Potential of E-learning in India

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The aim of my project is to create awareness about E- learning concepts, Standard & Digital Technologies which can also be more effective than our Normal Practices. This can be done for all the sectors of Indian Economy. But only few have adopted it eg., Education Sector.

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Potential of E-learning in India

  1. 1. University of Mumbai’s Alkesh Dinesh Mody Institute For Financial and Management Studies This is to inform TYBMS students that for the partial fulfillment of the course they need to prepare a project in the sixth semester on any topic related to financial services. Guidelines for Project Preparation are: All projects should be typed on A4 sheets, Font Size 12, Times New Roman, one and a half spacing on executive bond paper. The project report shall have appropriate chapter scheme and be presented in total indicative pages of 60-80 pages of subject . Project Report Format: 1. Cover Page: Refer to Annexure 1 2. Declaration: Refer to Annexure 3 3. Certificate: Refer to Annexure 2 4. Acknowledgement 5. Index:  Table of Content – Details of content page number wise  List of Tables and Charts - Numbered tables and charts with details of page numbers where they are presented. 6. Executive Summary: Executive summary should contain synopsis of report in brief. 7. Report: Detailed Structure –  Chapter 1: Introduction  Chapter 2: Research Methodology  Chapter 3: Literature Review  Chapter 4 till Chapter ‘N’: Body of the report in detail, appropriately divided in required number of chapters.  Chapter ‘N +1’: Conclusion and Recommendation  Tools of Data collection (if used) should be specified clearly in the report.  Annexure (if Any)  Sample Questionnaire (if used) 8. Bibliography/References: Format 1
  2. 2. Name of Author, Name of book or journal, details of where published, page number-numbers referred to, year of publication 9. Last date of submission of Projects is 30th December2010, 10. Students have to give in writing their project title to Mr. ----------- in office in the required format (Annexure 4) by 30/11/10. 2
  3. 3. Annexure - 1 Main Page Format: Title of the Project Komal Prakash Ghate Bachelor of management Studies Academic Year – 2010 Under the Guidance of Prof. Swapnil Morande University of Mumbai’s Alkesh Dinesh Mody Institute for Financial and Management Studies 3
  4. 4. Annexure – 2 University of Mumbai’s Alkesh Dinesh Mody Institute For Financial and Management Studies Certificate I, Professor Swapnil Morande hereby certify that Ms. Komal Prakash Ghate, TYBMS Student of Alkesh Dinesh Mody Institute for Financial and Management Studies, has completed a project titled Potential of E-learning in India in the academic year 2010. The work of the student is original and the information included in the project is true to the best of my Knowledge. Signature of Guide with Date Guide 4
  5. 5. Annexure - 3 Declaration I, Ms. Komal Prakash Ghate TYBMS Student of Alkesh Dinesh Mody Institute for Financial and Management Studies, hereby declare that I have completed the project titled Potential of E-learning in India during the academic year 2010. The report work is original and the information/data included in the report is true to the best of my Knowledge. Due credit is extended on the work of Literature/Secondary Survey by endorsing it in the Bibliography as per prescribed format. Signature of the Student with Date Komal Prakash Ghate 5
  6. 6. Annexure – 4 University of Mumbai’s Alkesh Dinesh Mody Institute For Financial and Management Studies Name of Student: Komal Prakash Ghate Roll Number: 105 Title of the Project: Potential of E-learning in India Signature of Student with date: 6
  7. 7. Executive Summary : E-learning-supported learning and teaching.- The Information and communication systems-. E-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classroom opportunities and digital collaboration.- There is a trend to move towards blended learning services, where computer-based activities are integrated with practical or classroom-based situations.- Computer-based learning-Computer-based trainingComputer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)- to improve teaching and learning with the help of modern information and communication technology-Datacloud: Toward a New Theory of Online Work,- When using smart boards teaching and learning become a more active experience for both the student and the teacher.- Locus of Control-Technology-enhanced learning (TEL)- to provide socio-technical innovations (also improving efficiency and cost effectiveness) for e-learning practices-Communication technologies used in E-learning-(1) synchronous; and(2) asynchronous-Synchronous activities involve the exchange of ideas and information with one or more participants during the same period of time.- Asynchronous activities use technologies such as blogs, wikis, and discussion boards.- Recently majority institutions in India match the description of the first variation,-some like BITS, VTU, Amrita University, etc-Participants in a virtual classroom use icons called emoticons to communicate feelings and responses to questions or statements.- the M-learning communities. India is fast emerging as an e-learning hub, because of its ability to provide a large pool of a highly educated workforce.- A number of companies in India possess quality certifications such as ISO and SEI-CMM and meet international standards-The pro-IT government in India is also boosting the growth of this sector, with IT being a part of the national agenda for the government in power-companies view e-learning as a solution targeted to achieve business goals-with Online College Education-AboutE-Learning-Online Education Scope in India-IITJEE exams -Online MBA in India- eLearning inAgriculture-eLearning Benefits E-learning into business-Retailers Buy Into E-Learning-The corporate e-learning market is valued at about $1 billion and growing at 10% a year. However, adapting e-learning to retailers remains challenging-Retail Revolution-Flexibility-makes it easier for instructors to follow employees over time to see if their skills are improving-use online tools to determine 7
  8. 8. whether stores whose employees receive more training are posting better sales-You can tie the performance to goals and objectives."- Sales associates on the retail floor must be "in sync and well-versed in our upcoming promotions and point-of-sale displays-Does eLearning Work?Informal Education : » » Online Agriculture Degrees - http://www.worldwidelearn.com/agriculture-degrees.htm Agriwatch.com-http://www.agriwatch.com Non-formal Opportunities : Non-facilitated » AVRDC - http://www.avrdc.org/ » RDN Virtual Training Suite - http://www.vts.rdn.ac.uk/ » Pilot courses offered by CG Centers, UN agencies, Universities The future of e-learning in India-State of e-learning-Defining e-learning strategy-technology is an obvious component of e-learning, educational pedagogy must also focus on participation-Developing a successful e-learning strategy Planning-There are many strategies for delivering e-learning, including asynchronous, synchronous,hybrid-instructor led, and self-paced learning.- identify the hard and soft costsavings of choosing to replace or augment traditional learning with e-learning-Informal Learning-“At work we learn more in the break room than in the classroom. We discover how to do our jobs through informal learning – observing-Formal learning - classes and workshops and online events - is the source of only 10% to 20% of what we learn at work.”- Blended Learning-efficiency to classroom instruction and permitting increased discussion or information review outside of classrooms-Communities-Problem solving requires different perspectives to create an accurate understanding of potential solutions and environment of implementation. Online communities allow people to stay current in their field through dialogue with other members of the same organization-Knowledge Management-Learning Networks-Work-based Learning-Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) and workflow learning-Impacting Factors-Ubiquitous learning-Ubiquitous learning fulfills elearning’s promise of “anytime, anywhere, and any context”.  E-learning tools- Learning Management Systems (LMS)  Learning Content Management System (LCMS)  Collaborative tools (aCollab, Groove)  Identity management and digital rights – still an emerging field, but as the success of Microsoft’s Passport reveals, end-users of communication tools require control over their 8
  9. 9. identity. Digital rights tools (for ensuring learning content can be “legally” used) will also continue to grow in popularity).  Repositories – MERLOT is an example of a centralized learning content repositories, but many decentralized repositories follow the success of content sharing programs like KaZaA.  Voice over IP (VoIP) tools like Skype (http://www.skype.org) will substantially alter the communication landscape. Simple, effective social tools are critical for larger scale adoption of learning that represents the manner in which people work.  Other social tools: wikis, blogs, instant messaging are being rapidly adopted due to ease of use.- Synchronous delivery (real-time)- streaming, conferencing, and archived presentations  Asynchronous delivery (delayed time) through the use of LMS’, collaborative spaces, and discussion boards Virtual universities-Advantages of e-learning-For an organisation that is spread across multiple locations, traditional training becomes a constraint.- -learning is self-paced, and learning is done at the learner’s pace. E-learning trends-Business-to-employee initiatives will address e-learning-e-learning will extend to customers-Simulation, gaming and interactivity will enrich e-learning-There will never be enough of the right skills-Every person a creator-Competitive advantage of elearning-E-learning Career : Job Specification advertisement-for eg. Senior Instructional Designers - Pune - Harbinger Group Usability of E-learning in It sector-banking-auto-large format retail-language training-E-learninganalysis-design-development-evaluation phase-implementation E-learning solutions-learning objects-integrated interaction elements-content development-integrated exercise-of WiFi technology- hardware, software and bandwidth will be needed, institutions must consider how the new technology will be supported. • E-learning technologies-Electronic Portfolios (ePortfolios) • Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) • Personal digital assistants (PDAs) 9
  10. 10. • MP3 Players • CD-ROM • Web sites • Web 2.0 tools • Discussion and bulletin boards • Collaborative software • e-mail • Blogs • Wiki • Chats • Computer aided testing and assessment • Educational animation, simulation, and games • Learning Management Systems (LMS) • Podcasts E-Learning Standards-common rules for content, authoring software and Learning Management Systems (LMSs)- Specification is a detailed, exact statement of the functional requirements and particulars for something to be built, installed, or manufactured.- : When a tentative solution appears to have merit, a detailed written specification must be documented so that it can be implemented and codified-There are main three areas for a standard • Communication Interface or API—how resources communicate with other systems • Meta-data—how to describe e-Learning resources in a consistent manner Content Packaging—how to gather resources into useful bundles-Communication Interface or API-Metadata-Content packaging-Conclusion-Learning Management System (or LMS) is a software solution that enables the management and delivery of online content to learners. LMSs are web-based to make possible "anytime, any where, any pace" access to learning content and management.- LMS Configuration-LMS Commercial & Open SourceCharacteristics –WIZDOM LMS -Benefits-Limitations- e-learnite websites and Companies 10
