Friday, January 31, 2014

Is Computer Based Learning Good for Maldives Schools?

A simple Google search describes computer based learning as 'employing information and communication technologies to deliver instruction. computer based learning is a term frequently used interchangeably with distance learning, online learning, e-learning, or Web-based learning'.

Advantages of online or computer-based learning
  1. Class work can be scheduled around work and family
  2. Reduces travel time and travel costs for off-campus students
  3. Students may have the option to select learning materials that meets their level of knowledge and interest
  4. Students can study anywhere they have access to a computer and Internet connection
  5. Self-paced learning modules allow students to work at their own pace
  6. Flexibility to join discussions in the bulletin board threaded discussion areas at any hour, or visit with classmates and instructors remotely in chat rooms
  7. Instructors and students both report eLearning fosters more interaction among students and instructors than in large lecture courses
  8. eLearning can accommodate different learning styles and facilitate learning through a variety of activities
  9. Develops knowledge of the Internet and computers skills that will help learners throughout their lives and careers
  10. Successfully completing online or computer-based courses builds self-knowledge and self-confidence and encourages students to take responsibility for their learning
  11. Learners can test out of or skim over materials already mastered and concentrate efforts in mastering areas containing new information and/or skills
Disadvantages of online or computer-based learning
  1. Learners with low motivation or bad study habits may fall behind
  2. Without the routine structures of a traditional class, students may get lost or confused about course activities and deadlines
  3. Students may feel isolated from the instructor and classmates
  4. Instructor may not always be available when students are studying or need help
  5. Slow Internet connections or older computers may make accessing course materials frustrating
  6. Managing computer files and online learning software can sometimes seem complex for students with beginner-level computer skills
  7. Hands-on or lab work is difficult to simulate in a virtual classroom
Based on the advantages and disadvantages, a parent or student can decide himself or herself if computer based learning is good for him or her. Every student is unique and computer based learning may be very effective for some students while it is terribly dull for the others.

Computer based learning is successful only when there is extra high level of motivation. Drop out rate is very high among eLearners.

Spend your hard earned money wisely. Invest only if you or your students are determined to succeed.