Information and communication technologies are rapidly developing. The advent of these technologies has left no aspect of human interest untouched and one of the highly influenced areas includes education. It has been observed that to develop a modern society, it is necessary to make all forms of quality education accessible to all. This will serve as a catalyst in laying the foundation of a futuristic society.
Electronic learning or e-learning is the learning and teaching approach that involves the use of information and communication technologies to deliver quality education to all. The majority of educational institutions are adopting this approach these days. One of the major things Coronavirus pandemic has made us learn that we need to incorporate technology into our systems so that they don’t collapse when we are faced with a similar scenario in the future.
You can conceptualize eLearning in a variety of ways. However, it is often referred to as the way people learn and communicate using electronic means. There are two forms of learning eLearning encompasses. These include formal learning and informal learning using an information network. This network ensures quality:
- Course delivery
With the advent of eLearning, the way people learn new skills and gain knowledge has entirely changed. It has resulted in eliminating the barriers which prevent individuals from accessing quality education. It is no longer a trend but a necessity for the organizations to actively respond to the ever-evolving learning environment. eLearning is revolutionizing governments at the Local, State and Federal levels. One of the best implementations of eLearning is e-government.
Factors that drive the successful implementation of e-learning
There are various factors that the government needs to consider while trying to make eLearning opportunities available for all. These factors drive the successful implementation of eLearning and include:
1. Solid Strategy:
To successfully implement eLearning at the local, state and federal government level, it’s important to consider it much more than just a more convenient learning and teaching approach. The government rather needs to see it as a learning and teaching opportunity that has been delivering positive performance results. This highlights the need for a strong strategy that brings out the true potential this remote form of learning offers. The government needs to prepare its educational institutions for the future. That can only be done by having a solid strategy to follow.
2. Resource allocation:
It will take some time for the people to get used to eLearning. The concept behind this learning approach is to make education more accessible and available for all. It needs to motivate people to adapt to this new and innovative form of learning. But to make that happen, citizens require much more than just motivation and psychological support. They need financial support and better allocation of resources to adapt to the form of learning that’s entirely new to them. This will lead to a quicker establishment of eLearning infrastructure.
3. Legal framework:
To successfully implement eLearning, it is important to create a supportive regulatory environment. This highlights the need for a legal background to successfully adopt eLearning solutions. This means, having a legal framework is exceptionally important for the effective integration of eLearning within the current educational systems.
4. Access to the right Technology:
The government needs to provide citizens with the technology and infrastructure required for making electronic learning accessible for all. This doesn’t require a lot of effort and investment as the internet market provides various open-source platforms. You don’t need to pay to access the majority of these platforms. This makes it important for the government to ensure that every student owns a computer and has access to the internet.
It should be the responsibility of the government department in charge of the eLearning process to ensure the availability of these resources for all.
5. Learning material:
Another important factor that drives the successful implementation of the eLearning approach includes the preparation of learning material. It needs to be published and updated time after time online. There is so much the course material can include which is:
- Word-processed documents
- Digital photos
- Links to relevant websites
- Online journals and books
- Multimedia resources
Initially, implementing eLearning may take a lot of effort and time. However, in the long term, you will find it much easier to adapt, balance and maintain as compared to the rest of the learning methods. That’s because it is very easy to update and restructure electronic content as compared to offline teaching material. This makes eLearning material an easily accessible and maintainable approach to teaching and learning. Now that we have learned how the government can implement eLearning, it’s time to understand the technologies that have been transforming the eLearning landscape.
How the latest technologies are transforming the eLearning landscape
Just like any other area of life, eLearning has also been heavily influenced by the introduction of the latest tools and technologies. If the government wants to introduce and implement an entirely new form of teaching and learning approach, it is pertinent to keep up with the ever-evolving technological advancement. This is exceptionally important for educational organizations to thrive in today’s technology-driven markets. They need to evolve the way education was formerly designed, delivered and evaluated.
