The use of video in teaching and learning is a common practice in education today. As learning online becomes more of a common practice in education, streaming video and audio will play a more prominent role in delivering course materials to online learners. This form of technology brings courses alive by allowing online learners to use their visual and auditory senses to learn complex concepts and complicated procedures.
Challenges and solutions
The New Digital Divide
In education, the digital divide is most commonly defined as the gap between those students who have, do not have, and know how to use the internet and the information technologies that are currently transforming education. Due to the affordability of many information technologies today, the current meaning of the digital divide is changing from having access to knowing how to use the technologies. In this way, the digital divide still challenges education and, more specifically, e-learning environments. In education, the digital divide has, most recently, become more about closing the gap between using the resources appropriately to obtain quality educational outcomes than not having access to the technology.
One solution to this challenge is for the instructor to implement a learning environment that encourages collaboration. Providing learners with the opportunity to collaborate, share, and create will increase the learner’s use of various technologies, enhance their e-learning experience, and support self-directed and ongoing learning
During this time, the instructor must consider the learner’s technological incompetence’s and accept various ability levels, willing to allow learners choice with the expected performance objectives given it results in the appropriate learning outcomes. The learner should ask questions, seek additional information from credible sources, reflect often, and interact with other learners in academic discourse related to the online learning objectives. Having an online community where learners can collaborate in a safe and respected learning environment will help close the gap of the new digital divide. Doing so helps to create a culture of digital natives conducive to effective e-learning.
Although student motivation can only happen intrinsically, creating the right online environment where students want to learn and feel successful is the primary responsibility of the instructor or course designer.
The primary role falls to the teacher to anticipate and prevent motivational challenges unique to e-learning to promote student motivation. One way this can be done is by increasing f2f interactions through a variety of technological modes. Online learning does not have to be isolated to email communication and web-based only classroom interactions. Learners often have anxiety about learning online and need to feel connected, reassured, and safe to contribute to their new learning environments.
E-mentors should provide various and alternative ways of interacting and communicating through such applications as Skype, chat forums, or discussion boards to help alleviate student anxiety.
Insufficient time spent on course development and design can substantially contribute to poorly developed online learning experiences and a significant challenge for e-learning instructors. The amount of time needed to design and implement a good design lesson online is an important consideration.
One way to overcome the challenge of time developing an online course is for instructors to collaborate often within their e-learning professional communities. Collaborating with other instructors should be spent sharing, developing, and creating. This collaboration and discourse help minimize the time spent planning and designing. A way to overcome the challenge of a well-developed overall course design should be addressed with the learner in mind and should include these general course characteristics: (a) opportunities for learners to collaborate, (b) a well-established protocol for communicating, (c) clear performance expectations, and (d) opportunities for learners to choose the mode in which assignments are created and presented.
For instructors and learners to succeed, these characteristics are essential to the overall course design and e-learning environment.
Even though today’s learners are digital natives, the use of technology for e-learning can be overwhelming and provide student motivation challenges; however, learners can succeed within these e-learning environments with the proper support from instructors. Finally, the instructor’s most critical challenge is to focus on the overall elements of a well-developed course. Developing a purposeful and well-defined online course that supports the instructor and learner means devoting the appropriate time and embedding the functional course elements into the e-learning environment.
ShareLook offers solutions to challenges experienced in live broadcasting. With ShareLook, you will be able to save, create and re-use content from your live events. You will also be able to assess the way your learners respond and make decisions.
- Taralynn Hartsell, Steve Yuen; University of Southern Mississippi, Yin Yuen
Video streaming online learning
- Michael Higley
March 14, 2014
E-Learning: Challenges and Solutions