E-learning or e-learning has been developing, practicing and improving for many years. The topic is relevant both in the media and among the scientific and educational communities. Since the beginning of 2020, distance learning has become even more relevant.
Does e-learning need to be done? There’s a quarantine for everyone.
The human resources and resource problem is a long-standing one. Due to the acute shortage of specialists in the rapidly changing modern world of technology, companies have no idea whether they will be able to saturate some industries with people in the near future.
The system of higher education, which faces the challenge of training personnel for the digital economy, is also under serious strain. Declared indicators, which should be achieved in the near future, can not be exactly achieved with the current benchmarks for admission to relevant programs. Therefore, business and higher education institutions are in urgent need of radical changes in the process of training and retraining of personnel.
Optimists hope for progress in the development of educational technologies, and it is really noticeable – from simple tests, concluding video lessons or chapters of electronic textbooks, we are moving to complex platforms with built-in biological (in the sense of autonomous setting) algorithms of adaptive learning, which in real time change the educational trajectory in accordance with the individual characteristics of each student.
But so far the idea to create such an educational platform, which would allow a person to quickly learn a new profession and change the occupation several times in his life looks like a utopia.
Countries come to the introduction of e-learning in different ways. The idea of creating training classes for programmers accelerated learning courses in three months without prior preparation was actively discussed. We did not find much response to this idea.
A clear understanding of what characteristics an ideal e-learning system should have:
- It should be based on proven and best quality educational methods. Ideally, the system should act as an individual coach, who not only builds a personal educational trajectory, but also encourages the solution of complex problems, in time reminds and asks to repeat new material, suggests relaxation, noticing fatigue or superficial attitude to the learning process.
- Gradual transition from final assessment (when first familiarization with the material, and then the degree of its mastery is checked) to formative (verification is constantly to identify gaps in knowledge and provide recommendations for their completion) with the ability to continuously monitor not only the final results of learning, but also the entire process.
- Ease of use, a broad concept that includes both the now mandatory adaptive layout, scalability, opportunities for integration with other common systems through common formats, and the ability of the organizer of the training to make courses on the platform itself without using the developer company and third-party content providers.
- Distance learning courses should not be very expensive, but they can hardly be absolutely free. We can talk about monetization models endlessly, to educate them even more than for traditional mobile and web applications.
- Besides money, time should be taken into account. It is required for the development of the course itself (and here content providers can help), for its continuous updating, and, finally, the actual learning time.
A bit theory, but not boring
As in traditional education systems, one of the most important components is knowledge. The authors of the concept only call for closer attention to what knowledge is made available through modern search engines and which require more serious attitude.
But apart from knowledge, the model includes two other equivalent components: skills (a person’s ability to apply knowledge) and character – those personality traits that help us overcome difficulties, achieve goals, create an atmosphere of cohesion, etc.
Among the basic skills that can and should be shaped by e-learning tools, the famous 4Ks – communicativeness, teamwork, critical thinking and creativity – are highlighted. These are the skills that define our place in a rapidly changing world, helping people to adapt to new situations and successfully interact with machines and algorithms.
Character is more and more complex, because it includes the notorious soft skeletons, which have been talked about so much in the past few years, but to form them by the forces of purely e-learning is not easy. And here it is a question rather not of a universal platform for the formation of an arbitrary set of character traits, but a painstaking work on a list of those traits that we can try to develop using remote systems.
Meta-training. The development of our abilities is moving from private to shared. It helps to comprehend the learning process as such: an awareness of myself as a learner, a sober assessment of my level of knowledge, the ability to observe its change, a vision of my pros and cons, and most importantly, an understanding of why I am learning, what it gives me, how it will affect my work, perspectives and plans. An accurate assessment of my current abilities allows the employee to move forward more quickly and confidently, actually setting my orientation to growth and development.
There is no limit to perfection.
We see that the quality of e-learning is increasing. But we must take into account that some areas of knowledge are still not covered by technology. Augmented Reality Technology and devices such as smart glasses are high expectations of training system manufacturers.
In the last two years alone, a large number of startups have appeared that offer to solve the training problem through wearable devices. The principle is similar: a student/specialist wearing Augmented Reality glasses is controlled remotely by his or her instructor.
We admit that the quality of such training still leaves much to be desired. Electronically restore the environment in which the student could feel like in a real, with all the atmosphere, smells, sounds and all that in practice can significantly affect the result, not yet learned.
The situation where the medical student has learned the theory perfectly, has been practiced on simulators, robots equipped with sensors of hypersensitivity, but then in real conditions can not make the right decision or faints at the sight of the blood of a living patient, while remains beyond the control of technology.
It is not yet possible to simulate how a specialist can feel in the world around them, taking into account their personality and the characteristics of the outside world. This means that the topic of improving e-learning will remain relevant and will be developed from both a theoretical and technological point of view.