E- Learning: Practices in Distance Education

E- Learning: Practices in Distance Education

R. Natarajan
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8178-1.ch018
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This paper aims to provide the circumstance by outlining a short history of distance education, describing the media used in providing far-flung education, and to review explore literature on achievement, attitude, barricade to gain knowledge of education and learner characteristics. This paper explains little disparity in achievement between distance and traditional learners, although using a multiplicity of media, both to deliver pedagogic material and to make smooth the progress of communication, does give the impression to boost up the learning. Similarly, outlook the studies appear to show that the greater number of channels offered, the more positive students are about their experiences. With regard to barriers to completing courses, the main problems appear to be family or work obligations. Current research being carried out by the authors should enhance the findings accrued by the literature, by exploring the impact of “on-demand” video material, delivered by something no previous research appears to have examined. Discusses different electronic systems and their exploitation for distance education, and cross-references these with several aspects evaluated in the literature: achievement, attitude, and barriers to take-up or success, to provide a holistic picture hitherto missing from the literature.
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Definition And Scope

E-learning is commonly referred to the intentional use of networked information and communications technology in teaching and learning. A number of other terms are also used to describe this mode of teaching and learning. They include online learning, virtual learning, distributed learning, network and web-based learning. Fundamentally, they all refer to educational processes that utilize information and communications technology to mediate asynchronous as well as synchronous learning and teaching activities. On closer scrutiny, however, it will be clear that these labels refer to slightly different educational processes and as such they cannot be used synonymously with the term e-learning.

The term e-learning comprises a lot more than online learning, virtual learning, distributed learning, networked or web-based learning. As the letter “e” in e-learning stands for the word “electronic”, e-learning would incorporate all educational activities that are carried out by individuals or groups working online or offline, and synchronously or asynchronously via networked or standalone computers and other electronic devices. These various types or modalities of e-learning activity are represented in Table 1.

Table 1.
Modalities of e-learning activity
Individualized self-paced
e-learning online
Individualized self-paced
e-learning offline
e-learning synchronously
e-learning asynchronously

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information and Communications Technology (ICT): An umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications.

Higher Education: Education beyond high school, specifically that provided by colleges and graduate schools, and professional schools.

Web Based Information: Web-based information displays many benefits of multimedia technology. Using today's fast broadband connections, it is possible to stream sophisticated content to a computer anywhere in the world.

E-Learning: The delivery of a learning, training or education program by electronic means. E-learning involves the use of a computer or electronic device.

Distance Education: Distance education as a generic term used to define the field or distance learning is a mode of delivering education and instruction, often on an individual basis.

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