Benefits And Challenges Of E-learning

E-learning is the process of imparting education with the help of a combination of tools such as the internet, a medium in the form of videos, audios, images carried out interactively.

With India gearing up for lockdown 4.0, academic institutions are in a state of quandary, with exams and curriculum in a limbo. To support jittered students in sustaining their academic ambitions and aspirations, many ed-tech startups have assumed the responsibility to deliver education to them through digital means. In the present context, the e-Learning industry is booming. According to reports, the global e-learning industry has grown 900 per cent in the last 2 decades and is expected to mature thrice its size by 2025 with a CAGR of 30 per cent in India, China, Thailand and Philippines.  

E-learning, simply, is the process of imparting education with the help of a combination of tools such as the internet, a medium in the form of videos, audios, images carried out interactively.  The most intriguing part of e-Learning is the simplicity of use and the flexibility to use it on-demand from remote locations, given you have a proper internet connection. This technology is now being used everywhere for a motley of people to encourage self-learning, provide supplementary lessons and on-the-job training among corporate entities and it doesn’t stop there. Let’s start by looking at how e-learning supports us all in our lives.

As previously mentioned, the most attractive benefit of e-learning is the ability to get information on demand. Be it a student, professional or individual, they can easily learn a concept, subject of their interest as and when they want. E-learning entertains all the whims of its benefactors by giving them what they want, whenever they want. 

Speaking whenever e-learning also advocates remote learning. For all those who cannot make the commute or migrate from their villages or towns can now opt for remote learning or popularly known as distance learning. Many schools, colleges, and universities are now taking their classes and courses online in support of all those opting for remote learning. Dreams become reality when an aspirant is conferred her/his degree without leaving behind their lives and livelihood. 

With the dawn of the digital age, the information boom has transcended industries and behaviour. Textbook learning and rote memorization is a practice of the past. The availability of the same information in various forms such as videos, audio, infographics, movies, images, a student with different learning patterns can select a tailored medium of communication to suit his/her needs. 

With an increased focus on personalization of demands, increases the engagement. e-learning platforms are catering to different market segments according to their preferences. Content for kids is generally made through videos and cartoons to engage them online. Similarly, content is tailored to meet the needs of segmented audiences. 

To manage and help aspirants in their growth, E-learning platforms deploy leading tech such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Analytics and NLP. Combined, these tools track the pattern in which a student studies and analyzes the information thus stored to create reports on how strengths can be utilized to address the weaknesses and subsequently enable a student to make the most of their course online. 

There are numerous ways e-Learning has transformed how we learn new concepts and interact with it, but there can be many impediments that hamper the smooth sailing of an e-Learning platform. The challenges to the cause abound, such as: 

In a developing economy such as India, there isn’t enough infrastructure to support a total overhaul of education online. e-learning is limited mostly to Tier 1 and metro cities, which have limited reach in Tier 2 cities. Tier 3 and most villages do not have the infrastructure to pursue e-Learning. Many places are lacking in proper electricity, internet connectivity and the tools required to access the internet. Many don’t have the financial resources to invest in expensive tablets, laptops or PCs. Those who can, don’t possess the basic know-how for operating a PC or the internet. 

In a country with a plethora of languages and dialects, creating a single platform that can entertain people from such diverse backgrounds is quite challenging. On top of the same, India has yet to achieve full literacy. Incorporating so many languages requires many hours of clever coding, which can sometimes even make the website slower. 

Many of those that opt for e-learning in the first place do so because of the flexibility remote or distance learning offers. But this is one of the biggest drawbacks as the same aspirants are not able to juggle their jobs and online courses together. Between pulling long hours at jobs and house-keeping, finding time to continue learning takes a backseat, because of which we see many dropouts from online courses. 

E-learning is set to revolutionize the way we learn overcoming social and geographical barriers. In the future, we will see professional degrees being conferred through electronic means. Online examinations are already in vogue. While e-learning cannot be substituted for traditional classrooms, it can surely supplement the same. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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