ICT enabled academic learning

ICT can be of immense value in improving the quality of learning and enhancing its reach to learners in different geographies. Several universities have included the e-learning component in their distance learning programs. Today, we have a variety of options available to different types of learner profiles. While some courses are completely online, some others blended the classroom experience with online content and virtual classrooms. Learners also have the advantage of using the Internet and social media to interact and reflect on their learning, making it not only multisensory but also collaborative. At the same time, teachers can be innovative in creating and using rich multimedia content to complement their teaching.

Extract from the book - Chapter 3 (section on Academic E-learning)

Key drivers support from e-learning in the context of higher education and distance learning:

Quality improvement: It can provide additional content to enhance the quality of the prescribed course materials
in the form of audio, video and animation. This can also complement the teachers’ knowledge and skills in explaining particular topics and making available the latest updates on the subject, especially when there is a dearth of trained teachers.

Extend learning opportunities: It can be used to reduce the disparity between urban and rural educational institutions
by reaching remote locations, by overcoming physical barriers like the lack of good roads, transport or other forms of infrastructure. Besides providing quality content, e-learning addresses the need to attract drop-outs and those who cannot afford to attend regular colleges.

Research activities: Analytical studies and surveys form an integral part of the teaching and learning process.
The Internet can be used for this purpose as it is a repository of information and research tools, and it simplifies
the process of content publishing and enhances the scope for collaborative research activities.Support distance
learning and online certification: As well as supporting distance learning with better infrastructure
and tools for content development and course administration, there is a need to create a fool-proof method
of online certification.

Innovative teaching and training: Learning can become more interesting and engaging when lectures and
routine classroom processes are complemented by new methods of acquiring knowledge and skills. Active learner participation is essential in creating an engaging learning experience. Teacher training and new teaching methods
should look at innovative ways of facilitating learning; it should not depend only on the prescribed textbook.

Flexible and scalable model: There is an increasing demand to provide options for flexible learning by integrating classroom learning and technology-based learning. The existing models can be enhanced further to meet the
requirements of high enrollment while keeping the quality of instruction intact.
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