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Importance of E-Learning Systems Essay Example

Methods of E-Learning

With every passing year, the number of e-learning systems is increasing. These online training organizations are a good support and help for students. There are synchronous and asynchronous e-learning methods. Synchronous methods include chat and videoconferencing. These methods are more participating rather than isolated. Asynchronous e-learning methods include discussion boards and emails. It means that it is an isolated method (Bourner, 1997). E-learning is a new way of presenting information and development of the necessary skills. It is up-to-date learning environment and the way of absorbing of new information from a variety of sources. E-learning makes student more independent than traditional techniques of learning. However, the student should be also committed to leaning and highly motivated in order to be successful in his/her learning. The disadvantage of e-learning is the absence of an instructor and social interaction with peers. E-learning is computer assisted and collaborative learning that presupposes early development and good knowledge of innovative technologies. E-learning comprises of all forms of electronics means of teaching and learning (information system, communication systems, networked learning).

The theoretical value of this research paper is in the fact that it reveals the importance of e-learning for improvement of student’s performance and knowledge efficiently. Today, academic literature regarding the efficiency of e-learning is not limited. One can get all necessary information from interviewing learners, reading academic articles, and visiting classes where e-learning is practicing.

The objectives of the paper are:

  • to introduce evidence of the importance of e-learning systems;
  • to identify how the e-learning improves student’s performance and knowledge efficiently.

The research question to be studied and explained in the paper is “How the e-learning improves student’s performance and knowledge efficiently.” It is believed that the e-learning is an efficient way of teaching and learning. This research paper consists of Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Expected Results and References.

E-Learning Systems

E-learning systems consist of the mechanisms of creation class rosters, uploading and management of documents, delivery of content, creation and publication, interaction process and methods of testing and assessment. E-learning systems are created for using in training environments, talent management and educational institutions. It is impossible to name all management systems as there are a lot of them. However, let us reveal the entity of some of them. The AccessData® LMS is online management system. It is very convenient as it offers not only traditional training services but provides special service team that helps to cope with the project goals. AccessData Training proposes live online training, on-site private or group training, training webinars and others. AccessData develops its services, provides new learning materials, podcasts, webinars, etc. It uses synchronous and asynchronous e-learning methods. AccessData Training is very convenient in using as this program is organized by course content, skill levels and role. AccessData gives also administrative access for supervision, if it is necessary. The AccessData® LMS uses such methods as on-site, live online, LMS and customized. These innovative methods are very helpful for customers and satisfy their needs. AccessData Training is based on a variety of training courses (2013).

Articulate Online is also the management e-learning system that gives the possibility to publish the user’s content, deliver it to the audience and get marks and opinions on this content. E-learning courses are available to everybody. The advantage of this e-learning system is that it is not very expensive, like AccessData Training. Articulate Online is simple in using comparing with other management e-learning systems. Indeed, it is a powerful means for learning and training (Bourner, 1997). ASE Learn is a leading e-learning system. It is a training tool that includes many training programs and courses. It is comprehensive, flexible and cost-effective. ASE Learn provides web-based training, pre-evaluation programs, centralized, automated administration, customization and reference library.

How the E-Learning Improves Student’s Performance and Knowledge Efficiently

E-learning is a complex and even risky way of learning. The most common and familiar ways of online learning are graphics and illustrations, print and text, video and moving graphics, sound, music and multimedia. E-learning also includes information system, communication systems and networked learning. Tasks for e-learning should be based on instruction and feedback, attention, higher-order thinking and concept formation, learner participation, organization and sequencing, perception and recall.