  11. 11. INDEX : PAGE.No. 1. Introduction to E-learning 12 2. Approaches to e-learning services 14 3. Communication technologies in E-learning 17 4. e-Learning in India 20 5. Retail Revolution 24 6. The future of e-learning in India 27 7. Categories of e-learning 30 8. E-learning Tools : 33 9. Trends in e-learning 37 10. E-learning technologies 42 11. E-Learning Standards 45 12. Business apllications of e-learning 60 11
  12. 12. E-learning comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. The Information and communication systems, whether networked or not, serve as specific media to implement the learning process. The term will still most likely be utilized to reference out-ofclassroom and in-classroom educational experiences via technology, even as advances continue in regard to devices and curriculum. E-learning is essentially the computer and network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. E-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classroom opportunities and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self-paced or instructor-led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio What is E-Learning? E-learning is the use of Internet technologies to foster, deliver and to enable learning processes. (Other sites one and two) When combined with traditional training approaches, when using the right IT solutions and when used in the right context, e-learning has the potential of radically altering the way employees’ competencies are developed at every level of business. The training department is responsible for the right combination of approaches. The IT department is responsible for the hardware and software. Managers are the critical success factor for the implementation of e-learning. They create the environment. 12
  13. 13. METHODOLOGY This project is prepared with the combination of theoretical knowledge as well as practical knowledge and a blend of advices and suggestions from the research guide of the project. Various books helped me out in extracting the theoretical ingredient. For doing anything right, it is necessary that one follows the correct method otherwise he won’t be able to achieve his goal properly. Hence how you do things is very important than have you done the things? & how fast have you done things? While making this project it was important to give due importance to the method of collecting the data for achieving the goal. This project is research-based project & the information presented in the project is collected with the help of primary & secondary data. Finally, the project has lucratively finished with various kinds of experiences gained throughout. It had been possible with my best efforts. 13
  14. 14. Approaches to e-learning services E-learning services have evolved since computers were first used in education. There is a trend to move towards blended learning services, where computer-based activities are integrated with practical or classroom-based situations. Bates and Poole and the OECD suggest that different types or forms of e-learning can be considered as a continuum, from no e-learning, i.e. no use of computers and/or the Internet for teaching and learning, through classroom aids, such as making classroom lecture PowerPoint slides available to students through a course web site or learning management system, to laptop programs, where students are required to bring laptops to class and use them as part of a face-to-face class, to hybrid learning, where classroom time is reduced but not eliminated, with more time devoted to online learning, through to fully online learning, which is a form of distance education. This classification is somewhat similar to that of the Sloan Commission reports on the status of e-learning, which refer to web enhanced, web supplemented and web dependent to reflect increasing intensity of technology use. In the Bates and Poole continuum, 'blended learning' can cover classroom aids, laptops and hybrid learning, while 'distributed learning' can incorporate either hybrid or fully online learning. It can be seen then that e-learning can describe a wide range of applications, and it is often by no means clear even in peer reviewed research publications which form of e-learning is being discussed However, Bates and Poole argue that when instructors say they are using elearning, this most often refers to the use of technology as classroom aids, although over time, there has been a gradual increase in fully online learning. Computer-based learning Computer-based learning, sometimes abbreviated to CBL, refers to the use of computers as a key component of the educational environment. While this can refer to the use of computers in a classroom, the term more broadly refers to a structured environment in which computers are used for teaching purposes. Cassandra B. Whyte researched about the ever increasing role that computers would play in higher education. This evolution, to include computer-supported collaborative learning, in addition to data management, has been realized. The type of computers have changed over the years from cumbersome, slow devices taking up much space in the classroom, home, and office to laptops and handheld devices that are more portable in form and size and this minimalization of technology devices will continue.[28] 14
  15. 15. Computer-based training Computer-Based Trainings (CBTs) are self-paced learning activities accessible via a computer or handheld device. CBTs typically present content in a linear fashion, much like reading an online book or manual. For this reason they are often used to teach static processes, such as using software or completing mathematical equations. The term Computer-Based Training is often used interchangeably with Web-based training (WBT) with the primary difference being the delivery method. Where CBTs are typically delivered via CD-ROM, WBTs are delivered via the Internet using a web browser. Assessing learning in a CBT usually comes in the form of multiple choice questions, or other assessments that can be easily scored by a computer such as drag-and-drop, radial button, simulation or other interactive means. Assessments are easily scored and recorded via online software, providing immediate end-user feedback and completion status. Users are often able to print completion records in the form of certificates. CBTs provide learning stimulus beyond traditional learning methodology from textbook, manual, or classroom-based instruction. For example, CBTs offer user-friendly solutions for satisfying continuing education requirements. Instead of limiting students to attending courses or reading printing manuals, students are able to acquire knowledge and skills through methods that are much more conducive to individual learning preferences For example, CBTs offer visual learning benefits through animation or video, not typically offered by any other means. CBTs can be a good alternative to printed learning materials since rich media, including videos or animations, can easily be embedded to enhance the learning. Another advantage to CBTs are that they can be easily distributed to a wide audience at a relatively low cost once the initial development is completed. However, CBTs pose some learning challenges as well. Typically the creation of effective CBTs requires enormous resources. The software for developing CBTs (such as Flash or Adobe Director) is often more complex than a subject matter expert or teacher is able to use. In addition, the lack of human interaction can limit both the type of content that can be presented as well as the type of assessment that can be performed. Many learning organizations are beginning to use smaller CBT/WBT activities as part of a broader online learning program which may include online discussion or other interactive elements. 15
  16. 16. Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is one of the most promising innovations to improve teaching and learning with the help of modern information and communication technology. Most recent developments in CSCL have been called E-Learning 2.0, but the concept of collaborative or group learning whereby instructional methods are designed to encourage or require students to work together on learning tasks has existed much longer. It is widely agreed to distinguish collaborative learning from the traditional 'direct transfer' model in which the instructor is assumed to be the distributor of knowledge and skills, which is often given the neologism E-Learning 1.0, even though this direct transfer method most accurately reflects Computer-Based Learning systems (CBL). In Datacloud: Toward a New Theory of Online Work, Johndan Johnson-Eilola describes a specific computer-supported collaboration space: The Smart Board. According to JohnsonEilola, a “Smart Board system provides a 72-inch, rear projection, touchscreen, intelligent whiteboard surface for work” . In Datacloud, Johnson-Eilola asserts that “ are attempting to understand how users move within information spaces, how users can exist within information spaces rather than merely gaze at them, and how information spaces must be shared with others rather than being private, lived within rather than simply visited” . He explains how the Smart Board system offers an information space that allows his students to engage in active collaboration. He makes three distinct claims regarding the functionality of the technology: The Smart Board allows users to work with large amounts of information, It offers an information space that invites active collaboration, The work produced is often “dynamic and contingent”. Johnson-Eilola further explains that with the Smart Board “…information work becomes a bodied experience” . Users have the opportunity to engage with—inhabit—the technology by direct manipulation. Moreover, this space allows for more than one user; essentially, it invites multiple users When using smart boards information is able to be introduced to students in a new, fun, and engaging way. Teachers and/or students are able to draw on the board using different colors. This can help focus ones attention on particular areas of the screen. The marks made on the smart board are able to be erased. This makes it easy to show the information in its original form. When using smart boards teaching and learning become a more active experience for both the student and the teacher. 16
