Following the famous philosopher John Dewey’s saying, ‘If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow,’ the genesis of e-learning can be attributed to an effort to make the current generation future-ready. From books and libraries, the internet has widened the range and accessibility of education to e-books and online info-banks. This extensive transformation has been resultant of the ever-evolving technological advancements. In the e-learning process, technological infrastructure and content have been playing significant roles in moulding it.
Tech-infra of e-learning:
The present tech-savvy, or to say tech-dependent generation, are bound to seek technological support in every activity; and thus even in education. In a Pew Research survey, 71% of online teenagers said that the Internet was their primary source of research for major school projects or reports. Therefore, innovations have also been fast-paced in this stream with Artificial Intelligence (AI) based technologies running in the forefront. Learning analytics has been an ushering discipline that aims to improve the teaching and learning processes by evaluating raw data and developing in-depth conclusions on a student’s habits, predicting possible responses, and providing appropriate feedback. AI has also been deployed to address a significant global concern of linguistic diversity through Natural Language Processing. It involves the use of algorithms to understand various aspects of a language and thus deciphering meanings of commands and requests made in that language. Microsoft’s ‘Seeing AI‘ – an IOS camera application to aid visually disabled to learn the world around them by reading printed text, identifying objects, and facial recognition – is another apt example of leveraging computer vision and AI to support the wider society. The application, which initially was only supported in English, has been further equipped to serve in five more languages (Dutch, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish) by implementing NLP.
E-learning has also been widely influenced by content, leaving a notable impact on the learning process. The wide variety of content creation possibilities granted by texts, audio, and videos have proven to enhance the learning as well as the teaching process. In a 2019 survey, while 91% of the respondents opined that video content increased students’ satisfaction with the learning experience, 76% said it increased pedagogical satisfaction.
Advanced videos – The future of e-learning
However, the learning process has proven to be highly influential when conducted in a practical form with the learner’s involvement. Thus, future e-learning can be resultant of combining technological potential to develop practicality with educational videos, as studies suggest that the learners’ ability to control the learning process tends to be more influential than an instructor’s directions. By embedding interactivity in e-learning videos through multi-stories navigation using video branching, including varied language audio instruction through audio branching, etc., the learning experience can be made more practical and interactive. Interactivity can also add to the learner’s ability to control the video, as a study suggests that controllability tends to determine the impact of educational videos. Controllability on an e-learning medium can not only enhance engagement but also provide content personalization for the learner.
Manasa Chandran (Content Executive)