Classrooms without Borders: The Who, Why and How of E-learning
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Benefits of E-Learning in Nigeria
What is E-Learning?
By now, we all know that E-learning simply means learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the Internet. This usually involves an instructor or teacher delivering a course through an online platform where learners can interact with the instructor, the learning materials and with each other online.
Generally, online learning can take place with or without a teacher or instructor. Simply by browsing the internet and visiting sites with educative information and content, one is already learning. For example, as you are reading this article on our website, you're taking part in a form of online learning! If you've ever taken a course on Alison, Coursera or a similar platform, then you have engaged in E-learning which is also a type of online learning. Even though both terms are used interchangeably, this is the major difference between e-Learning and online learning - one is structured and the other isn't.
Now that that's clear, let's answer some of your questions we're really here for about E-learning in Nigeria:
- Why is E-Learning so important when we already have traditional schools? i.e 'What are the benefits of e-learning in Nigeria?'
- Is E-Learning competing with schools as we know it today and finally
- Is E-learning actually here to stay?
Why is E-Learning in Nigeria so important when we already have traditional schools?
The answer to this question is simple, and there are quite a few answers. One of them is the concept of blended learning. 'Blended learning' like the name suggests is a mixture of traditional face to face teaching with online lessons in the form of videos and notes. The obvious advantage of this is that it combines the benefits of both types of learning into one super-effective form. In this way, students can watch videos and learn at their own pace before a class and then when they attend a class, they already have a good understanding of the topic so the teacher is simply brushing up the rough edges. Many schools are having success using this approach to improve the quality of education they deliver.
Another answer to the question is distance learning. What if some of your potential students aren't in your vicinity? Schools use e-learning to reach students that are far away. This is why students in Nigeria can now attend or take courses from universities in Europe at a cheaper cost and still receive the full knowledge and degree. This is helping to make education more accessible and is one of the already existing benefits of e-learning in Nigeria.
Thirdly, as these Covid19 times have shown us, without a doubt all schools should have at least a basic e-learning infrastructure in place. Education is too essential to be left to chance like this again. Some schools were able to fully rely on their E-learning programs as the Covid19 pandemic forced schools into indefinite closure in many parts of the world. That's the beauty of technology - the flexibility and options it provides.
Is E-Learning competing with traditional schools?
To this, I'd say yes and no. Yes, because E-learning is creating opportunities for people to learn without having to enroll in actual schools. For example, I've been able to acquire several skills online just by enrolling in courses on learning platforms like Udacity and Udemy rather than applying to a school for a degree.
In doing this, I could work with my own schedule and learn what I wanted, saving my time and also paying less or nothing. This is the world we live in today and every aspect of life is moving towards this trend.
However smart schools have the opportunity to take advantage of this, rather than seeing it as a replacement. E-learning provides a chance for educators and administrators to rethink the system. By keeping up with the times and create e-learning programs that match their unique goals, schools are able to take advantage of this digital revolution for the better.
Is E-Learning here to stay?
The short and long answer is; YES.
Parents want the best for their children. Very soon, blended learning will be the new standard for quality education in most parts of the world. Innovative schools will be among the best and those who aren't flexible will be regarded as 'slow adopters'.
Who is using e-learning?
This is the sub-section we'll be focusing on in this post. Primary, Secondary and higher institutions use e-learning to supplement normal lessons and to achieve blended learning. Schools have a lot of unused opportunities to maximize the benefits of e-learning in Nigeria. Many use it to deliver holiday lessons, do assignments, group work, etc. In fact, it's applications are so versatile, we had to list it among the 5 innovative school trends.
Training institutes, Learning centers/Private Tutors
Organisations which offer short programs and courses are now enrolling a lot more learners using e-learning. With the right LMS (Learning Management System), you even have the ability to simulate a whole interactive classroom online. The possibilities are wide!
Companies, now more than ever are using e-learning tools to deliver online training to their staff
- Low overhead costs: You don't need any special devices to use e-learning. Just your regular PC or mobile devices and an internet connection.
- More effective than traditional teaching: Studies have shown that with blended learning, students have a higher retention than students who attended just traditional classes.
- Personalized and self-paced learning: Students can replay videos from an e-learning lesson over and over. They can skip topics they are already familiar with and they can pause a lesson to google a new word to help them understand better.
- High capacity & easily scale-able: There's no limit to how many people can take part or benefit from in your online course. The same video can teach millions of people very easily.
- For the sake of 'Going paper-less': Why? See here for our thoughts on that.
So what should you do right now?
How can YOU take advantage of the benefits of e-learning in Nigeria?
We understand making new investments in technology is always a daunting decision for many schools; even some of our clients at first. Schools we encounter are often worried about costs of investing in e-learning program and how effective it will be for their staff and students. After all, setting up whatever e-learning solution may involve some initial expenses. Besides that, you're not sure if you have the right audience for it yet. In Nigeria, your target audience/student base might not even have access to the internet! It's a classic short/long term conundrum that we see all the time.
Which is why we're available to help you decide. Let's work together to evaluate your e-learning goals. We look at your current situation, what you hope to achieve and the capacity you have to realistically make it happen. Then, with our expertise, we will help you succeed all the way.
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Talk to us about your e-learning needs and we'll help you succeed.
Elearningindustry.com suggests you should consider an e-learning solution if:
- There is a significant amount of content to be delivered to a large number of learners;
- Learners have at least basic computer and Internet skills;
- The subject addresses long-term rather than short-term training needs;
- Learners are required to develop homogeneous background knowledge on the topic;
- Learners are highly motivated to learn or will appreciate proceeding at their own pace;
- Content must be reused for different learners’ groups in the future;
- You have many learners from dispersed locations;
- Learners have limited daily time to devote to learning;
- There is a need to collect and track data.
How to get started
After you get in touch with us, we’ll evaluate your needs and propose a solution involving a set of tools tailored to your goals, content and target audience. We set it up for you and then train and support your teachers extensively in order to make the most impact. Get started
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