  17. 17. Locus of Control remains an important consideration in successful engagement of E-learners whether using the Smart Board or another E-learning modality. According to the work of Cassandra B. Whyte, the continuing attention to aspects of motivation and success in regard to E-learning should be kept in context and concert with other educational efforts. Information about motivational tendencies can help educators, psychologists, and technologists develop insights to help students perform better academically Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) Technology enhanced learning (TEL) has the goal to provide socio-technical innovations (also improving efficiency and cost effectiveness) for e-learning practices, regarding individuals and organizations, independent of time, place and pace. The field of TEL therefore applies to the support of any learning activity through technology. something a classroom cannot always offer. Communication technologies used in E-learning Communication technologies are generally categorized as asynchronous or synchronous. Asynchronous activities use technologies such as blogs, wikis, and discussion boards. Two models of e-learning have been identified in this case: (1) synchronous; and (2) asynchronous. The synchronous model resembles a classroom in which the instructor and the students are located in two or more remote locations. In-the asynchronous (or online) model, students are provided with remote access to course material through ICT. In the second model, the student is largely in charge of his/her learning, thus experiencing great flexibility in choosing the time, pace, frequency and form of learning activities. Some group processes also take place within this environment. Location has been 17
  18. 18. rendered irrelevant partly in this case. There are some institutions, which are of the viewpoint that traditional and distance education can and should co-exist in a single institution. This will enable students who are physically present at the institution on a regular basis to receive instruction alongside students who are only in touch with the institution via the network on a virtual campus. Finally, we may have an institution where the virtual environment is primary where activities like instruction, guidance and evaluation are all carried out entirely within this environment. Training and providing knowledge primarily take place in the virtual environment but there are, of course, physical setting in which those working in the virtual environment carry out some tasks collectively. This variation is expected to be the most common by some in the future. The social interaction that forms part of a young person’s development will take place not within the educational institution for the most part, but rather in the contexts in which the student lives and works. This variation is characterized by the overlap of initial and advanced programmes as well as learning and working which will appeal to some university-leavers. However, most will still prefer to carry on coming to their institutions, needing the physical and social environment to further their growth and development. Thus, it is quite clear that universities will not shut down their buildings relying primarily on a virtual campus and that the concept of a physical campus will vanish as far as the Indian context is concerned. The three options for deployment of ICT on the e-learning Continuum. Recently majority institutions in India match the description of the first variation, some like BITS, VTU, Amrita University, etc. which already have a virtual campus and some trying to create a virtual educational environment alongside their physical one. 18
  19. 19. The idea here is that participants may engage in the exchange of ideas or information without the dependency of other participants involvement at the same time. Electronic mail (Email) is also asynchronous in that mail can be sent or received without having both the participants’ involvement at the same time. Asynchronous learning also gives students the ability to work at their own pace. This is particularly beneficial for students who have health problems. They have the opportunity to complete their work in a low stress environment. Synchronous activities involve the exchange of ideas and information with one or more participants during the same period of time. A face to face discussion is an example of synchronous communications. Synchronous activities occur with all participants joining in at once, as with an online chat session or a virtual classroom or meeting. Virtual classrooms and meetings can often use a mix of communication technologies. Participants in a virtual classroom use icons called emoticons to communicate feelings and responses to questions or statements. Other communication technologies available in a virtual classroom include text notes, microphone rights, and breakout sessions. Breakout sessions allow the participants to work collaboratively in a small group setting to accomplish a task. In asynchronous online courses, students proceed at their own pace. If they need to listen to a lecture a second time, or think about a question for awhile, they may do so without fearing that they will hold back the rest of the class. Through online courses, students can earn their diplomas more quickly, or repeat failed courses without the embarrassment of being in a class with younger students. Students also have access to an incredible variety of enrichment courses in online learning, and can participate in internships, sports, or work and still graduate with their class. 19
  20. 20. In many models, the writing community and the communication channels relate with the E-learning and the M-learning communities. Both the communities provide a general overview of the basic learning models and the activities required for the participants to join the learning sessions across the virtual classroom or even across standard classrooms enabled by technology. Many activities, essential for the learners in these environments, require frequent chat sessions in the form of virtual classrooms and/or blog meetings e-Learning in India India is fast emerging as an e-learning hub, because of its ability to provide a large pool of a highly educated workforce. There are a number of other potential factors for IT outsourcing in India such as cost-efficiency, quality, technical support and a growing economy. 20
  21. 21. A large section of the population of India is technically skilled with good knowledge of the English language that can be used to create effective solutions in e-learning. These solutions can be cost-effective, as compared to other developed nations and also assures the same level of quality. A number of companies in India possess quality certifications such as ISO and SEI-CMM and meet international standards. Communication facilities determine the success of offshore IT outsourcing, and India has robust cellular networks and broadband Internet to facilitate easy connectivity to the rest of the world. The geographical location is also suitable due to the 12-hour time gap between the USA and India. Work can be carried out on a 24-hour basis and ready solutions are available the next working day in the USA. The Indian economy is growing at a rapid pace, with a number of companies investing in India and a large volume of jobs are being outsourced. The pro-IT government in India is also boosting the growth of this sector, with IT being a part of the national agenda for the government in power. Most companies view e-learning as a solution targeted to achieve business goals. Moreover the training costs tend to be cheaper than those developed in-house and viewed as an investment. There is also significant knowledge retention at the end of the training programs. High quality, e-learning solutions can be developed in India with the right technology and industry support in sectors as distinct as steel, IT, automobiles, cement and telecom. Industry watchers estimate that because of its advantages, India is bound to grow in stature as the hub for e-learning programs. About e-learning E-learning or electronic learning in India is gaining prominence slowly, but indeed steadily. This is due to the fact that more than half the population of India today is below 25 years of age and the number of Internet users are growing continuously. The tremendous growth of the economy in the recent past has also helped in the growth of online education in India. E-learning in India is specially popular with the young professionals who have joined the work force quite early but still would like to continue their education that may help them move up their career ladder quickly and safely. They find online education In India very convenient, as the nature of the course work does not require them to attend regular classes. Moreover reputed institutes like Indian Institute of Management, Indian 21
  22. 22. Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade are today offering e-learning courses. Thus e-learning in India makes it possible for the learners to pursue their education from reputed institutes without much hassle. Online Education Scope in India The scope of online education in India is actually much wider. Apart from proper course works, some E-learning portals in India are also conducting mock tests for various competitive examinations like engineering, medical, management etc. For example, the Indiatimes group has introduced the Mindscape test center where one can appear for mock IIT-JEE exams Online for making self-assessment. The Gurukul online Solutions, apart from providing various courses, set up a Jobs and Careers Centre (JCC), which, not only provides job-oriented vocational education in a variety of domains, but also provides career enriching courses via eLearning. They also offer Live Virtual Classroom connectivity to over 175 cities across India. Some E-learning portals in India are also providing tutorials for school students. Thus the reach of E-learning in India has expanded from adults to teenagers.The future of E-learning industry seems to be very bright in India as number of Internet users is growing in the country at quite a satisfactory pace and more and more reputed players are showing their interest in the e-learning business. In fact, if prices of computers become affordable and Internet speed becomes tolerable e- learning can work wonders for the country. Therefore, on this page, we would be providing information about all the online courses in India and the key players that are providing elearning solutions in India Online MBA in India Some Important Links : Onlineeducationhub - One Stop Destination for online education eLearning Development for National and International Agricultural: Progress and Challenges : Buenafe R. Abdon PhD Student ,University of Tsukuba, Japan 22
  23. 23. eLearning inAgriculture If education and capacity-building are critical steps for entering into the new global economy, e-learning should be considered a critical facet of basic development, an alternative medium of capacity-building and a means to people's empowerment » One form of distance learning, a type of educational situation in which the instructor and students are separated by time, location, or both. » eLearning typically involves the use of the internet to – access learning materials; – interact with the content, instructor, and other learners; – obtain support during the learning process » Allows participants to acquire knowledge, to construct personal meaning, and to grow from the learning experience. eLearning Benefits » eLearning provides learning opportunities in subjects not offered locally or where local offerings lack quality » Ideally suited for individuals who lack time for classroom courses. » Experiencing an online class gives students the skills required for lifelong learning. 23