In this section, we are going to discuss five technologies that have been driving the digital transformation of the learning business. We will also learn how by integrating these technologies the government can innovate development and training programs. So, following are the technologies to adapt to implement eLearning more effectively:
1. Artificial Intelligence:
AI is without a doubt the most vital technology of the 21st century. Algorithms are making way for smart cities, automating work and reshaping multiple sectors, even some unsuspecting ones. For instance, AI is revolutionizing fashion industry and enabling clothing brands to provide a unique customer experience. These brands also offer discounts and promo codes to attract their customers. Computers are getting smarter with every passing day. It has reshaped the way human beings used to interact with software. This has happened because the capabilities of computers to self-correct, learn and reason have improved. Artificial Intelligence technology integrated into learning management systems has made adaptive learning possible. This means, today, electronic learning programs can be customized to the capabilities of individual learners. The customization of learning programs results in creating a customized experience for the learner. These programs align with the unique skills, needs and preferences of the individual learner.
AI in corporate training programs:
Corporate training programs can be made more effective by the integration of AI into the respective training platform. Once incorporated with AI, the training platform will suggest users content passed on their experience, role and prior training.
Intelligent chatbots are a prominent feature of AI. These chatbots can guide learners through their eLearning programs. They actively interact with the learners during training activities. These bots provide the necessary information in response to the actions taken by the learner. This way they enhance the learning experience.
Predictive Learning Analytics
Predictive learning analytics (PLA) diminishes the unproductive training content also referred to as “scrap learning” after predicting future outcomes. It analyses trends and patterns within the LMS learning data. It helps the organization to improve the programs to make them align with the needs, interests, preferences and learning abilities of the participants. This technology helps them to effectively engage participants, improve completion rates and offer effective content to teach.
Government universities need to integrate predictive analytics into their programs. This will provide students with real-time feedback that helps them ensure whether or not they are on the right track. This technology allows institutions to analyze how effective their courses are. They decide the success of the course based on participation, success metrics as well as improvement opportunities.
Cloud service is one of the latest technologies that have been taking over the education sector by storm. To effectively implement eLearning, the government needs to make cloud-based platforms more accessible for the learners. The reason why cloud-based platforms are the best for eLearning is that they are virtually maintenance-free. Cloud-based LMS alleviates the need for maintaining and setting up local servers. They enable the learners to login to their accounts from wherever they want. All they need is a stable internet connection. Cloud solutions make it easy for the institutions to deploy Learning management systems on time and scale up whenever it is necessary.
The government can promote critical thinking by connecting an e-learner to a wide network of users. This will enable him to feel as if he is in a classroom and can benefit from the collective knowledge base. Being in the middle of a pandemic, we have realized the need of integrating social learning tools into our education systems. The government needs to make access to social learning tools easy for all. This will help the users in enhancing their understanding of the course they have been taught online. It has been observed that when compared to traditional web-based training programs, social learning has a 75-to-1 ROI ratio.
Virtual reality technology is finding its applications in almost every aspect of life. From gaming to styling and education, it has taken over it all. With the help of this technology, teachers can simulate scenarios that are difficult to create naturally. This technology has proven to be exceptionally effective when it comes to eLearning. It enables learners to get a better understanding of the concepts which were initially hard from them to grasp.
eLearning can be made effective by designing online courses around virtual technology. eLearning as an approach has its own limitations. However, they can be easily overcome by offering learners a more effective approach to learning. With VR technology, students can learn the phenomenon they might never be able to experience in real life.
COVID-19 pandemic has made us realize the importance of remote learning. It has also made us learn that we need to upgrade the way education used to be delivered and received. Since we live in a technology-driven world, we need to integrate the latest technologies into our education systems to keep up with the need of time. It is not enough to implement eLearning on an institutional level. This approach needs to be implemented on the local, state and federal level. This can only happen if the government has a solid plan and strategy in place. This plan should be well-thought-out and research-based. Implementing a carefully thought out eLearning strategy will offer fruitful outcomes.