E-learning 'can be better than traditional education'
E-learning has many advantages over traditional forms of education, it has been said.
President of the International E-Learning Association (IELA) Dr David Guralnick explained these online learning tools enable people to practice tasks in realistic situations.
This can result in online training becoming "more engaging and more effective" than when a teacher stands in front of a classroom, as long as the e-learning course is well-designed, the specialist remarked.
It can involve simulations that are directly related to operations in the workplace, such as in retail spaces, he added.
Studies have revealed this form of education is "better than the more information-based approaches" that are seen elsewhere.
Universities could also benefit from e-learning and the "immersive environments" it provides, the specialist pointed out.
He stated chemistry students could experience a simulation that would enable them to perform experiments that would be too risky for them to try in the real world.
Furthermore, social networking can also be implemented in online learning courses, Dr Guralnick asserted.
He said this enables students to extend their reach "far beyond the classroom", allowing them to talk to people from all over the world, expanding their perspectives and networks.
Social media is continuing to get "more and more buzz as a way for people to benefit from the experience of others", the expert noted.
However, Dr Guralnick previously declared that challenges exist for organisations when they are branching out into e-learning.
Poorly-designed products can be ineffective at educating individuals and can often require people to merely "read text and click through pages".
In these circumstances, the software is viewed as boring and irrelevant to the workplace, which frequently involves practical applications and not "memorising facts", he added.
People who are using e-learning in their education should not consider it to be a burden but should appreciate the technology, Dr Guralnick said.