  24. 24. Retailers Buy Into E-Learning » Retailers have been slow to adopt Web-based training, according to analysts. But more are starting to use the technology to boost sales, hone employee skills and make customer service shine. Training virtually offers more scheduling flexibility and costs less than getting everyone together, says Jeff Kristick, SVP of marketing at Arlington, VA-based Plateau Systems. The corporate e-learning market is valued at about $1 billion and growing at 10% a year. However, adapting e-learning to retailers remains challenging, experts say. Profit margins are so slim that some do not have the money to invest in iPads, laptops and other equipment employees would need. Another problem is bandwidth. Most stores have a T1 line or satellite Internet service used solely to transmit business and sales data, not to stream online courses to workers. In the future, retailers and other companies that use online training will likely adopt social networking methods. More online training for retailers will also be deployed by mobile devices. Retail Revolution ; There are compelling reasons why retailers are beginning to adopt this strategy to keep their workers informed:,Cost. Setting up classrooms and flying instructors to different locations can be pricey. Companies can save up to 60 percent of traditional training costs by using web-based solutions. The prices retailers pay to put learning online vary depending on the level of service. Citrix Online's webinar service charges Provo, Utah-based Nature's Sunshine Products $99 a month to host an online conference for 100 employees and $499 monthly for 1,000 attendees. Officials at Plateau say their online talent management software starts at $25,000. » The savings from online training add up quickly, One Sum- Total client, a grocery group, was going through an aggressive growth period, opening 20 new stores each quarter. "When it opened a new store, the single most limiting factor was getting new employees ramped up and able to do their jobs,". » Executives wanted to maintain the grocer's reputation for service by giving workers consistent training modules. Online training enabled the enterprise to open stores three weeks early, says, thereby netting "millions of dollars for the bottom line." 24
  25. 25. Flexibility. Once a retailer installs an online training system, a course can be uploaded and distributed Accountability. Retailers can track who enrolls and completes online courses, , a national senior executive at Brainshark. This ability is crucial for retailers such as Luxottica that must prove some employees are certified to do special work. In many states, for example, optical stores cannot operate without a licensed optician on the premises. "The more we can do to get our people certified, the better," Willis says. Going online also makes it easier for instructors to follow employees over time to see if their skills are improving,. . This process used to be done manually but can now be automated online. Retailers can use online tools to determine whether stores whose employees receive more training are posting better sale.. "You can measure their performance over time,". "You can tie the performance to goals and objectives." Turnover. Turnover is high at many retailers, but better-trained workers tend to stay,. Some corporate leaders "realize there is an opportunity to retain these employees by investing in their future." » in minutes. » Employees can take courses by computer, laptop, smart phone, iPad or personal digital assistant. On the sales floor, they can use cash registers or product scanners. For example, Wrangler announced in June that vendor Brainshark Inc., based in Waltham, Mass., had enabled the retailer to deliver information to sales staff through smart phones or iPads. » Sales associates on the retail floor must be "in sync and well-versed in our upcoming promotions and point-of-sale displays,", Wrangler's manager of national sales services. » Speed. Retailers are using online methods to get their staff educated quickly about regulatory and product developments, Docherty says. For instance, SumTotal had a grocer client on the West Coast that had to train staff in the pharmacy departments about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act's privacy rules. » Sending a video to each store and having each one arrange training sessions would take too long. So, executives posted the course online, making it easier and more convenient for 25
  26. 26. employees to access the information. The grocer then "decided to roll the training out to all employees," not just those in the pharmacy departments,. » Outreach. Many retailers are going global and need to have consistent training accessible in all locations. Today, Nature's Sunshine Products has 260,000 distributors in the United States alone and a line of more than 600 herbs and natural supplements. Executives find it easier to use webinars to demonstrate products and deliver employee communications than to send an instructor to many locations. "It saves us a lot of money," western regional manager. And, "We have met with thousands of more people in places we would have never been able to." Does eLearning Work? Research now shows that traditional classrooms and virtual classrooms are about equally effective overall. It’s not the medium that makes the difference; it’s the way in which the designer and the instructor use the features that are available Informal Education : » Online Agriculture Degrees - http://www.worldwidelearn.com/agriculture-degrees.htm » Agriwatch.com-http://www.agriwatch.com » ITC's eChoupal project -http://www.digitaldividend.org/case/case_echoupal.htm Non-formal Opportunities : Non-facilitated » AVRDC - http://www.avrdc.org/ » RDN Virtual Training Suite - http://www.vts.rdn.ac.uk/ » DFID - http://www.livelihoods.org/info/info_distancelearning.html » IRRI - http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org/ » Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture - http://cms.openacademy.ph/index.html Facilitated » Pilot courses offered by CG Centers, UN agencies, Universities » APRTC- http://www.sdlearn.net/APRTC/index.asp » SDLearn.Net - http://www.sdlearn.net 26
  27. 27. The future of e-learning in India Although e-learning has potential in India, adoption has been slow and will need a major marketing and awareness effort. According to IDC, the revenue earned worldwide from e-learning was $6 billion in 2003. That’s expected to rise to $21 billion by 2008. Nasscom reports that Indian companies will get revenues of $7 million to $9 million by end-2005. As is apparent from the above figures, the Indian e-learning market is still at a nascent stage. But thanks to an increasing emphasis on honing individual skills, e-learning is slowly becoming popular in India. State of e-learning e-learning permits the delivery of knowledge and information to learners at an accelerated pace, opening up new vistas of knowledge transfer. Early adopters are companies that have tried to supplement face-to-face meetings, demonstrations, training classes and lectures with this technology. “The adoption of e-learning in all spheres—corporates, schools, universities, etc—is low at present. The Indian market is not substantial when compared to the international market which is worth about $6 billion to $7 billion,” says Harish Joshy, Vice-president of LionBridge Technologies, an e-learning player. e-learning in India has been most successful in the corporate segment where it is seen as a means of achieving business goals and motivating employees. Defining e-learning strategy In an effort to reduce costs, many organizations, including higher education institutions, are looking for alternative educational solutions, such as e-learning – solutions that are less costly and more flexible than standard in-house or classroom programs. The University of Notre Dame and the University of Phoenix Online offer certificate and career development courses which include streaming video and other technology to help professionals obtain professional development skills completely online. Agreeing on what constitutes e-learning can be challenging as there is often the perception, albeit incorrect, that any workplace learning that incorporates technology is an effective e-learning platform. 27
  28. 28. E-learning is often defined in terms of technology. For example Welsh et al. define e-learning as the ‘‘use of computer network technology, primarily over or through the Internet, to deliver information and instruction to individuals.’’ Rosenberg shares a similar definition referring to e-learning as using internet technologies to deliver various solutions to learners. Holmes and Gardner simply state that e-learning provides us with access to resources that promote learning on an anyplace anytime basis. While the definitions of e-learning may vary, they all focus on a set of basic concepts which include learning, technology and access. While this definitional exercise may be interesting, Servage (2005) believes that our efforts would be better spent creating a framework in which to implement e-learning strategies than defining it. While technology is an obvious component of e-learning, educational pedagogy must also focus on participation. Those challenged with the task of implementing an e-learning strategy within their organization must find a way to connect the learners with the content, and offer collaboration while maintaining the idea of anytime, anyplace learning. Not an easy task. The next section will focus on just how to develop an e-learning strategy that addresses these challenges. Developing a successful e-learning strategy Planning The planning stage of developing an e-learning strategy begins with understanding the objectives or reasons why an organization wishes to establish e-learning an education platform. There are a multitude of reasons organizations have identified for establishing and integrating e-learning programs and curriculum into their educational structure. The appeal of offering anytime, anywhere access to learning, the ability to adapt learning to individual needs, the ability to increase collaboration, the opportunity to offer flexibility to meet student schedules, and the resulting cost-savings are often cited as primary goals for embarking onand implementing e-learning technology. Once such underlying goals and objectives have been identified, and support garnered from the various institution stakeholders, the specific e-learning strategy, which includesdecisions about learning management systems and delivery methods, should be established. 28
