Swati Parab

Research Scholar

Pacific Academy Higher Education and Research University, Udaipur.

Under the guidance of Dr. Nitin M. Joshi

Director

Dr. V. N. Bedekar Institute of Management Studies

Abstract: E-learning is the latest way in which the learning has started taking place these days. With the help of e-learning the education system has moved on to the next level. Few years back e-learning was criticised to a great extent as the exposure to this concept was very limited. But with the advent in technology e-learning has become simplified. Globalisation of education will remain just a dream without e-learning. The connection of education with the different parts of the world can be possible only through e-learning. It has been observed that the new generation is receptive towards the concept of e-learning. This study emphasises on the acceptance and shift of education from Traditional classroom learning to e-learning. Changing perception of students and industry towards education is due to convenience and flexibility which is possible through e- learning. This paper focuses on the need and importance of e-learning, benefits of e-learning and identifying the problems in the learning. It also aims at giving suggestions and recommendations on the basis of the said study.

Keywords: E-learning, Education System, Traditional Classroom Learning, Innovative Technologies, Learner's Perception, Interactive Communication Technology.

Introduction:

Education has always been a process in which there are a set of students in a classroom and is led by the teacher. This took place until early 2000s. The traditional classroom learning set up was only considered as an educational setup. Any other education apart from the said was always questionable. E-learning is actually not a new concept in India. In 1980s television was used to impart education. University Grants commission had designed and delivered several programmes through televisions. Also distance education programmes were introduced by the universities in order to make the learning convenient for the learner

Isaac Pitman, a qualified teacher, in 18402s taught shorthand to his students through correspondence. He used mail as a tool for this purpose. The completed assignments were sent to Pittman through mails. He used to assess these assignments sent by the students and again mail it back to them. He used the same system for sending more assignments for the students to complete. 'Teaching machine' was invented by a Harvard professor B.K. Skinner in the year 1954. Programmed instructions were given by the schools to their students through this machine. The world saw the first computer-based training program in the year 1960. This program was known as PLATO-Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations. Online learning started becoming more interactive in early 70's. E-learning tools and delivery methods expanded in late 20th century due to introduction of internet and computers. In 1980s it was seen the the computer had reached the homes. Institutions had started delivering courses online by early 90s. In 2000s organisations started training their employees through e-learning. Eventually the cost of distance learning also reduced due to technological advancements.

E-learning is a learning system where formal teaching takes place with the help of electronic resources. Major aspect of e-learning is use of computer and internet. As the human part is missing in e-learning it was highly criticised and was not accepted initially. With the rapid progress in technological developments it was eventually accepted by the masses. Today, smartphones, tablets, etc has an important place in the in the classroom learning. Electronic educational materials are gradually replacing the books these days. Not only the education sector but also the corporates have started training their employees through e-learning. Multinational corporations conduct the professional training programs for its employees sitting in the board room. The seminars are conducted for the employees all across the globe or for the employees of different organisations from one single place. Moving pictures or videos makes teaching more interesting and effective as compared to traditional classroom teaching as it helps the human brain to remember it more easily. E-learning holds the attention of the students and the concepts are retained by the brain for a longer time. Various sectors, including agriculture, medicine, education, services, business, and government setups are adapting to the concept of E-learning which helps in the progress of a nation.

Objectives:

1.To analyse the need for e-learning in Indian Education System.

2.To study the changing perception of students and industry towards e-learning.

3.To highlight the importance of e-learning in India.

4.To identify the problems in e-learning.

Review of Literature:

Ruth C. Clark and Richard E. Mayer (2016) in their book title "E-Learning and the Science of Instruction" define e-learning as instructions rendered in order to accelerate learning through digital device. The devices used in the learning process are mentioned as Desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet or smartphones. While discussing the popularity of e-learning among the workforce today the book states that the market share for digital learning is steadily increasing. It has clearly stated that there is a growth from approximately 11 percent Technology driven instructions in 2001 to around 39 percent in 2011-2013.

Elizabeth T. Welsh, Connie R. Wanberg, Kenneth G. Brown and Marcia J. Simmering in their research title 'E- learning: emerging uses, empirical results and future directions' state that Practitioners (Berry, 2000; Coné and Robinson, 2001; Rossett, 2002) and researchers

(Brown and Ford, 2002; Salas et al., 2002; Steele- Johnson and Hyde, 1997) concur that the training and development arena has reformed due to technological advances. 'E-Learning Revolution' is the outcome of the elevated use of Internet technologies which are being used to deliver training these days. (Galagan, 2000: 25).

