Archive for January, 2014

e-Learning – A Necessary Part Of An Institution’s Course Delivery

Lakhs of students write entrance exams for getting entry into professional courses in India every year. The demand for these professional courses has given rise to many colleges in the hope of capturing a chunk of this target student base who can’t make it to top rung institutions. Some institutions are backed by corporate entities or real estate companies. However, this increase in the number of colleges did not actually translate into an increase in quality (in terms of knowledge, industry readiness, skills etc,) of students, coming out from these colleges. The primary reasons for this are:

Shortage of resources

Managements of colleges with deep pockets are able to provide good infrastructure. But colleges with limited financial resources find it hard to provide the needed infrastructure. But irrespective of the financial power of these institutions, finding good quality teaching faculty has been a huge challenge in recent times as there is a genuine dearth of quality teachers with professional and research background.

Industry exposure

It is difficult for lesser known colleges to provide early industry interaction for their students through internships or to get well-known guest speakers from the industry to come, speak and interact with the students. The reasons could be varied, ranging from lack of budget to lack of contacts. The troubles faced by the institutions are not limited to the above. But the end effect is many colleges are being forced to scale down courses or close down altogether due to lack of student enrollment.

With resources like faculty with background in high end research, quality teaching material etc coming at a premium, colleges are turning to technology to help overcome these hurdles. A Learning Management System is one such technology enabler for E-Learning and is an option being explored today by many institutions. Once an LMS is enabled across the institution, it is just a matter of acquiring/creating a courseware that can be delivered through the LMS. An e-Learning course enabled and delivered using an LMS solves the above issues in the following way:

Teachers need not be physically present for handling courses

If the institute can acquire quality material, this can be uploaded into the LMS, creating courses in different streams/areas.

Video lectures (recorded or live)

Record lectures once and deliver to multiple students any number of times.

Apart from the above, an LMS for educational institutions provides these additional benefits:

Students can study at their own pace

Students will be encouraged to put in efforts to go through the course or practice on their own for exams. The evaluation methodology has also undergone quite a few changes over a period of time keeping in mind the limited faculty time. Some LMS providers also provide social learning features to enable participative learning among students.

Reach of courses

College management wants to reach out to maximum number of students possible to offer their courses. This is true especially in case of distance learning course providers. An LMS for distance learning institutions that can help create and deliver courses online and can enable submission of assignments and quizzes online will create real value for these institutions.

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