  29. 29. There are many strategies for delivering e-learning, including asynchronous, synchronous, hybrid-instructor led, and self-paced learning. A key to shaping which method to use is determining whether the institution desires to push information to learners through formal instruction (such as instructor-led courses), or to pull learning through to learners by utilizing team work, collaboration and self learning. The learning method chosen may depend on the institution’s basic pedagogical premises, but also is dependent on the return on investment for the institution employing a particular approach. Those involved in the planning stage will need to identify the hard and soft cost-savings of choosing to replace or augment traditional learning with e-learning. At the forefront of choosing an implementation and e-learning strategy, higher education institutions will demand to know how much money can be saved by replacing traditional classroom learning and training with a distance learning operation . From this view, e-learning is often seen as a business performance improvement tool or a way to benchmark educational program performance and processes. Institutions consider many factors when evaluating changing their education delivery approach, but program costs are always a key element. Walliker’s (2005) research showed that e-learning is less expensive to deliver in almost all instances, but when the student population is larger than 100, e-learning shows a clear advantage. 29
  30. 30. Informal Learning Informal learning is perhaps the most dynamic and versatile aspect of learning. Unfortunately, it is also the least recognized. Informal learning is a by-product of “information foraging” – “the human behaviour when searching for information was similar to that of the hunter-gatherers and animals in search for food”( Dürsteler, undated). Our need for information (and how we intend to use it) drives our search. Search engines (like Google) coupled with information storage tools (like Furl) and personal knowledge management tools like wikis and blogs present a powerful toolset in the knowledge workers portfolio. Jay Cross states that: “At work we learn more in the break room than in the classroom. We discover how to do our jobs through informal learning -- observing others, asking the person in the next cubicle, calling the help desk, trial-and-error, and simply working with people in the know. Formal learning - classes and workshops and online events - is the source of only 10% to 20% of what we learn at work.” 30
  31. 31. Blended Learning Blended learning provides the best opportunities for learning transition from classroom to elearning. Blended learning involves classroom (or face-to-face) and online learning. This method is very effective for adding efficiency to classroom instruction and permitting increased discussion or information review outside of classrooms. For example, a new product release may be communicated to sales staff through a three-hour workshop, followed by online resources and discussions for continued learning (without significantly impacting the work activities of the sales force). The rallying cry of educational techno-prophets of the late 90’s (“soon we won’t need instructors, we’ll learn everything online on our own time”) has given way to the reality that learning is a social process, requiring instructor direction and facilitation. Blended learning utilizes the best of classrooms with the best of online learning. Communities Learning is social (Driscoll, 2000, p.239). Most problems within our business environments today are complex and dynamic. Yesterday’s solutions don’t always work today. Problem solving requires different perspectives to create an accurate understanding of potential solutions and environment of implementation. Online communities allow people to stay current in their field through dialogue with other members of the same organization, or the larger global field. Communities strongly contribute to the flow of tacit knowledge. Knowledge Management Knowledge management (KM) is the significant challenge for businesses in a knowledge economy. KM involves the process of identifying, indexing, and making available (in various formats) knowledge generated within the daily activities of an organization. Some companies have found value in managing content, mining emails, and creating communities of practice. Tafe Frontiers presents eight categories of knowledge management: learning and development, information management, client feedback, knowledge capture, knowledge generation, virtual teams, communities of practice, and content management systems (http://www.tafefrontiers.com.au/i_r/progress.html). The duplication of KM and elearning concepts highlights the strong connections (and blurring) between these fields. 31
  32. 32. Learning Networks Communities typically form around a particular goal, concept or theme. A learning network is the loose, personal coupling of communities, resources, and people. It is the cornerstone of personal knowledge management. Vaill (1996) states that: “The permanent white water in today’s systems is creating a situation in which institutional learning patterns are simply inadequate to the challenge. Subject matter is changing too rapidly” (p. 41). The utilization of personal learning networks allows knowledge workers to remain current in their field. Work-based Learning Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) and work-flow learning attempt to inject learning content into the actual point of need. As an alternative to courses, this style of content presentation requires heavy emphasis on context, and the employee control in initiating the learning needed. This style of learning can be seen in many computer applications (contextsensitive help). For organizations, work-based learning requires a significant investment in resource creation and usability planning (in what situation will a learner want to know this? How should it be presented? What will they search for so they can find it?). Work-based learning is generally and enterprise-wide initiative. Impacting Factors Three aspects of elearning are important to note briefly, as they can influence all of the various categories (and are quickly developing into agents shaping the future direction of elearning). Ubiquitous Ubiquitous learning refers to “everywhere learning” (the internet or learning content follows people around). Core “knowledge pots” (work-related content, personal knowledge, internet) hold content and information. Various devices plug in and retrieve the information in the appropriate format (PDA, cell phone, laptop, or any other appliance). Ubiquitous learning fulfills elearning’s promise of “anytime, anywhere, and any context”. 32
  33. 33. Delivery and Tools -E-learning Tools : Tools for delivering elearning fit into various categories, significantly influenced by the development of communication technologies on the internet as a whole. A few examples of tools:  Learning Management Systems (LMS)  Learning Content Management System (LCMS)  Collaborative tools (aCollab, Groove)  Identity management and digital rights – still an emerging field, but as the success of Microsoft’s Passport reveals, end-users of communication tools require control over their identity. Digital rights tools (for ensuring learning content can be “legally” used) will also continue to grow in popularity).  Repositories – MERLOT is an example of a centralized learning content repositories, but many decentralized repositories follow the success of content sharing programs like KaZaA.  Voice over IP (VoIP) tools like Skype (http://www.skype.org) will substantially alter the communication landscape. Simple, effective social tools are critical for larger scale adoption of learning that represents the manner in which people work.  Other social tools: wikis, blogs, instant messaging are being rapidly adopted due to ease of use. Delivery type falls into two broad categories:  Synchronous delivery (real-time)- streaming, conferencing, and archived presentations  Asynchronous delivery (delayed time) through the use of LMS’, collaborative spaces, and discussion boards Impacting Factors These various learning categories do not need to function in isolation. A complex learning implementation will certainly incorporate different facets of elearning. During course design, learning resources can be tagged and made available for later use in work-based learning. The knowledge management system can be integrated with (and update) courses. Communities themselves can also provide a feedback loop to courses, work-based learning, and the knowledge management system. Ultimately, the value in categorizing the elearning 33
  34. 34. market is in detailing the entire market and attempting to incorporate as many aspects as are practical into a corporate or educational implementation. Virtual universities Countries without university education can access universities in other countries via the Web, a solution much cheaper than building university infrastructure. In underdeveloped countries, e-learning can raise the level of education, literacy and economic development. This is especially true for countries where technical education is expensive, opportunities are limited, and economic disparities exist. However, one of the problems with e-learning in India is the lack of course content, especially outside the mainstream focus areas of IT education, English-language content, and tutorial-like courses. There will be high demand for people who can develop multi-lingual courseware that addresses various topics. Gartner says that one of the top 10 positions among Global 1000 companies of the future will be that of an online learning designer. 34
  35. 35. LionBridge has recognised two types of requirements for e-learning—one is a catalogue for courses which is quite generic in nature and can be used by everyone; for example, a course on Microsoft Excel or PowerPoint. The second type is customised development such as product training for a specific customer. A traditional We wish to learning reach structure does to not guarantee computer user the delivery of who wishes to a create his own consistent out every message, content, whereas enhance consistency is using assured in e- multimedia, learning and Albert Lewis with Head Products, Gautam Strategy Goradia & it share others Business Managing Excellence Director Tata Remittag Interactive Software Services 35 it
  36. 36. Advantages of e-learning Nothing can replace traditional classroom teaching, but e-learning complements the process and can help reach out to the masses. Says Gautam Goradia, Managing Director of Remittag Software Company, “There are several companies that are working towards elearning in India. Our product focus is on providing simple, cost-effective e-learning tools for individuals. We wish to reach out to every computer user who wishes to create his own content, enhance it using multimedia, append to it as and when information changes, share it with others, and make effective use of the same for self-learning as well as to teach others.” The biggest advantage of e-learning lies in its ability to cover distances. For an organisation that is spread across multiple locations, traditional training becomes a constraint. All trainees need to come to a classroom to get trained. Additionally, the trainee’s learning pace is not addressed as all trainees are treated as having equal abilities and there is little flexibility in terms of timing and completion of the course “The major advantage is the consistency that e-learning provides. e-learning is selfpaced, and learning is done at the learner’s pace. The content can be repeated until it is understood by the trainee. It can be made compelling and interesting with multimedia, and the trainee can be given multiple learning paths depending on his or her needs,” explains Joshy. Albert Lewis, Head, Products, Strategy and Business Excellence, Tata Interactive Services (TIS), points out that “A traditional learning structure does not guarantee the delivery of a consistent message, whereas consistency is assured in e-learning.” 36
