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Definition of 'E-learning'

Definition: A learning system based on


formalised teaching but with the help of
electronic resources is known as E-
learning. While teaching can be based in or
out of the classrooms, the use of
computers and the Internet forms the major
component of E-learning. E-learning can
also be termed as a network enabled
transfer of skills and knowledge, and the
delivery of education is made to a large
number of recipients at the same or
different times. Earlier, it was not accepted
wholeheartedly as it was assumed that this
system lacked the human element required
in learning.

However, with the rapid progress in


technology and the advancement in
learning systems, it is now embraced by
the masses. The introduction of computers
was the basis of this revolution and with the
passage of time, as we get hooked to
smartphones, tablets, etc, these devices
now have an importance place in the
classrooms for learning. Books are
gradually getting replaced by electronic
educational materials like optical discs or
pen drives. Knowledge can also be shared
via the Internet, which is accessible 24/7,
anywhere, anytime.

Description: E-learning has proved to be


the best means in the corporate sector,
especially when training programs are
conducted by MNCs for professionals
across the globe and employees are able
to acquire important skills while sitting in a
board room, or by having seminars, which
are conducted for employees of the same
or the different organizations under one
roof. The schools which use E-learning
technologies are a step ahead of those
which still have the traditional approach
towards learning.

No doubt, it is equally important to take


forward the concept of non-electronic
teaching with the help of books and
lectures, but the importance and
effectiveness of technology-based learning
cannot be taken lightly or ignored
completely. It is believed that the human
brain can easily remember and relate to
what is seen and heard via moving pictures
or videos. It has also been found that
visuals, apart from holding the attention of
the student, are also retained by the brain
for longer periods. Various sectors,
including agriculture, medicine, education,
services, business, and government
setups are adapting to the concept of E-
learning which helps in the progress of a
nation.

Fundamentally, there are two


categories of eLearning:
 Synchronous.
 Asynchronous.
Synchronous and Asynchronous Types of E-
learning

Written by Yakaraju G

E-Learning enables the learners to learn anytime and anywhere. It enables the
development of perfect learning content through the application of sound
instructional design principles to perfectly analyze the basic requirements of learning
as well as learning objectives.

Fundamentally, there are two categories of eLearning:


1. Synchronous
2. Asynchronous

Let us analyze them in detail

1. Synchronous – set time (phone/Internet classroom sessions)

Synchronous eLearning is real-time learning. In synchronous learning, the learners


and the teacher are online and interact at the same time from different locations.
They deliver and receive the learning resources via mobile, video conference,
Internet or chat. In this type of learning the participants can share their ideas during
the session and interact with each other and they get detailed queries and solutions.
Synchronous eLearning is gaining popularity because of improved technology and
Internet bandwidth capabilities.

Learning from the sources of:

 Virtual Classroom
 Audio and Video Conferencing
 Chat
 Webinars
 Application Sharing
 Messaging instantly

2. Asynchronous – student directed, self-paced learning

Asynchronous eLearning is pause-and-resume kind of learning. In this type of


eLearning the learner and the teacher cannot be online at same time. Asynchronous
eLearning may use technologies such as email, blogs, discussion forums, eBook’s
CDs, DVDs, etc. Learners may learn at any time, download documents, and chat
with teachers & also with co-learners. In fact, many learners prefer asynchronous
instead of synchronous learning because learners can take online courses to learn at
their preferable time by not effecting their daily commitments.

Learning from the sources of:

 Self-paced online courses


 Discussion forums & groups
 Messages boards
This is all about Asynchronous and Synchronous types of eLearning. Which type of
learning do you prefer, please do share!

10 e-Learning Website Features That Can Help In


Successful Conversions
Nithya Sudhir December 16, 2016 Pixelmattic Blog3 Comments
e-Learning courses are changing the face of education. There are many e-
learning websites on the internet offering courses and certifications online.
Websites are most certainly the powerful bridge between the students and
these online courses. After all, a website is the first and in this case, almost
every point of contact between them. So we decided to write about some
of the must have e-learning website features.

Today, 82 percent of colleges and universities offer several courses


online in order to try and provide a transformational opportunity for
students who can’t spend six to eight hours a day in a lecture hall.

For the past few years, e-learning has become a standard way of learning
either with the combination of online and face-to-face approach or as an
independent, fully functional method.
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It has been greatly beneficial to students and educators due to its


flexibility, cost reductions, and overall enhanced experience provided by
the utilization of advanced technology innovations. Yet, not all such e -
learning website features create the amazing learning experience one
would expect to encounter.

We can easily figure out what some of the prominent e-learning website
features that distinguish the most popular websites from the less prominent
ones in the niche.
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SO HERE ARE 15 MOST IMPORTANT E-LEARNING WEBSITE FEATURES THAT


PROVIDE AN ENHANCED LEARNING EXPERIENCE FROM THE TRADITIONAL
METHODS!

