What exactly is e-learning?
A few years ago the dynamically evolving, truly 21st century teaching methodology, e-learning, made its debut in the learner drivers’ education in Hungary. But what exactly is e-learning? How is it different from, why is it more than an e-book, or a video of a mindfully planned face-to-face lesson? What is the meaning of the initial tiny ‘e’ in e-teaching and e-learning? Electronic? Effective? Economical? Easy? Evocative? Or all of these?
E-learning is the application of the most advanced IT and educational methodology technologies in distance learning – it is the cutting-edge tool to study online freely and efficiently. Thanks to its efficiency and the rapid evolution of the IT infrastructure, e-learning is applied worldwide in a dynamically widening range, and is becoming a highly productive form of teaching mainly in the higher and adult education, and in corporate trainings.
Contents of the e-learning trainings are accessible via the internet. Beside the textual parts the efficient and in-depth learning is facilitated by multimedia elements, interactive animations, and situational practices. One of the most relevant characteristics of the real e-learning is the ceaseless interaction that keeps the learner alert and attentive while also provides a means of measuring and registering the learner’s progress and the extent of his or her acquisition of the required knowledge. An e-learning course can also quickly respond to and reflect any change in the subject (e.g. the change of rules of the Highway Code), whereas its continuous development, extension and perfection is also implemented seamlessly. Consequently, this teaching-learning method is much more than just a transfer of information via the internet.
The prerequisites of e-learning is a course and a learning management system (LMS). It is the LMS that identifies the learner (with secure, personalized authentication), stores the learner’s progress through the course and the results of his or her tests. It records the order of modules the learner follows in the studying process, supervises the preconditions of proceeding (e.g. the learner can proceed to the next chapter only after a successful final test of the previous chapter), and compares the time used versus available for learning.
What is needed to learn with e-learning?
If you can read this, it means that you have everything that is necessary to learn with e-learning, as all that you need is a computer and a web browser. The courses and the learning management system (LMS) are installed at the e-learning service provider, and are accessible via the internet so neither special software should be installed, nor special IT skills are needed.
Advantages of e-learning
You have access to the course anywhere and anytime, provided you have a computer and connection to the internet. There is no need to travel for hours to the classroom course thus you save time and energy. Moreover you can learn abroad as well. You take up your own convenient pace in the learning process which still remains supervised. The interactive contents, the interesting and real-life examples make understanding and learning easy and effortless. You have the means to check your knowledge to see where you are in the process, and how much preparation you may need for a successful test. Importantly, the progress and the test results are seen by the driving school, that is the provider of the course too. The bottom line is that e-learning realises distance learning, provides maximum freedom and flexibility to the learner, and is an up-to-date, objective means of supervision to the educational institution.