  37. 37. Trends in e-learning Business-to-employee Companies will build B2E initiatives will address e- intranets or corporate portals to learning conduct business with employees, and provide them self-service for access to benefits, forms and information. B2E capabilities will become increasingly important tools for recruitment, retention, and employee-relationship management. e-learning will extend to CRM initiatives might include customers customer education. According to Gartner, companies can use elearning to introduce new products, educate customers in self-service techniques, and compare competitors’ products and services. Simulation, gaming and Research shows that interactivity will enrich understanding e-learning improves when they learn by and student retention experience. Technologies such as collaboration, modelling, interactivity, simulations, virtual reality interfaces and gaming will help students experience the skill while being taught. There will never Along be with technologies and business practices, some skills are enough of the right skills changing so quickly that they’re 37
  38. 38. outdated within a few months of introduction. number and In addition, range of the skills required of the average employee is increasing. Every person a creator In a market such as India where the concept is still new, one crucial element that will make a difference in generating a good response is marketing. This not only holds true for segments such as government and education, but for the corporate sector as well. Experts are of the view that there needs to be a mindset for the adoption of e-learning. The other point is content. If content providers are giving off-the-shelf content, there should be scope for customisation since each organisation has its own needs. Goradia believes that every individual must be treated as a potential creator of content. Each one of us must have specialised tools that would help us create well-structured content, allow us to append information, and not make us totally dependent on external sources for content. Bottomline: the Indian market is still young, but it will continue to adopt the concept of elearning in order to meet its communication needs and seize business opportunities. Competitive advantage of e-learning E-learning was identified as a tool for the support of the knowledge creation process. Urdan and Weggen (2000) identified a paradigm shift in the way education is looked at and delivered and the emergence of a knowledge-based economy, and huge knowledge gaps as significant trends that have given rise to e-learning. A new industry, which is coming up, has revolutionized higher education. Whether it is called distance education, asynchronous studies, online instruction or e-learning, IBT has gained a significant foothold in the realm of professional education. In addition to the time and geographic flexibility, its modalities can be changed to fit the need of the user (Beck and Gary, 2004). The very question that traditional face-to-face teaching is the best has been challenged and questioned (Harasim et al., 1998). As per Hiltz et al. (1999) online education can be instrumental in achieving high rates of learner participation and 38
  39. 39. group interaction which cannot be offered by traditional teaching. Traditional institutions offering higher education that we know of are structures of concrete E-learning Career : Job Specification advertisement Senior Instructional Designers - Pune - Harbinger Group Harbinger Group is a global provider of software products and services since 1990.The Harbinger Group companies are Harbinger Systems and Harbinger Knowledge Products. Harbinger Knowledge Products, the innovator of award-winning products and services, is recognized as a global leader in the e-learning space. Harbinger Group serves customers in over 40 countries through its offices in Pune (India), Redmond (WA, USA), San Jose (CA, USA), London (UK) and through its partner network worldwide. Our core values are: Innovate, Partner and Excel. The Harbinger philosophy is to create value for its clients through a culture of continuous learning, respect for the individual, and innovation. Currently we are looking for professionals in the following positions. Position: Sr.InstructionalDesigner Experience: More than 4years No of open positions: 2 Candidate Profile: The candidate should: 1. Be able to analyze client requirements and translate them into course design for effective learning 39
  40. 40. 2. Be able to design the Course Outline as per the learning objectives and develop training material meeting the same 3. Have good knowledge of Instructional Design and Storyboarding. This includes ability to  Research, analyze, design, develop, customize instructional materials for WBT/CBT/ILT  Work with different types of input material to create instructional content  Apply various Instructional strategies, models and theories to content  Use templates in developing instructional materials.  Visualize  Have knowledge of industry standards, such as AICC, SCORM & 503. 4. Be responsible for the work quality and performance of the team 5. Have led an ID team of 4 to 8 people 6. Be able to interface with cross functional teams 7. Be able to work with Account Managers and/or Marketing team to analyze project requirement with the clients and suggest solutions 8. Have more than 3 years experience in a similar role 9. Be proficient with MS Office, specifically MS Word and PowerPoint. 10. Demonstrate effective English speaking, writing and presentation skills 11. Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills 40
  41. 41. 41
  42. 42. E-learning solutions Technology New technologies are transforming how and when we learn. Children in some cities in Arkansas can complete their homework on the school bus thanks to the installation of WiFi technology within the school transportation system (Ramirez, 2008). Commuters using public transportation may find themselves taking advantage of free internet access on their daily commutes as more and more public bus systems are offering free WiFi to their passengers. Car dealerships, restaurants, libraries, and doctor’s offices are installing wireless internet technology in an effort to lure customers to their places of business. The accessibility of technology has added to the pressure for organizations to implement technology in order to gain or maintain a competitive advantage. And higher education has not been immune from this trend. E-learning is dependent on technology to deliver instructional content. Institutions must make decisions about technology issues prior to implementing an e-learning strategy. Beyond the obvious questions of what type and how much hardware, software and 42
  43. 43. bandwidth will be needed, institutions must consider how the new technology will be supported. An institution’s current information technology group may not have the proper training or credentials to support the implementation of new technology. Considerations will have to be given as to how to will handle the technology and security issues that are bound to arise. Technology issues for implementing e-learning go beyond reviewing different learning management systems. Institutions must determine how to use technology (namely the internet) as a teaching tool framed within their particular learning pedagogy Before moving on to the development stage, these questions should be considered: B What hardware and software will be needed to accomplish the objectives? How will the increased need for bandwidth be handled? What security measures must be employed? B How will users (internal and external) of the technology be supported? How will training be implemented? B What technologies will best promote the institution’s educational philosophy and pedagogical approach? B Beyond the internet, what additional technologies will be needed to deliver our learning objectives? CDs, DVDs, podcasts, teleconferences, web and video conferences, white boards? E-learning technologies continue to expand. Today, computer and Internet technologies are more integrated with professional, academic, and personal lives. Instructional designers have access to more and more new flexible technologies, as do learners have a multitude of choices and a Masters in Instructional Design is one avenue of getting there. These technologies are opening ways for courses, seminars, discussion forums and other approaches to learning to be delivered online with innovative ways to interact with instructors and other students. The following are different learning technologies in use today. Various tools are used in e-learning environments. • Electronic Portfolios (ePortfolios) • Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) • Personal digital assistants (PDAs) • MP3 Players • CD-ROM 43
  44. 44. • Web sites • Web 2.0 tools • Discussion and bulletin boards • Collaborative software • e-mail • Blogs • Wiki • Chats • Computer aided testing and assessment • Educational animation, simulation, and games • Learning Management Systems (LMS) • Podcasts While participating in online courses, students use various technology resources for example online lecture environments, testing and assessment, discussion boards, and chat, audio, and video conferencing Web 2.0 tools are also being integrated into more lessons depending on the actual subject area and instructional strategies employed. Learners also become familiar with the research, and practice of online. In addition students may explore current and future technologies and learning systems which impact elearning development, management, and implementation. E-learning goes beyond digital technologies. It is about learners and educators using technology systems to support social interactions and learning. While computers, information technology, and other digital technologies increasingly play an increasing role in education, elearning often works best when it is combined with face-to-face classroom experience. New e-learning technology continues to become increasingly accessed and implemented by people of all walks of life. Increasingly, the technologies are becoming more integrated as an invisible and ubiquitous part of a global system. E-learning technologies and advancements have made educational design an important skill for corporate trainers and adult educators to have. A well-designed learning environment helps to improve learning by making information and instructional content available and accessible anytime, from anywhere. Corporate and e-learning trainers and others who are responsible for 44
