All of us have access to the internet and we use it for many different things like researching for some information for school and college projects, downloading music, pictures, wallpapers, and screen-savers, to get updates on the latest happenings all over the world, emails, instant messaging, chats, and many other things. But do you know there is one more advantage of the internet, and that is learning? Yes! You can educate yourself in the comfort of your own home and get a degree through the internet now. With the latest technology, even the impossible seems possible now.
Web-based Learning At A Glance
Web-based learning is commonly referred to as e-Learning or online learning. It essentially includes learning online through the courses that are offered on the net. Emails, live lectures, and videoconferencing are all possible through the net. This enables all the participants to give their views on a particular topic and then discuss them further. They also offer static pages like course materials that are printed for the benefit of all the participants. One of the main advantages of accessing pages on the web is that most of the web pages have hyperlinks that will lead you to another page and thus opens up a vast amount of information on the net.
You don’t have the time to actually go to a University and attend classes. Earlier it would have been a major problem, as you wouldn’t know how to manage that, but not anymore. With the several courses available online, you can actually sit at home and learn. No more of waking up early and attending classes or that irritating class mate. Now take whichever course at peace and at your convenience. A web-based course would typically include course information, timetable, notice board, curriculum map, teaching materials like articles, slides, and handouts, communication through discussion boards and email, summative and formative assessments, student management tools like statistics, records, and student tracking, and also links to external and internal websites that are very useful.
But besides the benefits, are there any limitations of this practice? Let us have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of e-Learning.
Advantages Of e-Learning
- You are able to link the various resources in several varying formats.
- It is a very efficient way of delivering courses online.
- Due to its convenience and flexibility, the resources are available from anywhere and at any time.
- Everyone, who are part time students or are working full time, can take advantage of web-based learning.
- Web-based learning promotes active and independent learning.
- As you have access to the net 24×7, you can train yourself anytime and from anywhere also.
- It is a very convenient and flexible option; above all, you don’t have to depend on anyone for anything.
- Not only can you train yourself on a day to day basis, but also on weekends or whenever you have the free time to. There is no hard and fast rule.
- Through discussion boards and chats, you are able to interact with everyone online and also clear your doubts if any.
- The video instructions that are provided for audio and video learning can be rewound and seen and heard again and again if you do not happen to understand the topic first time around.
Disadvantages Of e-Learning
Well, there are not many disadvantages of e-Learning, the main one being that you get knowledge only on a theoretical basis and when it comes to putting to use whatever you have learnt, it may be a little different. The face-to-face learning experience is missing, which may matter to some of you.
- Most of the online assessments are limited to questions that are only objective in nature.
- There is also the problem of the extent of security of online learning programs.
- The authenticity of a particular student’s work is also a problem as online just about anyone can do a project rather than the actual student itself.
- The assessments that are computer marked generally have a tendency of being only knowledge-based and not necessarily practicality-based.