This article reports on a survey that investigates the role of e-learning in improving the communication in learning environments. The results are drawn from the analysis of data collected from a sample of 420 university students in Greece. The study focuses on the contribution of e-learning to facilitating the communication among fellow students and the communication among lecturers and students. The results of this article are useful for both practitioners and academics.
This article reports on a survey that investigates the role of e-learning in improving the communication in learning environments. The results are drawn from the analysis of data collected from a sample of 420 university students in Greece. The study foascuses on the contribution of e-learning to facilitating the communication among fellow students and the communication among lecturers and students. The results of this article are useful for both practitioners and academics.
Internet technologies are spread across almost all aspects of modern life in business, entertainment, education, and learning. Students in developed countries are already not only computer literate, but also they are becoming the drivers of change for the future economy. E-learning services and courses are on offer in more and more universities and other educational institutions in an attempt to deliver higher quality in learning. The starting point of the implementation of distance education was in 1874. The University of Illinois has since been offering correspondence studies. It is certain however that since 1874 technology and its applications in learning has dramatically changed. E-learning as learning process in general is a not a simple issue. There are many stakeholders, and they are related within the learning environment. Tutors/teachers, administration and authorities, students learners, parents, and institutions all have a different point of view on the whole system. The similarities and the differences between education, teaching, and learning are quite ambiguous (Kroksmark, 1995). As a result, education is the science of training, and respectively learning is the science of teaching. The definition of education includes the complex procedures of teaching and learning, where teaching all the differentiated duties of a teacher is concerned.
The term “e-learning” refers to the use of Internet technologies in order to share information and enhance knowledge (Liaw, Huang, & Chen, 1996). According to Rosenberg (2001), an e-learning system has the following characteristics:
It is based on a network,
It focuses on the broadest view of learning
The participants use computers to get information and knowledge.
E-learning is not the end to classroom training. In fact, classroom training will be redefined to focus on those aspects of learning that are best accomplished when:
Person-to-person interactions are required
Opportunities for learning improvements need to be identified
Team efforts are a priority
Participation of experts with the group is needed
E-learning provides opportunities for students who may not be able to pursue an academic degree or participate in continuing education programs because of difficulty accessing a traditional educational setting (Messina, 2002). By using a variety of technologies, including correspondence education, distance education, virtual classrooms, computer-mediated communication, and computer-mediated instruction, e-learning connects students and faculty without the constraints of having to be physically present at a conference or on the university or college campus. E-learning offers many distinct advantages to individuals who may find it inconvenient or even impossible to attend traditional educational institutions because of location, work schedules, and/or increasing family obligations. Also, as e-learning class attendance is not required, there is a significant reduction in costs. E-learning is coming to fill the gaps left from conventional learning. In our days, more and more universities and organizations offer e-learning courses (Sanderson, 2002).
Key Terms in this Chapter
E-Training: The corporate training conducted via e-learning.
E-Learning: The acquisition and the use of knowledge distributed and facilitated primarily by electronic means. This form of learning currently depends on networks and computers but will likely evolve into systems consisting of a variety of channels (e.g., wireless, satellite) and technologies (e.g., cellular phones, PDAs) as they are developed and adopted. E-learning can take the forms of courses as well as modules and smaller learning objects. E-learning may incorporate synchronous or asynchronous access and may be distributed geographically with varied limits of time.
Online Learning: Constitutes just one part of technology-based learning and describes learning via Internet, intranet, and extranet.
Web-Based Learning: Used synonymously as online learning.
Communication: The process of exchanging information and ideas. It involves encoding, transmitting, and decoding intended messages.
Service quality: It is argued that businesses need not only correspond to their customers’ needs but also extend their customers expectations.
Problem Solving: A systematic approach utilizing multiple perspectives to uncover the issues related to a particular problem, design an intervention plan, and evaluate the outcome.
Quality Learning: An approach to improving learning and the quality of organisational life.