E-learning can be a very effective strategy in teaching. It certainly is in its early stages of developments simply because of the presence of bugs and glitches here and there but those are definitely rooms for improvement at the same time . A lot of experts in teaching see online learning as a breakthrough in the field of teaching. Some educational experts even believe that e-learning or electronic learning would be the primary method of teaching in the future, perhaps not a decade from now but they strongly believe that this scenario would be a reality.
There are a lot of branches of e-learning. E-learning is simply the term used to describe all forms of learning and teaching that is operated by any form of electronics. Some advanced e-learning systems today utilize information management and communication systems, especially topnotch educational institutions which rely on networked learning for teaching efficiency and effectiveness. However, what is important to note at this point is that only a limited number of educational institutions support the use of e-learning strategies in learning and teaching. Some are purely against the idea while some are otherwise.
Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that it is, at this point, unlikely for administrators of educational institutions to prefer the use of e-learning as the primary method of teaching because according to studies such as the one published by Wan, Compeau, and Haggerty (2012), underdeveloped and poorly planned e-learning strategies, when used in large-scale organizational or institutional settings, could be more damaging and helpful. Meaning, an organization’s effort to convert its environment into a paperless one would be meaningless and turn out as a mere waste of resources if it is poorly planned and executed. Nothing beats a carefully planned strategy with a bunch of fail-safe protocols. In implementing a new educational strategy such as in using e-learning as the primary method of delivering a course, it would be important to be clear and precise with regards to the scope and limitations of its use. Part of that step involves identifying the target audience, assessing and optimizing the platform to be used in areas such as usability, accessibility and navigability, reviewing any legal and ethical issues that may be violated, and analyzing technical support requirements.
Identifying Target Audience and Rationales
It would be unnecessary or too obvious to state in this report that the target audience for the e-learning module I prepared would be those who are interested or required to know more details about journal clubs and the use of Camtasia Studio in preparing instructional video presentations. What is more important here is who are those people who would benefit more from the module presentation I created which will be delivered via an online learning platform? A more general question would be “which group of people would benefit more from e-learning?”
Perhaps number one on the list would be those who have too tight or busy a schedule to go to a university and be a member of a community and taught the lessons about preparing an instructional video presentation in a traditional setting. A perfect example of such would be a company executive or basically someone who barely have the time to go out and attend a conventional tutorial session for an hour or two. Joining an e-learning course has proven to be more suitable for individuals who want to learn a skill or basically anything but do not have luxury of time.
Compared to conventional classes, e-learning classes can be delivered using a variety of ways. One of the most commonly used strategies is delivering a lesson via a video presentation. More often than not, course-related video presentations are recordings either made by the instructor using only a camera and himself or in some cases, using software for video presentations such as the Camtasia Studio software. Those who have the time but still want to save more time and themselves from the trouble of travelling to the classroom also belong to the target audience of my e-learning module. Every day, students and conventional classroom instructors spend an average of 2 hours, to travel to and from their school and the same goes for interns, regular company employees and their bosses.
With the use of an e-learning platform, all that the enrolled participants would have to prepare is a computer with updated hardware components and software packages, a stable internet connection, and most importantly, the willingness to learn and be taught. This e-learning course module does not really target any specific population or group because it was made for everyone who wants to learn about the subject matter—Camtasia Studio.
Usability and Reusability, Accessibility, Navigability and Evaluation of Effectiveness
Courses prepared online have always been deemed to be as usable, accessible, and navigable as a conventional type of course. After some time, the reviewers and anti-e-learning courses that focused on the negativities of e-learning courses were proven wrong. According to Kraiger (2008) in his journal article about the process of developing and implementing third-generation instructional models, e-learning courses would almost always be more usable, accessible, and navigable than conventional classes. Remember the saying “once information becomes uploaded and live on the internet, it will remain on the internet forever”? The principle used in that saying is actually the same principle that could explain why it has been proven that delivering instructional materials via the e-learning pathway would always be more efficient. Aside from the fact that attending electronic classes would enable an individual to save a considerable amount of time, users who were once enrolled in similar types of courses reported that they were able to save miscellaneous costs during the span of their entire course. It can be reused for as many times as the e-learning portal administrator intends.
