Sunday, May 18, 2008

E learning: The growing need of every organization

Everyone wants to acquire new skills, prepare for different needs of an organization, pursue short-term courses to boost up their careers at their own pace without moving to far-flung places. E learning has made all this easy. E learning is turning out to be the first preference among corporate learning centres and educational institute, to impart training to their employees and students. It provides learner centric training modules hence it has dominance over classroom-based training. The best part about online learning system is that it is flexible. Virtual learning systems like simulation-based E-learning, game-based E learning and mobile learning is expected to drive demand in the future. Today E-learning has become popular among working class adults. E learning gives a variety of learning experience and it comes equipped with diverse ways to engage the attention of the learners. It has made imparting knowledge anytime and anywhere possible. Now it the duty of the people involved in E learning industry to provide the right kind of training material to the target audience according to their needs and requirement and continue the ever-increasing demand of E learning.

E Learning is gaining popularity; but still it is new for most of us. Therefore, it is important to think of it as an innovative way of learning with new and different learning skills. As designers of E learning courses, one should approach E Learning with a systematic mind set to become successful. To make it successful, it is advisable to know the needs and prerequisites of the target audience. Lastly, to achieve ultimate success, one should adopt the tips from those who have been down with the e-Learning journey several times. Success in E Learning can offer learners a flexible and enjoyable learning experience.


Archana Narayan said...

Nice article, Mousumi. Why do you think elearning has to be approached with a "systematic mind set"? And what does this actually mean? Can you elaborate?

Taking tips from people who have been there is a very good idea. But what is even better is to think of innovative ways to creating courses and making the eleaning process at our end) more efficient and effective. If we keep doing what people before us did, elearning would continue to be boring and demotivating.

Keep writing!
Archana :)

searching4Kowledge said...

I agree with u in the idea that a systematic mind set is required.I belive that the systematics is not in designing how many slides i will do per day. I would say, whether you are a programmer or ID , you should be able to view the entire course in mind with a continous flow, before actually we starts the design/ development(not the flow of a single page/ screen). This is where the experties comes to play. Because the experts can lead our minds in the way so that we can visualize the course entirely in our minds. Another fact is that, we are consulting the experties not for the ideas or design, but to find out the real time possibilities or impossibilities.

For example, sometimes, what the ID designed would be more complex to implement or there may be a better easy, effective way to implement it in the advanced technology. So, when the story boarding happens, consider the case, which is been discussed with the programmer from the beginning and the programmer is a person, who can tell you how the story board is converted into Course(the peripehrals), and in which way ID can reduce the complexity, before it goes to the actual development. In the same way, the programmer can come to the ID to clarify why some content is designed ia a particular way or to ensure the learnability of his design and explore more. All these makes us to create a best design and course because we are developing something which we could forsee before we started our work.

By systematic mind set, what I understood is creating the systematic flow for the course in our minds using all the inputs available, without assuming things.

Mousumi Ghosh said...

Thanks for your feedback Archie! Well i completely agree that we should be innovative while designing any e-learning course, but i guess to start something new i need to have some background knowledge.
What is meant by 'systematic mind set' is that before actually jumping in to design a course, one should try and visualize the look and the feel of the course, how it might look like, will the learners understand it at the end of a course or not and the like. One should put forward the ideas and approaches, but should also discuss with the experts whether the whole idea is feasible enough to implement or not.

Mousumi Ghosh said...

Thanks for your feeback Nishana. I agree that designing a course based on certain assumption can be a complete waste of time. But at the same time i feel that without assuming certain things we can't proceed further. Based on one's assumption we may design a prototype of a course, which might give us some idea about the actual look and feel of the course.

Archana Narayan said...

Really cool discussion happening here. Thats what I wanted to hear.... :) I completely agree with you when you say that people need to actually sit and brainstorm as to what are possible strategies that would be most effective. From here, you shortlist further to identify the one that best suits the need of your learners.

Also, it is really important for the team to be a good mix of fresh and experienced minds. The fresh minds see things with a completely fresh perspectives when experienced people tend to go with what they are comfortable with or the moves that worked best in the past. The experienced people lead from the front by guiding the fresh minds to think within the constraints when it is possible for the imagination to run wild. They also have a clear vision as to how things will look, what will work and what means are required to make it work. They also have the ability to view the course from a top view, a more holistic view.

Nishana, you are absolutely right about being able to visualize the course even before storyboarding and trust me this is a real challenge when you are working with a team. It becomes extremely crucial to be able to 'see' the course. You see typically everyone visualizes the course the way they understand it.

As we did for some of our courses, screen by screen brainstorming with the team really helps. This includes visualizing exactly what happens on each screen. To the extent that I know if I have a character on the screen, where is he positioned. Really helped.... and its a start to become better visual designers... :)

searching4Knowledge said...

I agree with you Archie. Screen by screen visualization will make the design better.But, only thinking about the current screen without visualizing previous one will give a bad design for some courses.For eg: Suppose the course is meant to teach the users of an Application, and the course should obviously be an interactive tutorial of the Application, with almost similar environment of the Application. So, for designing such a course, I believe that the entire flow should be there in mind..the flow of real app and the flow of the course should be similar. Lack of the understanding about the basic App, caused lot of real time impossibilities in one of our projects.

Anyway, nice to see discussions, coz they are helping us to explore more, than reading the static data from browser.