E-learning should be based on such principles:

  1. Multimedia principle. In learning, it is necessary to use everything from words to pictures and graphics. Only innovative technologies will help to realize this principle. For learners this principle is important but teachers should use it in combinations with other ones. It is necessary to know the level of every student and vary the tasks according to the level of complexity. E-learning will help to define student’s skills;
  2. Temporal contiguity principle. Video or audio for listening of lessons should be presented simultaneously with graphics and pictures. This principle of e-learning benefits good and quick remembering;
  3. Spatial contiguity principle. It is better to understand new material when you see them on the screen or on the page. The teacher should take it into consideration. Learning demands attention and concentration, for this reason, e-learning should be practiced in well-equipped room with the necessary innovative technologies;
  4. Modality principle. This principle proves that learning is realized better from audible narration and animation rather than from on-screen text and animation;
  5. Coherence principle. In language, learning this principle plays an important role. Presenting new information the teacher should exclude the extraneous words as they prevent from a good remembering and understanding;
  6. Individual differences principle. It is easier to teach low-knowledge learners than high-knowledge learners. Low-knowledge learners are opener for acquisition something new;
  7. Redundancy principle. There should not be too many techniques in learning as redundancy can bring the negative results.

Online tasks are important for e-learning process. These tasks are adapted to every level of knowledge or can automatically define it. Online tasks engage and motivate as they are built according to the level of complexity. Online tasks encourage trying something new. Online learning offers the wonderful opportunities for learners. The advantage of online learning is that it gives the enormous capacity to exchange information with other learners. However, the disadvantage of online learning is that not all language learners are the experienced users (older people) (Kayte, 2004).

It is evident that e-learning improves student’s performance and knowledge efficiently. However, e-learning demands a powerful motivation. Human need is the most frequent motivation at the present time. It plays a crucial role. E-learning motivation is based on cognitive, social, general and educational psychology. Every person has his/her own need in learning (Fahy, 2004).
According to Dörnyei (1998) “Although ‘motivation’ is a term frequently used in both educational and research contexts, it is rather surprising how little agreement there is in the literature with regard to the exact meaning of the concept.” Human need is always a good motivation and should be based on the definite goals. Locke and Latham (2002) state that motivation and goals are interdependent. One can distinguish such mechanisms that influence on e-learning, namely a directive function of goals, an energizing function of goals, and effect of persistence, discovery, and arousal strategies (Fahy, 2004). Without motivation it is difficult to put in practice e-learning. Fahy (2004) names motivation to be one of the most important factors from which learning depends. A teacher should try his/her best to be a motivator who can get students more involved in their e-learning environment and learn more skills. To enhance motivation, the following suggestions might be helpful to teachers: (1) give a purpose; (2) provide with necessary innovative technologies (2008).

The Issues of E-Learning

It is necessary to mention that e-learning has its disadvantages, hence, it should not be always practiced in classes. E-learning does not provide communicative and cooperative functions in full measure. Cooperative learning helps understanding, fosters new knowledge, stimulates critical thinking, fosters team spirit, makes new friends, develops social ability, improves performance, enhances communication skills, and creates more relaxed atmosphere. E-learning, on the contrary, presupposes lack of communication and cooperation. However, e-learning can provide individualization of learning.

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Sense of community is an important factor that influences on learning listening skills of language. The main components of community are a sense of involvement and equality and non-competitive atmosphere. Sense of community appears when there is understanding between the teacher and the students and communication between the students. The advantages of community learning are that it gives the autonomy to the students in communication and collaboration with each other. The community approach is effective for the students with low level. Work in team gives a wonderful opportunity to create a real community. In e-learning, the community approach is absent that is why it is a disadvantage of learning with innovative technologies.
Richards and Rodgers suppose the cooperative learning as a teaching method for developing social skills. The main tasks of cooperative learning are providing methodology necessary for developing social goals, providing the interactive tasks that will be effective for development of language skills, providing communicative strategies, enhancing motivation and creation of positive and friendly atmosphere. Cooperative language learning fosters cooperation rather than competition. Many researches suppose that lack of competition is the minus of this learning method. However, it develops critical thinking, social ability, communicative competence, interaction activities. In e-learning there is only cooperation in online regime or cooperation with machine and that is also the issue of e-learning (Singh, 2001).

The aim of this study was to investigate how the e-learning improves student’s performance and knowledge efficiently. In order to achieve the objectives of this study, primary research in the form of semi-structured interviews was conducted. Semi-structured interviews offered a set of open questions, but there were also some not fixed questions. This research method was chosen because it could provide the necessary information about the student’s attitudes to e-learning. The research is based on the interviews of the students who practiced e-learning. The secondary data helped understand the entity of the problem and see how other researchers view this problem. The primary data were received from the interviews that were conducted in order to reveal the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning. The data analysis involved describing, examining, comparing, categorizing, simplifying, abstracting, transforming, and concluding.
This research paper is based more on the qualitative data rather than quantitative ones, as this strategy can ensure the completeness of the information.

