Importance of E-Learning
Definition: what does E-learning mean?
The term e-learning is an abbreviation for electronic learning. It initially includes all forms of learning that are supported by electronic, technical, and digital media. E-learning describes the support of teaching and learning processes through different digital aids. This means the presentation and preparation of content and distribution to the target groups.
Several terms are now used synonymously with e-learning. These include:
- Computer-based learning
- Online learning
- Multimedia learning
The exact definition of e-learning continues to be discussed. On the one hand, it is argued that it is only true e-learning if the learning process is electronically supported. It indicates that the e-learning methods are integrated into didactic and pedagogical concepts. This is the case, for example, with webinars or classic courses that use digital media.
The broadest definition of e-learning encompasses all forms of electronic learning. In addition to the didactic concepts, this larger concept includes self-determined learning with digital aids. For example, if you read an article on a topic, watch an online video with explanations, or even search for a previously unknown term on Google, this falls into the realm of e-learning.
E-learning should ideally be adapted to the target group and the content to be conveyed. Various forms of e-learning are available, some of which overlap:
Digital learning content
The simplest and most well-known form of e-learning is learning content that is offered in digital form. The learners are provided with information and explanations in a kind of presentation. Every person clicks through the content page by page. At the end of such a unit, a small test usually queries what has been learned and serves as a control. This form of e-learning is also known as web-based training.
The principle of content sharing is particularly interesting for schoolchildren and students. It is essentially about sharing your learning materials with others. For example, summaries and transcripts from lectures on specific topics can be passed on, shared or jointly used and edited. This form of e-learning can also be suitable for companies to share information.
Closely related to this is the so-called web-based collaboration, web-based collaboration. Here, specific learning tasks and exercises are digitally processed together. Instead of sitting at the table together, the participants use the Internet to learn, work out solutions to problems, and present a result at the end of the day.
Video content is becoming increasingly important. This also applies to e-learning. Instead of offering the content in text form, many courses are dependent on videos. These can contain animated text or graphic elements. Expert videos are a popular variant. Here an expert from the field dedicates himself to his area of expertise and explains what course participants should know on this topic.
E-learning does not necessarily mean that there is no interaction with other students or teachers. Some platforms and software solutions offer the possibility of giving a digital lecture. Instead of sitting in a lecture hall or course room, the participants sit at their laptops or computers and switch to the digital classroom from there.
This is a hybrid form of e-learning: One part consists of classic face-to-face events that are combined with multimedia teaching methods. The result is the mixture known as blended learning.
Why is there so much emphasis on electronic learning? The answer is: because it has many advantages, and in some areas, it is significantly better than other classic forms of knowledge transfer.
If the possibilities of e-learning are used sensibly, you can benefit from numerous plus points:
- Complete independence from location
Nobody is tied to a specific location. Whether from the home desk, on the go on the laptop or in the office. E-learning is possible anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.
- Time independence
Many forms of e-learning are also time-independent. The exception here is online lectures or other courses in which the participants meet in a kind of digital classroom and discuss content at the same time.
- Your rhythm
Not all people learn at the same rate. Everyone can set their own pace in e-learning. If you have difficulties and have to read something five times to understand it, you can take this time. One speed does not have to be adhered to for all parties involved.
- Consistent quality
An e-learning offer delivers the same quality of knowledge transfer every time. If lecturers change, courses are cancelled, or disruptions occur, the quality of other forms of teaching can vary.
- Slight updates
The material in e-learning can be updated easily and at any time. So it is no problem to provide new content continuously or to revise existing offers.
- Significant cost savings
A course that all participants must travel to and may need a hotel to attend is associated with great costs. In most cases, e-learning can be implemented more cheaply.
- Multilingual material
With the necessary preparation, the content can be offered in several languages without any problems. In times of globalization, this can make e-learning particularly attractive.
- Constant control
With e-learning, questions and short tasks can be added after each chapter. This control ensures that the participants understand the previous content and apply it before the knowledge that builds on it is imparted.
- Different types of learners
Several types of learners are addressed by combining different e-learning options – for example, videos, interactive graphics, texts, tasks. In this way, the learning outcome can be improved.
- Greater independence
E-learning educates participants to become more independent. Everyone is responsible for developing the content in the given time. This improves organization and self-discipline.
Read our blog on Why is Education Important in Our Life?