and program. They can adjust any future assessments to reflects this newly-acquired knowledge and move students towards course completion without needing to start from scratch every time an assessment or proficiency isn’t reached.
This custom e-Learning development using advanced algorithms for individualized courses takes online e-Learning solutions one step closer to simulating what we might expect in a real-world, classroom or workplace interactive scenario within the virtual reality arena. Rather than an instructor-led course, however, this student-directed learning responds instantaneously to learners in a far more powerful and effective way than systems of the past. This is right in line with new education perspectives and the changing ways in which we process new knowledge and material. It makes the ability to master or refine our skills and knowledge much more in-depth for a fraction of the amount of time and cost it used to take. There’s no telling just how far these types of computer algorithms will take us in the future of E-learning development!
4. Interactive e-Learning in Real-Time Virtual Scenarios
Research has long shown that Interactive learning systems out surpass traditional learning strategies by a large margin (Philip, n.d.). One of the many benefits to e-Learning development services is their unique ability to create and expand just such a learning environment. These kinds of engaging and interactive, immerse-able content programs that programmers and e-learning professionals are creating today are nothing short of amazing! New e-Learning companies on the market now are starting to simulate real life scenarios in real time virtual environments, utilizing technology and information with adaptable programming in a way that has never been seen before.
Today, instead of studying an instruction manual or having to work your way through dense academic research in order to learn something new, students engage with responsive, interactive systems that react and adjust to the moment. For example, according to The Automated Course Authoring’s “Definite Guide”, rather than a step-by-step guide to learning how to operate a new POS system a company just acquired, employees can engage directly in a first-person interactive simulation where the learner steps into the role of virtual cashier, operating a virtual cash register. They can interact with virtual modules that simulate different scenarios they might encounter in real-world situations while using the new POS operating system. They can even interact with virtual customers and other students or instructors while in the virtual reality setting. Students can also access additional educational tools and information online while still engaged in the virtual learning environment. This allows students to pull from multiple resources in real time which can cater to their individual needs. In-the-moment training or retraining is possible while staying engaged in the virtual job training or tutorial session.
5. Mobile e-Learning Technologies Lead the Way in Virtual-Future Reality
Mobile technologies that access information for students in real-time e-Learning environments is another effective way to develop news skills while on the go. Mobile learning programs, or M-Learning, as they’re referred to these days, can be used at the user’s leisure, so studying is done around a student’s other school or work commitments. Access to online information for on the spot learning with mobile technologies bypasses the need for a smartphone or tablet or even a computer. Most use hands-free or wearable devices like google glass, optical lift, or Apple watch. These are just a few of the interactive, mobile technologies being developed for e-Learning systems that are on the market today.
In a report written by Athabasca University, Canada, “Universal Instructional Design Principles for Mobile Learning” by Tania Elias, eight principles for developing M-Learning were extrapolated from UID Recommendations for M-Learning (Connell et.al. 1997, Scott McGuire and Shaw 2003; Burgstahler, 2000). Elias (2010) found that these 8 principles, though designed with distance learning in mind, were also applicable to mobile learning strategies as well:
1. Equitable Use
2. Flexible Use
3. Simple & Intuitive
4. Perceptible Information
5. Tolerance for Error
6. Low Physical & Technical Effort
7. Community of Learner’s Support
8. Instructional Climate
Rather than focus on all eight strategies from Elias’s m-Learning principles, we’ve picked just a few to concentrate on. For example, one such principle that’s proving extremely valuable is the flexibleness of m-learning devices and systems. According to a South African study by Kreutzer back in 2009, mobile phone handsets were fast becoming the preferred multimedia method for engaging online. This has given way to a growing reliance on mobile e-learning devices for their flexible, easy-to-use systems both in social interactions and now e-Learning online systems as well.
Mobile learning devices also give students the freedom to engage with other students and teachers within a program while accessing other course material or online resources without ever leaving the virtual learning setting. In the moment access to audio and visual aids, for example, or lectures and supporting materials that a student needs to make a quick reference to, is all at their fingertips — or eye tips, while still engaged in the program. This is exciting technology!
First-person virtual simulation tutorials can also be used well in the mobile e-Learning environment also. Programs that walk in the footsteps of an experienced professional that record their experiences are great mobile learning aides that provide invaluable learning tools at the moment. Instructors can also access learning modules in real time to understand how effective the course material is or to assess any gaps in knowledge or confusion a student might be encountering. They can make changes and adjustments based on these assessments on the spot without ever leaving the virtual classroom.
6. Another Look at Google Glass: Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow
Originally, Google Glass was designed as a smartphone-like optical lens, it was created by google for their customers to access the internet mobile gaming, or social media networks, among other things, for personal entertainment use. Due to several concerns surrounding privacy and the potential for other people to access a customer’s personal information, google ultimately discontinued the Google Glass product line. But Google Glass technology has since been incorporated into other technological environments and is used as an aid in surgical procedures by physicians as well as becoming a well relied upon tool in a variety of virtual reality e-Learning systems. It and other similar technologies have led the way in creating new avenues for bridging today’s e-Learning systems with the virtual reality educational environments of the future.
Google glass’ “Heads Up Display” (HUD), for example, can give learner’s access to additional resources online during lectures or simulations that may offer a step-by-step breakdown to a complicated new task, or more information for a better understanding of a new subject with additional materials and clarifications to questions in real time.
7. Gamification-Influencing on e-Learning: An Effective Tool
Gamification is another E-learning tool that programmers and gaming enthusiasts have embraced. To create more engaging content for dryer subject matter, gamification is used to keep e-Learning system’s incentive and goal oriented, as well as interactive. Gamification is a style of learning that uses game-like structures to teach non-gaming or traditionally less user-friendly material.
Gamification uses common gaming incentives such as ways to score points or earn badges to reach the next skill level. This helps the information stay fresh and engaging, creating interest and added motivation to learn the program’s material. Gamification tools are also easily adapted to different kinds of learning environments and course styles. For example, studying long, repetitive course content, working through an onboard training tutorial or a new online employee induction, or needing to pass a mandatory certification assessment are all learning environments that gamification strategies can aid learning outcomes. In a gaming environment, a less formal, more award-oriented learning structure is created. This makes these types of education environments much more engaging, holding user’s interest better for the less exciting, but often necessary, learning requirements.
8. The Virtual World & Beyond: Other Budding and Potential Uses for Mobile Learning Devices
Offering real-time access to information and resources online without customer or client knowledge is another potentially effective tool that takes hands-free headsets just another step further in possible uses. An employee could potentially access any additional information he or she may need to assist a customer or client’s needs using one of these mobile devices while staying focused and in the moment with a customer.
Mobile learning devices are potential aides in dangerous or hazardous situations as well. They can connect someone to information or resources needed in an emergency when access to a live person isn’t available such as an environmental hazard that someone suddenly needs to walk through, or a triage to an accident or medical emergency like an emergency childbirth. There are any number of ways this technology can potentially be applied!
There are so many features and functions in e-Learning today that we can all look forward to in the future. The capabilities of tomorrow hold no bounds! One thing is for sure, mobile, e-Learning technologies are the wave of the future in how ad what we learning. It’s also a significant sign of our growing reliance on the interactive online mobility of this new millennial era.
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