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e-Doing is not e-Learning

Posted on: December 20, 2011

In a Straits Times article, a Year 1 junior college student complained about the downside of e-learning.

At the risk of beating an old horse to death, I’ll say this: What the student described is e-doing, not e-learning.

This is teach less, learn more gone wrong. It is teach less, do more, learn nothing, give e-learning a bad name.

How do we solve this problem? Take away the e-doing and the attempts at e-teaching and focus on the learning instead. It is not WHAT to learn but HOW to learn that matters in e-learning.

Another way to deal with the problem is to integrate e-learning into everyday learning. This could mean designing blended forms of learning, avoiding dedicated e-doing days or weeks, and incorporating or taking advantage of informal opportunities for learning.

Collectively, these actions require a rethink and redesign of e-based learning so that it is seamless when viewed against other forms of learning. Given the right circumstances, this relook could serve as a catalyst for redoing the rest of the curriculum.

3 Responses to "e-Doing is not e-Learning"

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I find the meaning of e-learning is not very clear in schools.

To quote from Wiki, “E-learning is essentially the computer and network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. E-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual education opportunities and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self-paced or instructor-led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio.”

Many have the idea that e-learning needs/have to be done at home. It is not necessary so. E-learning, to me, can be done anywhere at any time. It is a form of teaching whereby the teacher does almost zero talking in class. The learning comes from various media for students to access and learn to meet the lesson objectives.

I have done a few sessions of e-learning in school by bringing my class to the computer lab and get them to access the online learning portal for their assigned lesson. The lessons are accompanied by worksheets so that they can fill in as they follow the online lesson. Before the class ends, I would briefly run through the worksheet to make sure that everyone is on task.

E-learning should not be thought as a tool to speed up lesson pace. From what the student had described, the e-learning lesson (assuming allocated the same amount of time as a class lesson) seems to be 3 times the amount of content cover during class lesson.

I am not in favour of zero work/assignments/questions to be included for e-learning. I think a few questions to assess students on the objective(s) of the assigned e-learning would suffice. Maybe a thinking question to arouse student’s interest to find out beyond the e-learning?

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Agreed! E-learning is not distinct from conventional learning but it certainly extends the possibilities within and without the classroom.

Hope things are going well with you in your school!

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