ICT Tools and e-learning techniques are very useful tools for supporting the development of learning, improving accessibility of the wider public, reduce the limitation of mobility and provide quality training overcoming distances and reducing costs. ICT Tool and e-learning techniques are much more than functionals and they can upscale the learning possibilities, sharing information, creative approaches and innovation in methods. The issue is always having clear why we use to support and being able to mix and balance the two methodologies and how to bridge them.
Before comparing offline and online learning communities, it’s essential to understand exactly why communities are such an important part of education.
Humans are very social beings, and there is a great deal of value in being able to discuss course content and resources with fellow students.
Without these community structures, education would be a very lonely place. Students wouldn’t be able to work together on group projects, help each other through tricky material or share their interest and passion for certain subjects.
Additionally, learning communities play a significant role in ensuring that students remain motivated to succeed. Within these social networks there is often a healthy level of competition, be it explicit or implicit. Healthy competition can help to keep students focused and dedicated to the task at hand.
Places to learn used to just be limited to the four walls of a classroom. Before the growth of virtual learning environments (VLE) like virtual classrooms or a virtual campus, learning communities available to students were very much organized in a physical space.
Learners worked with and alongside other learners in their class. Group work and course content related conversations generally either took place in class or during breaks. If students wanted to continue these conversations outside of class, they would need to arrange additional meetups to do so.
Despite the limitations of this, for many people, the warmth of face to face human interaction makes up for it. Friendships between students happen very naturally, which means that teamwork is often more effective.
One of the major benefits of online learning communities is that they are not so limited as offline communities. Students can drop into virtual learning environments (VLE) whenever and wherever they want.
In fact, many people prefer meeting in virtual classrooms or on a virtual campus. This is because many people feel more confident in communicating virtually.
Another great factor of online learning communities is that they generally offer a wide range of communication choices. Students can decide how to interact on their virtual campus; for example, whether they prefer to email, engage in virtual messaging or to join video chats.
Although in the past students have viewed the communication options offered by most virtual learning environments (VLE) as somewhat impersonal, the growth of virtual classrooms and video chatting has changed this dramatically.
It is then important to have clear which are your final objective for choosing one or the other methodology and what you would like to achieve.
How to apply it in everyday work?
Comment about these statements with your PRO and CONTRA:
Students enrolled in online training learn more than they do in traditional courses
Retention rates are higher with online learning
Online learning requires less of a time investment
More frequent assessments can reduce distractions
eLearning is the greener option
- How much do you know background theories about using offline and online methodologies?
- Which are your competencies working with online methodologies?
- How can you combine your working methods with new ITC methodologies?
- Are you investing in developing online working methodologies?