1. ONLINE ADMISSIONS
Online admissions are the first crucial step towards e-learning. Shortly
after students enroll in a course of their choice, they’ll be asked to log into
a learning management system (LMS). This makes online admissions the
first one in the list of e-learning website features.
The LMS is the platform where students can view their syllabus, learn how
to contact their professor and access most course materials, including
online readings, videos, audio files and other resources. This is also where
students go to participate in discussion boards – written exchanges with
fellow classmates. In some systems, students can also email and instant
message their classmates and instructors.

Although some schools design their own learning management systems,


most colleges use Blackboard, Moodle, and Desire2Learn.

ADVANTAGES OF AN ONLINE ADMISSION SYSTEM

1. Automated online software system works 24 x 7


2. Avoid hectic submission process
3. Reduces Paper Work
4. Dynamic and User-Friendly
5. Customizable Real-Time Reports

WORDPRESS PLUGIN TO INTEGRATE ONLINE ADMISSIONS TO YOUR WEBSITE


ApplyOnline
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2. REPORTING AND DATA ANALYSIS


One of the best ways to ensure that participants will benefit from the
education you’re giving them is by studying their reactions to a course,
and their behavior as they’re taking it. That’s where learning analytics
comes in.

In an e-learning platform, educators should be able to collect data in which


students watch the lectures, where they flag sections for questions, and
how often they return to the videos for review—as our educators do with
our learning platform. Having this data allows instructors to intervene and
motivate students who are struggling or falling behind.

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WHY IS IT NEEDED?
e-learning data analytics involves the collection, analysis, and reporting of
information gathered from the participants as they undertake an e-Learning
course. Learning analytics is an ongoing, real-time process, rather than a
retrospective one. This makes it one of the prominent e-learning website
features.

Historically, teaching online made it difficult to catch when a student was


struggling. However, by leveraging emerging technology and data
generated by these tools, it has made it easier for us to help students before
it is too late. Identifying where students are struggling allows instructors to
spend time with students more effectively and provide personalized
instruction.

If an individual is observed to be struggling over a particular course


module, he or she can be offered access to custom tools and resources like
links to specific and related websites, or audio-visual supplements that
throw a greater light on the subject.

Success breeds confidence, and assisting a learner’s progress with learning


analytics encourages him/her to complete the course and to actively
participate in its modules.
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WHAT DOES DATA ANALYTICS IN E-LEARNING ACCOMPLISH?

1. Learning analytics can reveal how a course participant is performing


today, and use this information to help predict how they will perform,
as the e-Learning course progresses.
2. Learning analytics can reveal which aspects of a training scheme are
working best – and which are failing to meet your expectations.
3. It can be a guide to where resources (and money) may best be used, to
achieve your learning goals.
4. Learning analytics is fuelling the development of machine learning
tools, social and content recommendation systems, network and
discourse analysis, predictive analysis, content development, support
and intervention strategies.
5. Learning analytics are being used to enhance the role of facilitators and
instructors, to develop tools for automation within e-Learning course
structures, and to promote research.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF E-LEARNING ANALYTICS

1. Time spent on the e-Learning course


2. Rapid Page Exits
3. Learner Satisfaction Ratings
4. Online Learner Progress
5. Online Learner Preferences

3. ASSESSMENT MANAGEMENT & LIVE


FEEDBACK
Online quizzes and tests can help students pinpoint areas of improvement,
based on subject or skill. Making time to use assessment tools can help
learners gain extra practice outside of their normal class work or ongoing
projects.

Feedback and assessment are ongoing and one of the most important e-
learning website features. It is timely, it is constructive, and it models
effective practices. It usually works best when there are no clear marks.
One strategy is to keep a running spreadsheet of each participant to record
important information. Keeping track of this information also provides you
with windows into patterns and learning gaps that you can help learners
fill.

Assessment
Types
Another way to engage the learner is to test them on the things that they
learned within the course. This allows both the learner to verify that they
understood the content while at the same time the instructional designer
can verify that the materials achieved the training objectives. This also
helps to establish checkpoints for the learner to know if they can move on
within the course or return to previous topics to review the information
again.

Although some students might wish otherwise, testing and assessments


play a significant role in the virtual classroom. The way instructors grade
students varies, experts say. Some will give multiple choice tests graded
by the computer, while others will rely more on papers or major projects.

71% of students believe that virtual learning provides increased flexibility


to take classes.

Learning independently can leave many students feeling disconnected as


they move through their coursework. One-on-one interaction with teachers
or tutors inspires confidence and helps students better understand their
current assignments.

