What is e-learning?

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  • E-learning is the supply of electronic learning. This is accessed via computers and mobile devices. At the present time e-learning is accessed via desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Usage of e-learning can either be tracked or not tracked. A Learning Management System is used to track usage of e-learning.
  • Over what mediums is e-learning delivered?
  • Internet/Intranet - This is the most common delivery of e-learning. E-learning of this sort is delivered via a browser. Common solutions are html/html 5 based e-learning and Adobe Flash based e-learning.
  • Apps - These are installed onto tablet and mobile phones. These can be downloaded and installed from say The App Store or Google Play.
  • CD/DVD - The e-learning can be either run off the CD/DVD or installed onto the user's computer.
  • Why use e-learning as a means of teaching?
  • Lower cost - It is more cost effective to deliver than classroom training. Classroom training incurs the following costs that are absent in e-learning. These are the cost of the classroom itself, trainers' fee to deliver the training and mark assessments and the time out of the day to assemble both trainer and trainees in the same classroom. What happens though if a student is absent? Expense is incurred by the employer having to repeat the training. Or often the absentee just misses out and never does the training.
  • Another common scenario could see more senior members of staff having to travel to a central location to receive training. A great deal of expense can be incurred bringing all the candidates together, in many cases the employer having to find travel costs and even accommodation for all attendees.
  • Faster delivery - Typically a trainee can just login to the e-learning at their computer without having to move an inch. This is in contrast to the time it takes in organising the attendance of a class and people having to physically attend.
  • Trainees can also do the e-learning at a time to suit, making the e-learning flexible around their work commitments. This is unlike classroom based training where people must attend at a set time with illness or forced absenteeism causing a large problem.
  • The delivery cycle times are considerably faster with e-learning. There is a practical limitation to how quickly the delivery cycles can be fulfilled in classroom based learning. The limitations are the number of classrooms and trainers available.
  • Automatic assessments - Testing the student is an automatic process in e-learning whereby a student will take an assessment, it is automatically marked and the results stored in a learning management system, all with no human intervention. This eliminates the human costs from traditional classroom based learning.
  • More effective learning - The combination of multimedia and instructional design produces a rich, repeatable learning experience. With practice activities including feedback this causes students to retain course content and understanding and helps improve performance. There are many studies showing e-learning solutions to be more effective at successfully delivering training than classroom based learning.
  • What is involved in producing e-learning?
  • Creating a course
  • There are three different types of people required for creating e-learning courses.
  • Instructional designer - the person who writes the training.
  • Programmer - these days there are authoring tools which mean that non-programmers can create e-learning without the need of knowing how to program code. Examples of authoring systems are Articulate Storyline and Lectora.
  • Graphic artist - somebody with graphical skills will be required. Skills can range from a beginner knowing the basics in Photoshop to a professional graphic artist.
  • Hosting of the course on Learning Management System (LMS)
  • Usually a course is run off a learning management system. Learning Management Systems will usually run e-learning courses that have been developed to the SCORM standard. What is SCORM? SCORM is a set of technical standards for e-learning. SCORM governs how learning content and learning management systems communicate with each other. The key benefit is that a scorm course should work seamlessly on any LMS. The latest addition to SCORM is Tin Can. Tin Can allows offline use of courses that report back to the LMS once an internet connection is resumed.
  • RJA Learning can create your e-learning for you from start to finish.