The rapid development of technologies has made online learning environment a huge platform for millions of students who want to upgrade their knowledge and skills ‘not going out of their bedroom’. Proponents of e-learning claim that it is more student-centered, accessible and convenient. It promotes independence and autonomy in learning, objectivity and clear assessment system.
Writing about web-based ESL classroom, Son (2007) professes the view that the right usage of the World Wide Web embellishes language teaching and learning. This research results demonstrated the positive attitudes of learners towards the online learning environment. All the 12 adult ESL students who participated in the research were given pre-created web activities and task-based activities which proved to be perceived as quite an enjoyable, helpful and convenient way of learning a language. Moreover, the study suggests the areas for further research and a strong necessity to develop more online ESL resources for students and teachers.
Pozzi et al. (2007) propose the study which looks into computer-supported collaborative learning environments (CSCL) and the effective techniques of tracking the interaction between teachers and learners. Participative, interactive, social, cognitive and teaching dimensions are analyzed via the corresponding indicators. Thus, the authors underline the importance of the collaboration in teaching and learning on a deeper level than mechanical checking and the necessity to further develop the instruments which help to evaluate success in learning in a more complex way.
With all its merits, online-learning has a few meaningful drawbacks, one of which is that it is not applicable to some ‘hands-on’ fields like medicine or handcrafting. Also, students in e-learning are too bound to technology, need to be computer-literate and have an Internet provider. Finally, online learning is more appropriate for adults rather than for kids whose autonomy and responsibility is not yet well-developed.
Being a distant Master student, I clearly see all the above-mentioned strengths and weaknesses in online-learning. What would you add from your personal experience?
Pozzi, F., Manca, S., Persico, D., & Sarti, L. (2007). A general framework for tracking and analysing learning processes in computer‐supported collaborative learning environments. Innovations in Education and Teaching International,44(2), 169-179. Retrieved from Taylor & Francis http://ezproxy.library.nu.edu.kz:2054/doi/full/10.1080/14703290701240929#abstract on 8, September, 2015
Son, J. B. (2007). Learner experiences in web-based language learning.Computer Assisted Language Learning, 20(1), 21-36. Retrieved from Taylor & Francis http://ezproxy.library.nu.edu.kz:2054/doi/full/10.1080/09588220601118495#abstract on 8, September, 2015