E-learning can augment classroom learning, says scholar

December 10th, 2008 - 12:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, December 10 (ANI): A University of Illinois professor says that online teaching techniques, also known as e-learning, can have a significant positive impact on classroom learning.
Caroline Haythornthwaite bemoans that the value of e-learning has been underrated at the college level, as he feels that some of its methods and techniques can augment traditional classroom learning.
Compared to the more traditional educational paradigm the broadcast model, where knowledge is delivered from professor to student from on-high e-learning turns teaching and learning into a shared endeavour, she said.
E-learning is defined as technology-based learning in which lectures, homework, quizzes and exams are delivered almost completely online, and there takes place no in-person interaction over the length of the course in some instances.
Recent years have seen it rise as an innovative and viable pedagogical tool, especially for subjects that require multimedia, collaboration tools, and other bandwidth-hungry applications.
Caroline said that she enjoys the robust interaction with her online students.
With the online classes, I interact with my students more frequently, dropping into asynchronous discussion daily for a half-hour or an hour. With my traditional classes, I might see them once a week for three hours. If theres a news article I want my online students to read, I can post it and discussion can begin right away. With my classroom students, if I e-mail them an article on Tuesday and we meet for class on Friday, thats one of many things we might discuss. The impact isnt quite as immediate, she said.
She insisted that e-learning was more learner-friendly alternative because a teacher would act very differently in an online environment.
Since theres an emphasis on more learner-centric activities than traditional lecture-based classroom learning, the teacher is more of a facilitator in an online classroom. Not only does that enhance the collaborative nature of online learning, it also motivates students to be much more engaged and to take more responsibility for what theyre learning, she said.
Caroline, however, clarified that the fact that e-learning might reshape education should not be mistaken to mean that it could supplant classroom learning.
She insisted that it was more of a supplement to classroom learning. (ANI)

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