In this paper, a descriptive approach was used. Such questions were asked:

  • e-learning systems;
  • advantages of e-learning;
  • disadvantages of e-learning.

The researcher asked these questions in order to understand the importance of e-learning. The interview was carefully structured and planned with the definite objectives. Each participant was asked the same questions. The questions were designed in such a way so as to reveal the participant’s attitude to the problem. During the interview, an informal and friendly atmosphere was created in order to make all participants feel relaxed and confident. Relaxation would help them be honest and open. It is a very important stage of the interview as it defines the course of the experiment. It was proved that interviewing is a stressful situation for people, thus, they need time and help so as to adapt to this stress. Establishing a friendly atmosphere makes the interview successful reducing anxiety and fear; the participants feel themselves comfortable and give honest responses.

In conclusion, it is necessary to say that the interview is a good way to explore and study the attitudes and opinions concerning the problem. The main thing is to design necessary questions and choose the right strategy. It is worth taking into consideration the strategic plan, goals, and tactics for taking decisions and solving problems.

Expected Results

From the analyzed articles and interviews, it is evident that students like e-learning and it is an innovative approach to learning and teaching. The results of interviewing showed that independence and innovation are the main advantages of e-learning that attracted students. Besides, all students agreed that independence and self-motivation brought more results than learning with a teacher and other students. However, it is necessary to mention that students were not against face-to-face classroom learning as it benefited the development of a sense of community and cooperation.

Many students found that e-learning provided self-organized, individual, flexible and personalized studying that is why they preferred it to face-to-face learning. The interviews have showed that there are students that prefer both types of learning community learning and e-learning. Some students were categorically against community learning and they explained this by misunderstandings with teachers.

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Some students told that there knowledge and performance were better when they practiced e-learning as the using of Internet technologies benefited them as e-learning technologies offered time, pace of learning, learning sequence and control over content. E-learning met their personal learning objectives. All interviewees agreed that e-learning was a revolution in education that made it more innovative and efficient. Besides, it is individualized, adaptive and collaborative as a student has a possibility to contact with foreign students and it is beneficial especially when it comes to language learning.

From analyzed literature, it has been proved that e-learning benefits enhancing knowledge and bettering performance. At the present time, students are crazy about innovative technologies, hence, this is the way of provoking interest to learning. E-learning helps to avoid scientific, social and pedagogical challenges. The disadvantage of e-learning is the absence of community approach. The main components of community are a sense of involvement, a sense of equality and non-competitive atmosphere. Sense of community appears when there is understanding between the teacher and the students and communication between the students. The typical community language learning activities are the reflection session, the conversation circle, card games. In e-learning the sense of community can be developed only with the help of online learning.

In learning, it is important to feel one confident that is why community approach is the best way to cope with anxiety and develop listening skills. A sense of equality appears when all students feel themselves as one community. Non-competitive atmosphere has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of it is that it creates friendly relations between students. The disadvantage is that the students do not have a stimulation to the development and improvement their skills.

It is evident that this research paper has its limitations. First of all, it is restricted with the choice of the subject. The project is devoted only to the way how e-learning influences student’s knowledge and performance. Secondly, this research paper is restricted by the scope of the research. However, it will be more subjective to compare students’ attitude to e-learning and teachers’ attitude to e-learning. Without a doubt, these restrictions do not lessen the importance of this research paper but provide grounds for further research. The research paper is devoted mostly to the positive side of e-learning. The restriction of this research paper also concerns the lack of the available data. Some information was obtained from the interviewees, but it was not enough for a full analysis.

As we see, there are many ways of e-learning and all they have its advantages and disadvantages. However, only the right combination of them can give a positive result. In learning one should also take into consideration such factor as human need, the reason why a person learns. It is needful to have a strong motivation in order to be a good learner. Besides, there are such demographic factors as age, nationality and gender that influence on the success of learning.

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