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Benefits & Negatives

Overview

The benefits and negatives of elearning are very much personal. What I define as a negative, someone else may see as positive.

Generally, elearning positives refer to anytime, anywhere access to learning (not entirely true), cost reductions, reaching larger markets, more effective learning, personalized instruction, flexibility, etc.

Negatives often highlighted are social disconnection, authentic assessment, teaching skills (compared to theory) online, not as effective as classsrooms, etc.

Whatever the view, in most circumstances, the opposite perspective has some credibility. Let's face it - elearning hasn't been around long enough to afford proven, accepted opinions.

Elearning is still emerging as a field, and many current negatives are not indicative of the nature of the field - they are challenges that can be overcome, often through effective design, implementation, instruction, and evaluation.

Resources

Strengths & Weaknesses
"All educators approach this new paradigm with varying degrees of enthusiasm and concern. Are you optimistic or skeptical about Online Learning? Are you interested in knowing how delivering courses online can improve your teaching and offer unprecedented learning opportunities for your students, or do you want to know what you will be up against as you plan and deliver your classes online? It is important to consider both the pros and cons of online learning so you can be better prepared to face the challenge of working in this new environment as well as embrace the new opportunities that it has to offer. Strengths or Weaknesses? You choose which link to follow first, but please look at both - it's only fair!"

Online Courses - Weighing the Benefits
"In 1997 the Hospitality Department implemented laptop delivery into all its programs. While the past two years have provided the Department with extensive experience in delivering courses in an electronic format, there has been limited exposure to online learning in its "fullest" sense. Starting this fall, however, this has changed: all first year Hotel and Restaurant Administration and Culinary Arts courses are now delivered via the Internet using the latest version of The Learning Manager. In addition, the Department is currently developing the first year of Culinary Arts for distance education delivery via the Internet. This represents a major investment of resources; however, the Department is anticipating numerous benefits to grow out of this investment."

Why Elearning?
Quick overview of elearning benefits.

Benefits of elearning
Good list of the positive side of elearning

May the E-Learning Workforce Be With You
"In addition to facing the challenge of recognizing change, business leaders must also know how to attract, train and retain knowledge workers. In the past, this has been viewed as a very high expense for companies, a "liability" rather than a necessity. How can business leaders "attract, train and retain" their employees and show a substantial return on investment?"

E-learning's value depends on approach
"Web pages from five years ago are a joke when we look at them today, but then they were exciting and business enabling. Since then, we’ve learnt how to use the medium and have begun to understand the human response to technology. And, in the same way, e-learning is getting better and better.
We have to consider several things when judging the quality of e-learning. First, don’t just compare e-learning to the classroom. Look at what it can do on its own, where it can reach people that will never get to the classroom and how it can change the process of how we share knowledge."

The Value of Technology in Learning
"As related by Plato , Socrates was one of the first great educators to complain about the impact of new technology - his argument with the invention of the alphabet was that writing causes the memory to shrivel through lack of use, and hinders the internalisation of information on the path to wisdom. The same sorts of arguments have also dogged later technological advances in the representation of The Word - the printing press , the typewriter ,word processing - have all in their time been subject to the misgivings of educators and others. Remember when the ballpoint pen was going to ruin writing skills?
Research can be quoted both for and against the implementation of IT in education, with many reports of 'no significant difference' . Inevitably some IT applications will not enhance educational processes or outcomes; some may even be a hindrance - surely it's a matter of choosing the best tool for the task in hand?"

An Assessment of the Effectiveness of e-learning in Corporate Training Programs
"Corporate managers are constantly looking for more cost-effective ways to deliver training to their employees. E-learning is less expensive than traditional classroom instruction. In addition, many expenses - booking training facilities, travel costs for employees or trainers, plus employee time away from the job - are greatly reduced. However, some firms that have spent large amounts of money on new e-learning efforts have not received the desired economic advantages."

 

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