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  2. 2. INTRODUCTION: E-learning is an abbreviation of the term electronic learning. Electronic learning in its literal meaning stands for the type of learning carried out, facilitated or supported by some or the other electronic gadgets, media or resources. Judging in this sense, the learning facilitated by the use of an electronic media or means like microphones and listening devices or audio and visual tapes can be termed as e-learning. In this sense, e-learning calls for the services of the advance electronic information and communication media and means like teleconferencing, video-conferencing and computer based conferencing, e-mail, live chat, surfing on the Internet and Web browsing, online reference libraries, video games, customized e-learning courses etc.
  3. 3. <ul><li>NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF E-LEARNING </li></ul><ul><li>Empowered by digital technology: E-learning is pedagogy empowered by digital technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Computer enhanced learning: E-learning is a term which is used to refer computer enhanced learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology enhanced learning: E-learning includes all types of technology enhanced learning (TEL), where technology is used to support the learning process. </li></ul><ul><li>Online learning: Use of e-learning is generally confined to “on-line learning” carried out through the Internet or Web-based technology, with no face-to-face interaction. </li></ul>
  4. 4. 5. More then CBL and CAI: E-learning conveys broader meaning than the terms CBL (Computer based learning) and CAI (Computer assisted instruction). 6. More than on-line learning: E-learning is broader in its meaning that they conveyed through the simple terms like “on-line learning” or “on-line education”. 7. Not synonymous to audio-visual and multimedia learning: E-learning should not be considered as synonymous to audio- visual learning, multi-media learning, distance education or distance learning. Although the audio-visual and multimedia technology and distance education programmes are based on the Internet and Web services provided through the computers, yet these are not identical but complementary.
  5. 5. 8. Confined to Web-based and Internet-based learning: The use of the term e-learning should be confined to the type of learning carried out, supported or facilitated through Web enhanced instruction and the Internet based communications like e-mail, audio and video conferencing, mail list, live chats and telephony. 9. Exclusion of non-Internet and non-Web technology: All types of non-Internet and non-Web technology are not included in e-learning. Taking a clear stand on this issue Kumar and John (2008) write, “Though computer is used for instruction and learning, the non-Web technology thus not come under technology. The entire computer based instructions, computer managed instructions, integrated learning systems, multimedia, interactive video, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, etc. which are not delivered through the Internet but are still used for learning and instruction cannot be included in e-learning. However, these techniques, when delivered via Internet for instruction and learning, become e-learning.”
  6. 6. <ul><li>MODES AND STYLES OF E-LEARNING: </li></ul><ul><li>The essential condition for calling a particular learning as e-learning lies in its characteristics of delivering the instructional contents through advanced electronic means. While fulfilling this condition, various e-learning situations may be seen to adopt any of the following delivery modes and styles: </li></ul><ul><li>Support Learning: E-learning can play a more supporting role to the teaching-learning activities organized in the class. As a result, a teacher may make its use for his better teaching and a learner for his needed learning, e.g., they may use multimedia, Internet and Web services for their teaching and learning to enhance their class room activities. </li></ul>
  7. 7. 2. Blended learning: In this mode, attempts are made for making use of a combination of traditional and ICT enhanced e-learning practices. The programmes and activities are so planned and executed as to present a happy combination of both the traditional class room teaching practices and e-learning based instructions. Thus, one can reap the benefits of both the practices of traditional and e-learning. 3. Complete e-learning: In this mode of learning the traditional class room teaching-learning is totally replaced by the virtual classroom teaching-learning. There is no existence of class rooms, schools and teaching-learning environment as happens in the traditional setup of school education. The learners are free to take the learning tasks independently with the help of properly designed e-learning courses.
  8. 8. <ul><li>Most of the learning activities are carried out entirely on-line, but at the same time, they may have also access to the well stored information and learning packages available in the form of recorded CD-ROM, DVD, etc. Such type of e-learning activities may be found to adopt the following two distinctive communication styles narrated: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asynchronous communication style: In this style, the course information or learning experiences are passed to the learners through e-mail, discussion forum, Web pages, Web logs, wikis or through the recorded CD-ROM and DVD. As a result, the teachers and learners do not interact simultaneously. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><ul><li>Synchronous communication style: Here the communication between the teacher and students directly occurs in an online chat room or through live audio-video conferencing. It allows them properly together at a specified time for communicating with each other regarding the course material. As a result, a teacher can provide valuable information, lecture or share one or the other learning experiences with his students. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>PROMOTION AND ARRANGEMENT FOR E-LEARNING IN OUR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS: </li></ul><ul><li>E-learning is the demand of the time. We have to prepare our students and bring suitable modification and improvements in the prevailing system of our educational institution to face this challenge. The following steps for promoting e-learning are: </li></ul><ul><li>The first and foremost thing that need to be done is to develop a positive attitude towards the processes and products of e-learning. The students should be made to appreciate the fruits of e-learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide the need facilities for training and equipping the students and teachers with the essential technical knowledge and skills related to the operation. </li></ul>
  11. 11. 3. Provide proper orientation to the staff and students not only in terms of making them technologically capable for engaging in e-learning but also to have full awareness about all the possible advantages and gains drawn from such ventures. 4. Make provision of the Internet facilities and class room Websites for giving opportunities to the teachers and students to carry out the teaching-learning tasks using the mechanism of e-learning. 5. Last but not the least, make adequate provision for the availability of the technical support services to train and provide online support to both the teachers and students in reaping maximum benefits from e-learning programme.