GRADEBOOKS
Gradebooks can offer students a deeper level of feedback from teachers
than before. Educators can analyze one or multiple students’ performance.
Utilizing a super grade book platform also means teachers can intervene
earlier, helping students address issues head on.

Transcripts and teacher-parent conference notes don’t provide a complete


picture of a student’s strengths. By starting a data backpack or e-Portfolio,
students and their parents can track their progress from elementary school
up through high school graduation. The digital backpack also allows
teachers to learn more about students on the front end of a new semester,
from their learning styles to areas of growth and improvement.

HOW TO USE ONLINE GRADEBOOKS

1. Import learner information from your LMS into the online grade book
for quick setup.
2. Integrate your grading scale into the online grade book system.
3. Customize the grade weight of each assignment/test/project.
4. Allow learners to access online grade books to view their grades.
5. Offer learners additional feedback to improve their overall
performance.

4. STUDENT INFORMATION
MANAGEMENT
Student Information Management Systems (SIMS) in e-learning websites
supervise student-related activities such as keeping records of tests or
examinations conducted, attendance, appraisal on performance including
details of marks scored, and all related activities; in short, they provide a
complete student records system.

HOW DOES THIS HELP?

1. Enables self-service for students to perform basic administrative


functions and tasks in a “one-stop” service and access environment.
2. Integrates data sources and process them through a single function that
supports one-time entry of student data.
3. Ensures data integrity, privacy, and security in an open-access
environment.
4. Centralized information sourcing and management
5. Centralized accounting and billing procedures
6. Facilitates the generation of real-time reports and customized reports.
7. Uploading of information to the system keeps the system up-to-date
with current information
8. The dependable security system allows only designated users to access
all the system capabilities; it offers various levels of security to restrict
access to undefined users, and the received information from other
sources is subjected to security scans.
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5. QUALITY CONTENT – EXTENSIVE LIST


OF COURSE OPTIONS
First and foremost, modern learners are infatuated with the idea of getting
top quality education without spending large sums of money. Great
content speaks for itself and can slowly, but surely find its way to target
users and keep them loyal. Providing meaningful content means obtaining
more users.

Content is always the king and this makes quality content one among the
top 5 e-learning website features.
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TIPS ON COURSE STRUCTURE


Course structure refers to how a course is designed for e-learning. The
structure of a course plays a critical role in how your audience learns the
material.

Storyboarding is a great way to build your course structure. Consider the


following items when structuring your course:

 Group content into logical modules: Identify the flow of the course
and then determine how to modulate the information. Structuring the
information into small “chunks” will make it easier for your audience
to follow and learn the materials.

 Avoid creating modules that exceed 8-10 pages: Keeping your


modules to 8-10 pages will help the learner feel a sense of progress.
Also, modules that tend to be long cause the learner to lose interest and
thus, the learning process becomes a drudgery.

 Incorporate interactive concepts: Your course structure should also


include interactive concepts strategically placed throughout the course.
A good rule of thumb is to include an exercise or activity every third
page with one major activity per module. This will establish a good
balance between exchanging information and sustaining the interest of
the learner.

 Use pictures/graphics to help explain ideas, concepts, or


statements: It is always a good practice to include images whenever
possible. Many times, instructional designers will insert an image just
for the sake of inserting a picture. By using images to emphasize
certain points of the page, you will draw the learner into the subject and
he or she will be able to better relate to the concepts presented.

6. QUICK USER INTEGRATION


Another requirement needs to be met in order to maintain a smooth
running educational website. The process of registration and payment
needs to be as quick and easy as possible so as not to create unnecessary
delays in the delivery of content which could discourage potential users
from applying.

Luckily, contemporary edtech design is constantly developing and coming


up with efficient solutions to provide easy access to content and to manage
payment system. One such solution can be found in WordPress LMS
theme for online courses, Skilled, which integrates with the Sensei
plugin to produce quick signing up for courses and easy charging for
courses through Woocommerce shop support.
Skilled

7. EASY PAYMENT METHODS


Making it as easy as possible for your customers to pay is essential for
increasing conversions and sales. Online payments are faster than manual
payments since you don’t have to wait for the check to arrive or for it to
clear. The whole process – from submitting an online payment to updating
your bank account – can take a matter of seconds.

METHODS TO MAKE PAYMENTS EASIER

 Provide a number of Payment Methods


 Allow payments without requiring an account

 Don’t Use Redirection

 Ask for essential information only

 Make errors easy to fix

If you are confused about which payment gateway to choose for your e-
learning website, read our blog post on Everything You Need To Know
About A Payment Gateway Process Cycle for curated lists and reports on
all payment gateways in India.

