The world today is rapidly progressing on the road to utilization, with the ever increasing number of technical applications that are used to communicate and pass on knowledge. In a traditional classroom, knowledge acquisition is limited to the information the instructor has and that which they can access. However, connecting students to the outside world enhances their ability to construct new knowledge.
E-learning is an umbrella term that is used to describe a wide variety of electronic ways that enable access to education, and the process in itself. These include: virtual classrooms, web-based learning, computer-based learning, digital collaboration, video and audio recordings, interactive TV and many more. Thus, e-learning is suited to flexible learning methods and distance learning. E-learning can however be coupled with face to face instruction, which is called blended learning.
The last decade transformed e-learning radically. In the early days, courses offered for e-learning were typically custom created, by groups of programmers who were aided by software creating tools. Advancement in technology led to the creation of worldwide web, making the creation of e-learning courses a simpler task, that anyone without programming knowledge could complete.
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Evolution of E-Learning
E-Learning can be classified by the ways in which it is shared from the instructor, to the student. An informal distribution form of e-learning is one in which the students are trusted to view the available course material, and are not tracked or tested, for completion.
In the formal distribution form of e-learning, instructors usually keep track and make recordings of learner progress and results. Most educational institutions that offer certifications for students have specific systems and standards for gauging the scores for students.
Learning Management Systems or LMS is used for tracking scores and to ensure that the students’ standards for each course are maintained. They are platforms that enable users to create good online courses; and also the students to be able to access these courses. These platforms are of different types and they have different capabilities. Some are free while others are offered at a fee.