  12. 12. <ul><li>ADVANTAGES OF E-LEARNING: </li></ul><ul><li>Individualized instructions: E-learning provides individualized instructions suiting to the need, abilities, learning styles and interests of the learners. E-learning has much potential to make the education, instruction and learning opportunities provided to the learners adaptable to their need, local need and resources at their hands. Thus, it is learner-centered </li></ul><ul><li>Easy access: The learner get access to learning by breaking all barriers of time, place and distance. The learners can access information and educational contents any time and at any place. E-learning is available even in areas where there is no school or college. It can reach any remote or far off areas of the country or world. </li></ul>
  13. 13. 3. Disadvantageous children: it is available for those with poor health or disadvantageous conditions that can inhibit them from undergoing any institutionalized education. E-learning enables even handicapped like deaf and dumb to learn. 4 . Qualitative: E-learning has a unique feature of arranging an access to unlimited number of students the same quality of the content that a full time student has. 5. Effective media: E-learning can prove an effective media and tool for facing the problems of lack of trained teachers, shortage of schools and needed facilities for providing quality education to the number of students residing in far and wide corners of the country. 6. Different learning styles: Unlike traditional class room education, e-learning can cater to different learning styles and promote collaboration among students from different localities, cultures, regions, states and countries.
  14. 14. 7 . Flexibility: The flexibility of e-learning in terms of delivery media (like CD, DVD, Laptops and Mobile Phones), type of courses and access may prove very beneficial for the learners. 8. Play-way spirit and learning by doing: Learning experiences via simulated and gaming techniques may also provide the advantages of getting richer experiences on the useful pedagogical footings of play-way spirit and learning by doing or leaving. 9. Interesting and motivating: E-learning may make the students more interested and motivated towards learning as they may get a wide variety of learning experiences by having an access to multimedia .
  15. 15. 10. On-line, Off-line and live interaction: The opportunities of having an on-line, off-line and live interaction between the students and teachers and among the students themselves may make the task of e-learning a joy and best alternative to the lively face-to-face interaction and real time sharing of the experiences in a traditional class room settings. 11. Self-learning and self-improvement: E-learning leads to self-learning. It can be utilized for improving technical and vocational skills. 12. Evaluation and feed back: E-learning can also provide opportunities for testing and evaluating the learning outcomes of the learners through teachers, peers and auto-instructional devices and software available with the reading material online, or through the internet and mobile phone facilities.
  16. 16. <ul><li>DISADVANTAGES OF E-LEARNING: </li></ul><ul><li>Requires knowledge and skills: E-learning requires special knowledge and skills for the use of multimedia Internet and Web technology on the part of the users. Lack of knowledge and skills on this account may prove futile in taking advantages from the valuable services of e-learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of equipment: Most of our schools are not at all ready, willing and equipped for making use of e-learning in the proper interest of the teachers and students. Leaving aside a small number of self financing public schools meant for children of rich parents, most of the schools in our country cannot even imagine for venturing in the area of e-learning. </li></ul>
  17. 17. 3. Costly: E-learning is more costly than traditional education. E-learning tools are very expensive. Their repair is also very expensive. Hence, e-learning is beyond the rich of most of the students. They do not have resources for purchasing electronic equipment. 4. Feeling of isolation: The feeling of isolation experienced by the users of e-learning is one of the main defects quite visible in any system of distance learning including e-learning. There is no face-to-face interaction and humanistic touch profoundly available in the traditional class room setup. Moreover the lack of social participation and community sharing experiences may prove handicap to the students of e-learning in their adequate physical, emotional and social development.
  18. 18. 5. Lack of provision for teacher training programme: There is lack of provision of equipping the teachers in their pre-service or in-service programmes for getting acquainted with the knowledge and skills required on their part for the use of e-learning at their work places. As a result, the teachers neither have any inclination towards e-learning nor have any competence for its organization in the school or providing guidance to their students in its use. 6. Negative attitude: an overall attitude of the learners, teachers, parents, educational authorities and society is usually found negative towards the processes and products of e-learning. E-learning is adjusted as second rate in comparison to regular classroom teaching.
  19. 19. 7. Adverse effect on health: E-learning adversely effects the eyesight and some other parts of the body. The learners become physically inactive. Sometimes they become victims of physical diseases. 8 . Lack of co-curricular activities: Co-curricular have great importance in the field of learning and education. But these activities are neglected in e-learning. 9. Technical defect: E-learning is based on technology. When technical defect occurs, e-learning stops. As a result, continuity of learning is broken and there is no progress in e-learning.
  20. 20. CONCLUSION: From the above discussion we conclude that e-learning is an innovative technique or a form of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) used in providing learning experiences to the students on-line through the use of Internet services and Web technology of computers on the same lines as witnessed by us in the form of e-mail, e-banking, e-booking and e-commerce in our day-to-day life. E-learning is also having some disadvantages which are discussed earlier. Inspite of certain defect, e-learning is very useful and it is becoming more and more popular