  45. 45. designing instruction for adults learners must keep pace with changing training and education technology to infuse e-learning into teaching and instructional models. what is E-learning? E-learning standards are constantly evolving, like it or not you have to be geared up to educate yourself about developments among the standards organizations that create the guidelines as well the suppliers that use them to develop their products to be successful in the e-learning world E-Learning Standards Any one stepping into the world of e-learning and LMS is bewildered by the question of standards what they are and what do they do and why they are needed and how are they formed. So here goes in the most simplest of terms…………… What are e-learning standards? E-Learning standards are a set of common rules for content, authoring software and Learning Management Systems (LMSs). These rules or specifications specify how courses can be created and delivered over multiple platforms so that they all operate seamlessly together. How are Standards Formed? Before a rule can become a “standard,” it is called a “specification.” Specification is a detailed, exact statement of the functional requirements and particulars for something to be built, installed, or manufactured. Some specifications are further developed to the status of an accredited standard; it has to pass certain criteria to become an accepted standard. There are four common steps for gaining acceptance: R&D: Research and development is conducted to identify possible solutions. Ex The Learning Federation, overall research at universities, corporations, consortia, etc. Specification Development: When a tentative solution appears to have merit, a detailed written specification must be documented so that it can be implemented and codified. Ex AICC, IMS, and ARIADNE (Europe). Testing/Piloting: The specifications are put into use either in test situations or pilots to determine what works, what doesn't, what is missing, customer reactions, etc.Ex ADL SCORM plugfests. Accredited and International Standard Status: The tested and complete specifications are reviewed by an accredited standards body. If approved, the specification receives official 45
  46. 46. certification by the accredited standards body and is made available to all through this body. Currently, e-learning standards are being developed by four main organizations: AICC, IEEE, IMS, and ADL. Criteria’s for Standards? There are main three areas for a standard • Communication Interface or API—how resources communicate with other systems • Meta-data—how to describe e-Learning resources in a consistent manner • Content Packaging—how to gather resources into useful bundles Communication Interface or API - The communication interface is how learning resources exchange information dynamically. These standards allow different system components to share information about learners across multiple system components. Learner profile information can include personal data, learning plans, learning history, accessibility requirements, certifications and degrees, assessments of knowledge (skills/competencies). In addition, systems need to communicate learner data to the content, such as scores or completion status. Metadata- Metadata can be thought of as the subjective and objective data that describes the attributes and characteristics of not only content or “data,” for which it most is often noted, but also people, places, and things. Learning content and catalog offerings must be labeled in a consistent way to support the indexing, storage, discovery (search), and retrieval of learning objects by multiple tools across multiple repositories. Content packaging- Industry use of the term “packaging” often refers specifically to gathering and describing the resources for a course. Content packaging specifications and standards enable organizations to transfer courses and content from one LMS to another. This is critical because content can created by one tool, modified by another tool, stored in a repository maintained by one vendor, and used in a delivery environment produced by a different supplier. Content packages include both learning objects and information about how they are to be put together to form larger learning units. They can also specify the rules for delivering content to a learner. What Standards Do? The objective of standards is to provide fixed data structures and communication protocols for e-learning objects .This enables interoperability between applications, such as an LMS and third-party or in-house developed content, by providing uniform communication guidelines that can be used throughout the design, development, and delivery of learning 46
  47. 47. objects. LMS standards define LMS and courseware interoperability so that an organization can switch to a different LMS that adheres to the standards with minimal or no impact on courseware. Why we Need Standards? The e-learning industry continues to evolve, change and advance continuously, every day, and common methods and tools necessary to create and maintain content and infrastructure applications is critical, hence the need for standards. Common standards for things such as content metadata, content packaging, API, interoperability, learner profiles, etc., must be in place and widely accepted for the knowledge economy and the future of learning to realize this vision. Products that adhere to standards will provide consumers with wider product choices and a better chance that the products in which they invest will avoid quick obsolescence. Conclusion Learning Management System (or LMS) is a software solution that enables the management and delivery of online content to learners. LMSs are web-based to make possible "anytime, any where, any pace" access to learning content and management. LMS Configuration Learning Management System (or LMS) is a software solution that enables the management and delivery of online content to learners. LMSs are web-based to make possible "anytime, any where, any pace" access to learning content and management. Usually an LMS allows for learner registration, delivery of learning activities, and learner assessment online .Some LMSs include tools such as competency management, skills-gap analysis, succession planning, certifications, and resource distribution (venues, rooms, textbooks, instructors, etc.). Other than the most straightforward, basic functionality, all LMSs focus on different educational, administrative, and deployment requirements. 47
  48. 48. LMS Commercial & Open Source Recognizing the incapability of many companies to create and organize e-learning courses with appropriate content, a niche market was created that offered outsourced e-learning solutions. These companies take an organization’s learning content, and create, host, and supervise Webbased courses. They provide services to make the course content web based on their software rather than license the software to the user. While most systems are commercially developed and frequently have non-free licenses or restrict access to their source code, free and open-source models do exist. Open source and Web-based LMS solutions are growing rapidly in the education and business world. Characteristics LMSs can combine mixed-media training initiatives, automation and administration of courses, collect and deliver content, measure learning effectiveness and merge with other enterprise applications. Because of its ability to integrate, organize and standardize learning across broad organizational needs, the LMS model has been compared favorably to enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, which change a company’s back-office into a flawlessly functioning whole. A good LMS has the following characteristics -*Ability to combine training initiatives on a scalable, economical Web-base * Assembles and delivers content swiftly in several languages. * Measures the efficiency of training initiatives. * Merges classroom and online learning. * Incorporates other LMS. * Consolidates and automates administration. * User friendly and easy to learn * Maintains portability and standards: AICC, IMS and SCORM. 48
  49. 49. Benefits Learning management systems allow companies to plan and track the learning requirements and accomplishments of employees, customers, and partners. Within a company, an LMS can link organizational goals to employee jobs and competencies. It provides a catalogue of available and relevant courses, books, and training events. LMSs deliver content in classroom-based or e-learning formats. The system also has the capability to register learners for courses etc. LMS has mixed-media training initiatives,automation and administration of courses. Limitations An LMS drives/dictates the nature of interaction (instructors-learner, learner-learner, learner-content. The interface - generally is confusing for many learners. The key criteria in interface design should be what the end needs to do, but Current LMS interface designs rely on what the designers/administrators want to do. In limited ways LMS vendors have started extending tools that offer anything beyond simple content sequencing and discussion forums. As thinking skills move to advanced levels, artificial construction of content and interaction imposed by an LMS are limiting to constructivist learning. In Conclusion LMS is still the best e-learning solution. These limitations are not the end of LMS, with a few changes it can be made to suit the user end. As time changes the LMS will also evolve to be better and more user friendly. Blueapple a web development company offers custom elearning solutions include Multimedia and Web enabled training solutions 49
  50. 50. Learning Management System WIZDOM LMS —an efficient software package that addresses the training needs of an Enterprise; taking the process view of an organization to meet the organizational goals by tightly integrating all training functions spread over the whole organization. It enables you to conduct training cost-effectively in various sectors; Corporate, Publishing, Education and Government. This pragmatic software empowers your organization to conduct effective and up-to-the-minute training, critical for the success of any organization. The WIZDOM LMS suite of e-learning solutions incorporates sagacious features for different user categories — ranging from the administrator to the learner. Despite the fact that it’s easy to use for anyone around the globe, WIZDOM is robust enough to support global training initiatives. Revolutionizing Learning Management The WIZDOM LMS has, started a revolution with a new wave of Learning Management System that focus on efficient use of resources. WIZDOM outfits your training programs with easily accessible, simple-to-use, high-performance components with practical building blocks that play a key role in enhancing the learning process and driving improvement in quality. WIZDOM’s reporting feature lets you track and synchronize training initiatives to individual and organizational goals. This enables organization to develop an effective performance management strategy; leading to focused decision-making and competitive advantage. Advantages of the WIZDOM LMS: • Facilitates companywide integrated training systems covering all functional areas - result: desired information is available automatically in required areas. • Provides wide variety of reports and status to the management for taking quick decisions result: skill analysis and designation of various projects is made easy. 50