They were able to save the most on their gasoline and food expenses. Files uploaded on the e-learning platform would most likely remain there forever until the web domain or the servers have been put down or until the files have been deleted. It can remain accessible to anyone enrolled in the course as long as the platform administrator intends to. Of course he can add more instructional and training materials as necessary. This way, the enrollees would be able to experience a perfectly planned and sequenced learning which according to Zimmerman and Schunk (2001), organization of topics is an important part of teaching a skill or a complex set of principles because it kind of assists the brain to make things simpler and easier to digest,
Regardless of the truth that delivering lectures electronically could indeed be more time efficient time and resource-wise, it has already been established that delivering lectures in a traditional classroom setting is still the more effective when it comes to retaining long-term memories. There are actually many ways how to evaluate the module. For example, the module can be evaluated subjectively or objectively based on the type of information the administrator is looking for. If he would be looking for the user-friendliness of the module, then he should be looking more on the subjective side of the equation. However, there can be times wherein the subjectivity and objectivity of things collide and more often than not, a balanced combination of both is preferred by many when it comes to evaluation.
This idea that e-learning strategies are more effective than conventional classroom settings has actually been supported by various studies such as the one by Bechet (2012). She however argued that e-learning classrooms lack the ability to be flexible. The conventional classroom also allows a more complex and a higher level of interaction between a student and his instructor. Although training sessions and modules can indeed be personalized based on the preferences of the enrollee or the instructor’s we cannot really argue that more adjustments can be made in a traditional classroom setting. Nevertheless, e-learning courses have a fairly sharper edge when it comes to the amount of focus it gives on an individual user, the level of integration on different types of media contents which will more often than not be used for educational purposes, the level of personalization for user behavior and user engagement. Keeping these evidences in mind, it would seem logical to think that the e-learning module associated with this course requirement would be an effective intervention that would teach interested enrollees about the basic and advanced principles involved in the use of Camtasia Studio.
Courses that are delivered through an e-learning platform would always turn out to be easier to maintain compared to those that are delivered traditionally. The only thing that would bother the platform administrator would be the redundant hosting and domain costs and the automatically included electricity and other operating costs—internet costs, etc. As long as the administrator keeps the bills paid, there is no reason for them to worry about the stability of the platform because it will remain there unless they voluntarily shut it down. All the lectures and presentations uploaded there would remain there forever.
Input from Stakeholders and Interactivity Levels
The stakeholders, the enrollees and the instructors would have to know how to use the computer and the software solutions such as the Camtasia Studios software and of course, the Macintosh or Windows operating systems. They will have to navigate through a series of webpages until they reach the page that contains their assignment and other instructional materials. The platform would be password-protected so that only authorized individuals would be able to create new files, delete old ones, and edit existing ones. The interaction would most likely revolve around the students, and their instructors. They can interact using a variety of on-site tools such as an email box, a chat box, or even through voice and video calls.
The only legal issue that can be a source of concern regarding the use of the e-learning module developed at this point would be the use of copyrighted materials. There is a diverse range of media that will be used in this e-learning module and it should be included in the list of responsibilities of the instructor and the enrollees to observe respect for the intellectual property of others. Any published and copyrighted works that would be used for a course requirement should be properly cited using the referencing format agreed upon by the enrollees and the instructor. The authors of the works that will be used in the requirement should be properly cited and if ever a standardized works or those that are free from copyrights would be used, the stakeholders should comply with the fair usage policies. The observance of copyright laws and fair usage policies would be enough to avoid legal conflicts that may be associated with the use of the module or platform.
It has been hypothesized and proven in various studies that the use of e-learning modules will really be a great time-saver for people who want to know more about various skills, which in this case is about the different uses of Camtasia Studio. It offers a highly personalized approach in teaching albeit less flexible in terms of the adjustments that can be made than a traditional classroom setting. This e-learning module also has the advantage when it comes to the amount of focus it gives on an individual user, the level of integration on different types of media contents which will more often than not be used for educational purposes, the level of personalization for user behavior and user engagement. However, the learning curve involved in learning how to use the computer for e-learning purposes would really be a major disadvantage since not all people know how to use e-learning platforms, plus the fact that there are lots of e-learning platforms that are complicated in the market today. Nonetheless, e-learning modules and courses can still be considered as a great alternative to conventional classroom strategies. However, as we mentioned before, it cannot be a permanent replacement, at least according to the sources we have read, for traditional classes as of the moment.
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