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8. MOTIVATIONAL TRIGGERS
Steps must be taken to provide continual motivation and a sense of
progress which is a feature found on every up-and-coming e-learning
platform. The key to achieving this is to create relevant and diversified
tests to follow each lesson so as to provide students with a sense of
completion and evaluation of their work.

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With Sensei plugin that seamlessly integrates with a vast majority of
WordPress LMS premium themes, tests can be created and graded in
numerous ways that add to the variety, which is always a desired quality in
education. Additional successful means to motivate users is to provide
visual progress tracking on progress bars above the lessons, a feature also
provided by the Sensei plugin.

For surprising statistics on e-learning, read 50 Striking Statistics About


Distance Learning in Higher Education.

GAMIFICATION
In the field of online education, Gamification is used to promote the
commitment of employees and students to the learning process. Extensive
studies show that games are very effective in increasing levels of
interaction and motivation in learning, which in turn help to shape
knowledge and optimize the learning process. In fact, according to these
studies, 89% would be more engaged in an e-learning application if it had
point-system.
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3 SUCCESSFUL EXAMPLES OF TRAINING GAMIFICATION

 The Deloitte Leadership Academy

A virtual platform for executives training that generates content from


Harvard, Stanford, and other Ivy League universities. The platform was
implemented by a company specializing in gamification

 Stepping Up to Management by Xerox’s

An engaging management-training program based on gamified


application. Trainees go on quests, alone or in groups, and use their new
skills in real work environment. Leaderboards show their progress making
the training fun.

 Bluewolf
Engaging employees in building the brand, in this case, was done by
creating #GoingSocial program that offers points and rewards for
collaboration, publishing on the company blog and some social activities.
Employees are involved and the company is actively present in media.
Win-win situation.

9. FORUMS AND WEBINARS


While social media remains a popular way to connect with peers, online
forums create a way for students to mingle and discuss courses,
assignments, and other pertinent information. It also provides an extra
outlet for students to get answers to questions from fellow students or their
professors which adds this to the list of the most important e-learning
website features.

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Most educational institutions already use on a CDN or CMS to upload


recorded sessions, but very few institutions have implemented video
capture technology across the platforms. One of the biggest hurdles to
widespread implementation is that most of the systems for recording and
broadcasting require installation of dedicated hardware which can be hard
to move from class to class, and let’s face it—using a laptop webcam to
broadcast a class is probably the worst way to implement class offerings
on a wide scale.
However, there is a portable option available on the market called Epiphan
Pearl, which is capable of capturing two HD sources simultaneously. The
dual capture input is especially useful for professors who incorporate
multimedia in their classes and need to switch between lectures and visual
outputs like PowerPoint presentations or online content.

CURATION OF RESOURCES AND ADDING OWN RESOURCES


Educators spend a lot of time reading, researching, and getting involved
with other educators in online Professional Learning Networks. This
paired with personal experiences can lead to the curation of important
resources that support the learners and learning goals of the course.

The advantage of e-learning is that it provides the learner with additional


resources and information with just a click of the mouse. Linking to
additional references can greatly improve the learning experience and offer
added value to the content of the topic.

10. ONLINE COMMUNITIES & SOCIAL


ENGAGEMENT
Online education leans heavily on individual learning. When students need
to connect with others, based on differing schedules or backgrounds, it can
be problematic for non-traditional or busy students. This makes online
communities feature in the list of top 10 e-learning website features.

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e-learning websites are building the trusting relationship with users by


creating and displaying teachers’ profiles, offering scheduled one-on-one
sessions with tutors and most importantly, creating a social network of
their own to encourage networking between students and other users of
their content. BuddyPress plugin is one of the most commonly used to
integrate with premium WordPress themes.

Social engagement tools can help disperse announcements and get


feedback from users instantly. Alerts and reminders out to users across e-
mail and various social media platforms. Users can manage alerts and
subscriptions on their end and take advantage of easy scheduling

Viveka Von Rosen, Author of “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day”,


says, “Looking beyond the education is crucial. Corporate have a huge
influence on education.The influence of corporate in education getting
increased day by day. Accessing and adapting to technology and bringing
those to students and learners is the major challenge. So, getting connected
with the influential people who promote can bring great things.”

CONCLUSION:
For those whom the classroom model was too limiting, e-learning has
opened up new opportunities to pursue higher education. Distance learning
has grown in popularity as the Internet and better technology has enabled
increasingly dynamic and engaging learning experiences. Many creative
ideas are discarded because they do not work. Likewise, a well-organized
e-learning website can be ill-received if it does not function properly.

There is a need for finding a more creative and engaging online solution
that fits the lifestyle of both traditional and nontraditional students.
Keeping in mind never to allow technology to become the main focus of
the training. When technology becomes the center of attention within an
online course, the learner will often fall short in achieving the course
objectives.
For more information on websites and design, read our blog today!
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