E-learning is often sold on the basis that the learning takes place "any place, any time". Or the concept of anytime/anywhere learning
Preparation Ecosystem Environment
Students need a certain environment (PC, connection, software) and some preparation needs to be done to make sure that the student has that Technical skills
Students need to know something about how to use whatever learning system exists, there has to be a way to impart this knowledge.
Subject matter skills
Students need to have the discipline and learning skills to benefit from the course.
When students run into problems with any of these there has to be a mechanism to:
1. find out and
2. Help them through it.
Designed for interaction - to keep students engaged - page clicking won't necessarily motivate students.
Disciplined, motivated to learn, has a need for learning, self-directed.
Aware of students needs/concerns and involvement levels, attempts to draw students in to discussions early, organized schedule, provides resources for learners in need of additional learning.
Should play a servant role. Tools should be selected that involve learners and help them to connect with each other/content/instructor. For example chat, discussion questions, voice over IP are useful for connecting students and can be seen as student-centered technologies.
Focused on learning, time and resources made available, learners supported (through help desks etc.).
Preparing Students for E-learning
The type of learning, formal or informal, impacts student preparation. Often, formal elearning (online course) tend to create preparation resources that help students to "take a course" (versus learning). This may perpetuate continued dependence on the instructor or course as the "source" of knowledge. Informal learning is learning that occurs independently and often without direction. Few resources are available to prepare for this type of learning.
Role of the Instructor
The instructor should realize and account for the student experience, ways to address it:
- offering simple assessments on computer skills needed,
- introductions at the start of a course (let students post pictures,
- make it personal,
- provide clear schedules,
- and have scheduled instant messaging/chat times, etc.
Additional instructor roles are:
- Establish rapport with students,
-Make students feel at ease and encourage them to participate.
- Communicate constantly, regular emails,
- active involvement in discussion forums (but still allow private student-only forums),
- often online learners are adults who have varying time constraints , expect it and accept it,
- Schedule study time and
- online time to ensure all course obligations are met.
Role of Learning Styles
Student's learning styles will obviously impact their success online.
Students may benefit from understanding their own learning style by completing and online questionnaire.
Students have different learning styles, characteristic strengths and preferences in the ways they take in and process information.
Students tend to focus on facts, data, and algorithms
1- Others are more comfortable with theories and mathematical models.
2- Some respond strongly to visual forms of information, like pictures, diagrams, and schematics
3- Others get more from verbal forms--written and spoken explanations.
4- Some prefer to learn actively and interactively
A learning style model is useful if balancing instruction on each of the model dimensions meets the learning needs of essentially all students in a class."
Editted and published by Prof.Dr.Qaysar Salih Mahdy & Assist. Prof. Dr.Ismail Musa Murad