  51. 51. • Analysis and evaluation possible over any period by comparative study of reports - result: focused decision making. • Performs core corporate learning activities and increases customer service thereby augmenting corporate image - result: creates ability to face competition. Still More: • Consolidates training initiatives on a scalable, low-cost Web-based platform • Assembles and delivers learning content rapidly in multiple languages • Self-service uploads with ample storage for content and user data • Fully hosted, high-bandwidth, secure infrastructure, with 24 x 7 x • Easily navigable interface, tailored to accomodate your institute and branding • Measure the effectiveness of training initiatives • Blends classroom and online learning • Centralizes and automates administration • Uses self-service and self-guided services • Supports portability and standards: SCORM • Personalizes content and enables knowledge re-use E-lab digital engineering- 51 365 access
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  56. 56. Universalclass.com is an e.g: which offers several online courses which are picturerised below : 56
  57. 57. Universalclass.com Certificate- Given for Award verification and course completion 57
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  60. 60. Business Applications in e-learning Why does a manager have to think about it? Every manager will have to make decisions about e-learning in the next few years, if he or she hasn’t already. Why? The use of e-learning is growing at a tremendous rate. (Other site) E-learning is a fad. E-learning is being implemented in a growing number of companies. More and more young people graduating from Universities, polytechnic schools and secondary schools are being taught using E-Learning. They expect their employer to offer training in this way. (Other site) If e-learning is going to be effective, managers will need to change how they approach employee skill development. The IT department is going to have to put training requirements ahead of IT wishes. The training department is going to have to re-invent its approach to training. A high percentage of e-learning participants fail to finish their courses. Estimates vary from 50% to 80%. The main reasons e-learning fails are: 1. Training · Individual learning preferences · Poorly designed course · Substandard/inexperienced instructors · Lack of student support 2. IT - Problems with technology 3. Management · Lack of management oversight · Students don't have enough time · Lack of motivation 60
  61. 61. Training Department’s Business -IssuesMore efficient ways of Learning exist. Online courses can be designed to take into account different learning styles. E-learning programs can determine gaps in knowledge or skills in the users and programs, such as other online courses, coaching or other interventions, can be targeted for that learner or groups of learners. In spite of the hype about e-learning, most things can’t be taught over the web. In general, knowledge can be taught but skills (with some exceptions) can’t be. Training departments get seduced into thinking that there is an easy fix to acquiring content for e-learning. One quick fix is buying 100’s of online courses and announce the announce the new corporate intranet university – known as the “spray and pray’ approach. External content providers do have good programs but they have to be carefully screened. Another way is to put all existing course materials on the web and announce the company now has e-learning - “the dump and pump” approach. Developing e-learning program ms requires work. Courses have to be torn apart and reconstructed separating what can be taught on the web and what needs to be taught in other ways. Participants in classroom training tend to support each other in the learning process: elearning is a solitary activity. Mixing e-learning with traditional methods and using online team assignments goes some way toward dealing with this. Plusses The most obvious advantage is that learning can take place 24 hours a day 7 days a week exactly where and when it is needed or wanted. Many learners value this flexibility greatly. The training can easily be updated. Because e-learning programs are located in a central location and stored electronically, courses and whole curriculum can be updated quickly and easily. Classroom training or CD-ROMs materials have to be rewritten and reprinted. 61
  62. 62. Online courses are a great complement to classroom teaching and coaching and a terrible replacement for them. Information Technology Department’s Business -IssuesMany companies get caught up in the technology of e-learning and forget the learning part. The IT department does not have the competencies to determine what is a good course or what are good e-learning computer programs. To be most effective, Training, HRM and IT must come to a consensus about the best combination of hardware and software in the context of a quality training and development strategy. The hardware and software for delivering, administrating and designing e-learning can be expensive. The infrastructure presents problems. When the software is difficult to use or when course material takes too much time to download, students loose interest. When participants are not computer savvy they are easily discouraged. The IT department needs to provide 24 hour a day help service. Management’s Business -IssuesAn appropriate learning environment must be created. In the classroom the instructor is responsible for controlling distractions to the participants. With computer based training, the participant needs to find a distraction free time and place to take the course. The choice of who should go to e-learning programs is important. Participants in elearning programs who finish tend to be: serious, disciplined and self-reliant. They also have good reading, writing and computer skills to be successful. Employees often with good reason resists using e-learning and 1.Participants often have to use their computer at home and pay the connection to the Internet. 62
  63. 63. 2.Going away to a course, staying at a nice hotel, having dinner and drinks paid for, having mileage paid for, meeting colleague and having the opportunity to network while being paid for work is difficult to match with e-learning. 3.Management must actively support the e-learning process because the burden of learning is on the learner. Time every day and a quiet location without interruptions will need to be allocated for the learning process. Working on the course needs to have a very high priority. -PlussesAn important benefit is the potential cost savings. The costs of travel, hotels, and meals are reduced. Time away from the job is also reduced. Direct training time is unlikely to be reduced. The number of trainers and the time spent on training by in-house content experts can decrease. The business benefit is greater than the cost savings. By optimising the learning process the company can be more responsive to the market. 63
  64. 64. E-assessment In its broadest sense, e-assessment is the use of information technology for any assessment-related activity. This definition embraces a wide range of student activity ranging from the use of a word processor to on-screen testing. Due to its obvious similarity to elearning, the term e-assessment is becoming widely used as a generic term to describe the use of computers within the assessment process. Specific types of e-assessment include computerized adaptive testing and computerized classification testing. E-assessment can be used to assess cognitive and practical abilities. Cognitive abilities are assessed using e-testing software; practical abilities are assessed using e-portfolios or simulation software 64
  65. 65. E-assessment standards In order to create a mechanism for the sharing of high quality assessment items, global standards have emerged. The IMS Question and Test Interoperability specification (QTI) provides a common format for describing and distributing question items across disparate systems. Hand-held student response systems An area of E-assessment that has seen extensive growth in recent years is the use of hand held student response devices (often referred to as clickers or voting devices). These allow a teacher to carry out whole group assessments, polls and surveys quickly and easily. They use either radio or infra red to communicate with a central hub that is usually attached to a computer. In many school classrooms these devices may also be used in combination with an interactive whiteboard. Note on terminology Various terms are used to describe the use of a computer for assessment purposes. These include: 1. Computer-Assisted Assessment or Computer-Aided Assessment (CAA) 2. Computer-Mediated Assessment (CMA) 3. Computer-Based Assessment (CBA) 4. online assessment. Although these terms are commonly used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings. Computer Assisted/Mediated Assessment refers to any application of computers within the assessment process; the role of the computer may be extrinsic or intrinsic. It is, therefore, a synonym for e-assessment which also describes a wide range of computer-related activities. Within this definition the computer often plays no part in the actual assessment of responses but merely facilitates the capture and transfer of responses between candidate and human assessor. 65
  66. 66. Computer-Based Assessment refers to assessment which is built around the use of a computer; the use of a computer is always intrinsic to this type of assessment. This can relate to assessment of IT practical skills or more commonly the on screen presentation of knowledge tests. The defining factor is that the computer is marking or assessing the responses provided from candidates. Online assessment refers to assessment activity which requires the use of the internet. In reality few high stakes assessment sessions are actually conducted online in real time but the transfer of data prior to and after the assessment session is conducted via the internet. There are many examples of practice and diagnostic tests being run real time over the internet. -ConclusionLike all management decisions the use of e-learning is a compromise between benefits and drawbacks. If a company decides to use e-learning combined with classroom training, coaching, etc, blended learning, management will need to play an active role in the e-learning process if it is to succeed. 66
  67. 67. Bibliography http://elearning-india.com/content/view/280/26/ http://www.expresscomputeronline.com/20051114/market03.shtml http://www.about-elearning.com/e-learning-advantages-and-disadvantages.html http://www.e-learningcenter.com/e-learning.htm http://www.educationatlas.com/e-learning-companies.html 1. E-learnframe, “Facts, Figures and Forces behind E-Learning”, http://www.elearningshowcase.com/elearningfacts.pdf, August 2000 2. Linezine, “E-Learning. eLearning. “e”Learning. Elearning”. http://www.linezine.com/elearning.htm, Fall 2000 3. E-Learning Advisor Zone, “Advisor Tips: E-Learning”, http://www.advisor.com/Articles.nsf/aid/MEB0102TIPS, Feb. 2001. 4. Computer World, “Making E-Learning Effective” By Kym Gilhooly, http://www.computerworld.com “Why Online Learners Dropout”, http://www.workforce.com/index.html, 67

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