E-learning can be defined as the teaching process that takes place or develops on the Internet and through the use of electronic media. E-learning is the term used to simplify Electronic Learning, i.e., electronic learning, a concept that encompasses the development of new technologies and devices that facilitate teaching, as well as new propaedeutic methods and technology-based teaching techniques. It is also called, among other meanings, online learning, virtual learning.
In this sense, we must make a distinction between what is meant by e-learning (knowledge is acquired through the internet) and b-learning or blended learning (knowledge is acquired by combining distance learning and face-to-face learning). E-learning is a fusion between conventional pedagogy and current technology.
In this article, I will focus exclusively on e-learning and what are the multiple advantages of solely networked teaching and also like to make it clear that distance education should not be confused with e-learning.
Advantages of E-learning or Electronic Learning
The e-learning supposes a reduction of expenses very significant if we compare it with the face-to-face learning. In this type of online education, travel expenses, accommodation, academic material, diets, tuition, etc. are saved.
2. Speed and agility
The e-learning starts with the enormous advantage of being learning where immediacy predominates when it comes to getting the necessary information for any learning. The information is obtained at the moment and in an agile and very accessible way.
3. Just-for-me access
In addition to being able to carry out an apprenticeship at the moment you want, e-learning allows you a much more individualized and personalized type of teaching or learning depending on your pedagogical and technological characteristics.
4. Time flexibility
Another clear advantage of e-learning, as opposed to face-to-face learning, is that you are the one who can manage your own pace of learning. And you can do it at any time and anywhere, as long as you enjoy an internet connection and an electronic device. With e-learning, the always tricky time barrier is broken.
5. Electronic material
In e-learning, the paper format is replaced by an electronic format. Mainly it is an audiovisual material such as, for example, video tutorials or presentations.
6. Space barrier
With e-learning, spatial barriers disappear, since it is possible to carry out online training regardless of the location. It is what is understood by spatial delocalization.
In the e-learning the contents are the line, that is, they enjoy the advantage of being housed in spaces where they can be continuously reviewed and updated. And the benefit of this update is that it is not a unidirectional update, but can be done by both teachers and students.
The e-learning allows the learning of any type of teaching from a wide range of devices. With e-learning, it is possible to access any training from a smartphone, a tablet or a computer.
E-Learning allows something that in my view seems fundamental to me in today’s society: the reconciliation between family life and work life. The e-learning makes it possible for learning and family life to be compatible, precisely because it allows for the flexibility of the time to which it alluded earlier.
Authorization is a fundamental aspect of e-learning. The fact that the students can not have direct contact with the teacher who teaches completed e-learning does not impede supervising the student’s progress through tutoring. There are several ways in which a student can have a fluid contact with the teacher through email or video conference, to name two examples.
The existence of tutoring does not prevent, on the other hand, that anyone can learn self-taught teaching through e-learning. The proliferation of tutorials or video tutorials makes this possible.
12. Collaborative learning
Although in e-learning learning is mainly individual, this does not prevent certain types of teaching from focusing on what is called collaborative learning. It is virtual learning, but in which through a certain platform different people can carry out activities, debates, rains of ideas to put them in common.
13. Digital competence
In e-learning, digital competence is key to the correct realization of any teaching. This fact has caused that people who have wanted to train online have had to acquire some knowledge and skills of the tools of this type of learning. In turn, these skills are associated with dimensions such as access to information and adaptation to virtual environments.
14. Record of the activity
It is another crucial aspect of e-learning. Thanks to learning through different platforms, all the activity that is carried out is registered to control the learning that is being carried out by both parties.
15. Unlimited registration
Maybe it is an exaggeration to talk about the possibility of unlimited registration through e-learning, but it must be emphasized that much of the training offer is more flexible regarding the number of people who can access the same education or training, something that in face-to-face learning does imply an explicit restriction.
After these many reasons, I think the enormous potential of e-learning is clear. Even so, e-learning does not replace traditional face-to-face training, but both can coexist perfectly according to the needs of each one.
I will not deny that in e-learning there are also certain disadvantages such as lack of teacher preparation, as well as specific material, technological dependence (internet connection, device, and platform), the loneliness of learning, etc.
But I want to think that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages in this case. The objective of education must expand the windows with which we see the world.