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The Power Of eLearning!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Weekly edition | January 29, 2020

 This week's top story is brought to you by Ms. Zarnab Shakeel Haq

eLearning or electronic learning is the expression broadly used to describe “instructional content or learning experience delivered or enabled by electronic technologies” 

(Ong, Lai & Wang, 2004).


Today, when people say “eLearning”, they’re referring to training on any digital device. Watching an educational video, reading an interesting article, or taking a quiz — all that is eLearning.

Nowadays, many individuals cannot accommodate or balance their work and home life, while attending day-time on-campus classes. So, to best utilize and manage time, online education is the perfect solution in this case. Gone are the days when the constraint of time, money or other personal reasons held the aspirants from growing in the academic or career lives. With the rise of online courses, the opportunity for a brighter future has also increased.

Higher education needs to ensure that we are effectively transferring the skills that will serve students well in our tech-driven and knowledge-based economy.

More people are doing online programs because they don’t want to stop their careers and quit their jobs,” says Ramesh Venkataraman, chair of Indiana University’s Kelley Direct MBA & MS programs.’ These programs are here to stay and they are actually going to be a very viable alternative to the full-time programs.” More and more schools are turning towards the direction of virtual education since it is the need of the hour.


The point to ponder is that the world is moving but we are not, since this mode of education is not quite popular in Pakistan. According to a report, only 9% of the population of Pakistan has access to tertiary level education while 70% of the masses are living in remote areas (Shahzad, 2017). It is the need of the hour to take an initiative to cater to the educational needs of such a large number of people and UMT can be the game-changer in this scenario by being an early entrant into this raw but highly advantageous field. Online course delivery is certainly the trend for all colleges and universities.

The eLearning Market Worldwide

As we all know, eLearning is convenient enough for it to be made available to students wherever and whenever they like; it was recently discovered that students who learn through eLearning, take almost 40%-60% less time as compared to students or employees that learn in a traditional classroom environment. Since it is available to the learner’s convenience, it means that an employee in training would not have his workflow interrupted. As you must know, saving time does not hinder learning, rather increases productivity. 

Projections show the e-learning market worldwide is forecasted to surpass $243 billion by 2022. A considerable share of faculty worldwide has shown willingness to support less traditional and more digital education models. About 65% of faculty supports the use of open educational resources (OERs) in teaching, and 63% showed support for the competency-based education system.

Students have also shown willingness to embrace digital learning technologies (DLT) and practices.  About 92% of students worldwide are interested in personalized support and information on degree progress. Students are also interested in the use of different devices in the learning process. As of April 2015, about 56% of students worldwide wanted their instructors to enable them to use their laptops in a learning context. In the United States, about 56% of students started using a laptop or desktop computer in the classroom on a weekly basis. According to recent statistics from 2016, the most common digital learning materials used in classrooms in the United States were online educational videos, educational apps or software, as well as research websites.  

 

 

Did you know?



The learning retention rate in a face-to-face classroom is only 8%-10%.  However, in an eLearning setup, this retention is increased to 25%-60%. While several may ponder what may be the reason for this, an obvious reason found was that students have more control over the schedules and processes of the academics. They are able to learn at their own pace.

The eLearning market is developing at an uncommon but highly promising rate. Online learning incomes were estimated to be an impressive amount of $51.5 billion in 2016. Moreover, around 78% of associations purportedly utilize a Learning Management System (LMS), which is a stage that makes eLearning conceivable and is generally known to all. There are presently more than 700 LMS suppliers in the market. To further elucidate the statistical data for establishing the significance of eLearning around the globe, in 2015 the market was worth around $165 billion. At a 5% expansion consistently, that paved the way for a nearly $182 billion market in 2017 and hitting practically $240 billion by 2023.


 Distance Learning Scenario in Pakistan

In today’s competitive world, one has to continue their learning process even in the later stages of a career in order to compete in the job market. In such cases, technology-assisted distance education is the most convenient form of learning. Furthermore, our younger generation is far more comfortable using computers, internet, and multimedia than their elders. The upcoming youth may be computer literate before they hit grade school (Qureshi, Shah & Zaka, 2014). 

 

The learners in Pakistan are zealous to engage in virtual education. According to a literary review on distance education in Pakistan, Allama Iqbal Open University and  Virtual University are the pioneers in the realm of online education in Pakistan having approximately 1.3 million and 150,000 current student enrollments respectively (Shahzad, 2017). Apart from these, other institutes like International Islamic University, Islamabad; Virtual Campus, COMSATS IIT Islamabad; Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan; Government College University, Faisalabad, The University of Faisalabad; University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; Islamia University, Bahawalpur; Bahauddin Zakariya University. Multan; Sukkur, IBA; Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur; University of Sindh, Jamshoro; University of Balochistan, Quetta and University of Peshawar, Peshawar have also taken small initiatives regarding online learning although they have not met with significant success. This suggests that Pakistan still lags behind in the virtual education domain having a minimal number of universities working towards this goal. With a population size as big as 200 million, Pakistan needs more distance education institutions and programs to educate the masses keeping in view the shift in tides of time.

Slowly but steadily, eLearning is becoming the new standard in education. Researchers proved that digital learning is more effective than traditional education methods. However, digital learning is far from ready to replace traditional education. This would require groundbreaking changes, as we’re not ready to remove human interaction from the picture. Right now, eLearning is a more convenient alternative in many cases, and with the development of new technologies, it will gain much more ground.

Note that Lahore Garrison University signed an agreement with eCademy.pk to develop 14

High-Tech online courses with PhD instructors.


UMT-CONNECTED (WEBSITE) team is ready to help you develop online, blended and/or web-enhanced courses. We are there to answer any of your queries and help you establish your digital footprint in the world of eLearning. Connect with us to get started now! 

Thank you for reading!


 

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