Today, with the advancement of new technologies, one hears more and more about the e-learning concept. Through e-learning (distance learning), students/trainees do not need to travel to access classes. But what is e-learning, and what is its importance in today’s education?
E-learning corresponds to a non-presential teaching model, where the student’s lack of physical presence can be compensated for using new technologies to access content available online on the educational institution’s platforms. In this way, access to knowledge is available at any time, from anywhere.
In addition to e-learning, there is also the concept of b-learning, which corresponds to the process by which the student learns through content placed on the computer and Internet and in which the teacher, if any, is at a distance, using the Internet as a medium communication (synchronous or asynchronous). There may be intermediate face-to-face sessions”.
Many have criticized e-learning, stating that the lack of direct contact with humans and the deficiencies generated by that absence is enormous. But its advocates claim that learning based on new technologies makes up for this absence, as virtual communities are created, with chats, forums, social networks, etc., which leads to knowledge and opinions being shared between several people, of the teacher and the student.
Some of the advantages of e-learning:
- the student can set the pace of learning;
- the flexibility of schedules;
- the contents are permanently available;
- costs are lower for students and for the entities that support them (food, transport, etc.);
- a large number of people can be formed at the same time;
- development of self-study and self-learning skills;
- technical problems if we have a problem with the Internet or computer connection;
- difficulty in adapting the tools;
- technology phobia is still present in most of the population;
- need for the extra effort to motivate students;
- the student has to try harder and organize himself better;
- relational level problems with the teacher and other colleagues;
In recent years, e-learning according to Allegro media design has diversified so that according to the distribution channels, we can differentiate between:
- Pure e-Learning, that is to say, totally on the Internet. This was the predominant way in its beginnings.
- bLearning, or blended learning, which is based on the Internet, but without neglecting face-to-face learning. It is currently one of the schemes with the highest demand.
- mLearning, or mobile learning that makes more intensive use of mobile devices.
- Microlearning, in which content is much more segmented into small capsules lasting a few minutes, making said content more accessible.
In the past decade, the prevailing modality was “completely online.” However, today it is recognized that it will not necessarily work in all cases, and lately, it has turned to look towards bLearning and microlearning.