What Is E-learning?What Is E-learning?

Online learning (e-learning, distance learning, e-learning) is a method of obtaining new knowledge via the Internet in real time. At the moment, the e-learning industry is one of the fastest growing technologies in the world of education.

Due to its convenience, distance education is becoming an increasingly popular form of education. In the age of information technology, online learning allows one to solve one of the main problems hindering education and self-development - an unwillingness to return to "school desk". Learning through the Internet is great for those who live in remote areas, as well as for those who for certain reasons can not attend full-time education. The undoubted advantages of online distance learning courses are also:

The ability for the student to independently build a training schedule, as well as determine the duration of classes.
Free choice. The student chooses any of the available training courses, and also independently schedules the time, place and duration of classes. 

Availability. Regardless of geographical location and time, the student has access to the educational resource and course material.
Technological - use in the educational process of the latest achievements of information and telecommunication technologies.
Who is online for education? To all who are interested in their development, both professional and intellectual. Moreover, online education has become an integral part of the medium and large business. More and more companies are moving to online learning forms, as it not only saves money allocated for staff training but also allows staff not to break away from the work process. Also, e-learning is popular among students who are just beginning the career of young people and already established professionals who want to expand their knowledge in this or that field.

Basics of successful distance education

There are three main characteristics of a quality distance education program for adult students:
1. Course structure

A quality distance education program does not just copy the program of lectures, giving the opportunity to read them on the computer screen. Instead of simply duplicating the full-time study program, the course should be carefully organized in such a way as to purposefully involve the student. At the same time, many students begin to feel that they are more involved in the learning process than they have ever been involved, studying internally. The structure of the course should provide you with greater opportunities to manage the learning process than it would be possible with a full-time education. The course should be focused on the learner, allowing the student to set the course content according to his personal needs and tasks.

2. Means and methods of communication

The distance education program can provide a whole range of information delivery methods, including regular mail, phone | And fax, Internet, e-mail, interactive television, teleconferences, as well as audio and video conferences. Ways of communication should correspond to the most convenient for you style of training. Training courses can be synchronous or asynchronous.
Synchronous courses require the simultaneous participation of teachers and students and their interaction in real time. Means of delivery of information in this case include interactive television and videoconferences. Asynchronous methods, in contrast to synchronous ones, are very flexible and allow the student to choose the time convenient for him to work on the course material. Programs that use asynchronous methods of interaction involve the use of the Internet, e-mail, video cassettes and regular mail.

3. Support and contact with students

In contrast to the notions of many, students who study in a good distance education program should not feel isolated from each other. A qualitative program implies many methods and techniques for creating a true atmosphere of interaction. When choosing a distance education program, ask how students receive help and support from their instructors. Good distance learning creates the feeling that the faculty is easier to access than with the usual form of training. Make sure there is online support, chats and forums, online whiteboards, online stores and other means of counseling and student support.

by Steven Fry
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