For years, many people thought that creating an eLearning course was just the matter of taking an old PowerPoint presentation and publishing it in a fancy player.
Many people have taken these so-called online courses, paid huge sums too for some of them too only to be given access and realize they are PowerPoint slides, some even without audio.
Which begs the question; what is eLearning and what is not?
Let us first define eLearning: “eLearning (Educational technology) includes numerous types of media that deliver text, audio, images, animation, and streaming video, and includes technology applications and processes such as audio or video tape, satellite TV, CD-ROM, and computer-based learning, as well as local intranet/extranet and web-based learning. Information and communication systems, whether free-standing or based on either local networks or the Internet in networked learning, underlie many e-learning processes”, as defined on Wikipedia.
Components of a standard eLearning system.
LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM:
An online course is often presented within a Learning Management System (LMS) requiring you to login via an account created. The LMS not only organizes your courses and course content, but also allows you to submit assignments and communicate with your instructor and other people in groups and discussion forums
The LMS and navigation are critical components of any online course. They provide a framework for Syllabus and grades and other navigation tools needed to facilitate the completion of the online course.
Online learners can be exposed to course material in a range of different ways. Some instructors ask that students read e-books, while others suggest ordering textbooks. You may encounter some of the following: recorded lectures, video presentations, slide presentations, podcasts, audio recordings, and slide shows, as well as images and other graphics on sites such as eTraining Institute.
Typically, students are free to listen, read or watch assignments on their own schedule.
ASSIGNMENTS AND GROUP PROJECTS:
Once students log in to the LMS, they should find a list of assignments and due dates. Most students will be required to submit papers as well as participate in and moderate discussion boards.
Participation in class discussions or seminars may also be used as an assessment and assigned a grade or points.
Presentations and activities of all types can be found in online courses. These materials and interactions are designed to provide you with the knowledge and experience you need to achieve the learning objectives. They prepare you to complete the course assessments.
Although some students might wish otherwise, testing and assessments play a significant role in the virtual classroom. The course will include assignments and/or surveys that you will be required to complete and submit for a grade. Your work is evaluated by your instructor, often with a grading Rubric (A rubric is a scoring tool that explicitly represents the performance expectations for an assignment or piece of work. A rubric divides the assigned work into component parts and provides clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each component, at varying levels of mastery), as a means of determining whether or not you have achieved the intended learning objectives for the course. Learning assessment can take place in many ways: Chapter-end quizzes, Mid-course and final exams, Presentations and projects among others.
Without most or all of these features, you might just be be paying huge sums for a scanned document.