Research Methodology:

Both primary and secondary data are collected for the purpose of this study. Primary data has been collected on the basis of a structured questionnaire prepared in the light of the objectives of study. Moreover, a pilot survey is conducted before the finalisation of questionnaire. The data is collected from 50 samples (20 males and 30 Females) to make the study informative. The sample respondents are above 18 years of age from the various colleges in western suburbs of Mumbai. These respondents are undergoing various programmes of University of Mumbai and are from the diverse socio-economic backgrounds. For secondary data, supporting and relating research material is collected in order to present the facts in a logical order. It covers research articles, Reference books, Journals and online data on the subject matter.

Limitations of Study:

The sample size is relatively small. The findings of the study may only be indicative in nature. In most cases, the respondents were too careful in answering some questions.

Importance of E-Learning:

Technology has created convenience and affordability of education through the tools of e-learning which can facilitate education virtually from anywhere in the world.
There are a variety of formats which can be used in most of the e-learning tools. These formats are videos, slideshows, word documents and PDFs. Live online classes can be conducted with the help of webinars. Chat and messages can be made use of by the users for communicating with professors.
E-learning has rapidly advanced due to the emergence of Smartphone's, text messaging and use of internet. The profusion of message boards, social media and other means of online communication allow learners to keep in touch and discuss course related matters. It provides massive support to learner.
E-learning is much faster, cheaper and potentially better as an alternative. E-learning technologies are widely available for course content not only to the students but also to employees of Multinational Corporations.
E-LearningAuthoring Tools:

PowerPoint Add–Ins: Power Point add–ins and the tools associated with it are very easy and convenient to use and give your work a professional appearance that is most needed. Online learning courses can be instantly developed due to low learning curves. However, the format is made using Power Point. Miniature advancements like branching and variables are not well supported. A major constraint that limits the use of Power Point add-ins is its unsupportive behavior in devices other than computers or laptops which is a major drawback that is potential enough to work as a turn off for a number of users.
Installed Desktop Tools: Installing desktop eLearning authoring tools can be a tedious task if you are enable with a lockdown policy at work. The process can be time consuming and hard drive space consuming as well. Once installed, these tools can help you greatly build quality courses. But having it all good causes damage sometimes. A lot of features cause the formation of a steep learning curve. It is observed that many desktop tools are over 20 years old and many were invented way before smartphones came into being. This can have an overwhelming effect on users but can also compromise the quality of work executed or the task fulfilled.
Cloud–Based eLearning Software: Cloud–Based authoring tools are highly accessible since you do not have to download or install them and can be used through the browser of your choice. The concept of Cloud–Based eLearning is quite interactive. Content can be shared and groups can gain insights about the new and great ways to create online learning courses. The modern category is highly advantageous to users because of its streamlined, graphical and browser– based interfaces. It has eradicated all worries from companies about using cloud–based tools because it incorporates the feature of perceived security with itself which is a much need revolution.
Benefits of E-Learning:

1. Reduces the cost of education: In traditional classroom education the students had to travel to institution wherein the incurred transportation cost. E-learning has reduced the transportation cost to negligible or nothing.

2. Corporations can save money: Use of online courses for training abolishes the need for classroom setting for employees, which reduces the costs involved in creating and maintaining an educational space. Many a times, it even eliminates the need to hire a trainer.

3. Organisation can make more revenue for every trained employee: Both hands-on demonstration and e- learning imparted together generates additional revenue for the organisation.

4. Increases productivity: Not only the revenue per employee improves but also the productivity also increases. Roughly every $1 put into e-learning for employees results in $30 worth of more work.

5. Lower employee turnover ratio: The chances of employee continuing with the same employer increase due to e-learning benefits offered to the employees.

6. Self-paced learning: Learner need not rush or feel stressed as he is the one to control the flow of material which helps him in retaining the information.

7. Entertaining: Use of images, content supported by interactions, at times even gamification makes the learning entertaining for the learner.

8. Flexibility: One can engage in a learning at any time of the day especially the people who are working. E- learning is best for those who want to focus on both, career an education.

9. Accessible to people of all ages and experiences: As the restriction of the traditional classroom is absent e- learning can be undertaken by all the folks irrespective of their ages. Improvement in career, gaining a promotion, learning a new skill set is easily possible through e-learning.

10. Gaining edge in their field: Employees can be kept up- to-date on the latest industry trends.This is advantageous for the companies as it helps in retaining their talent.

Concerns That Arise With E-Learning:

1. Isolation: Though flexibility and self-paced learning are the biggest advantages of e-learning, the learner may feel isolated. E-learning is a solo act. The learner is not in the classroom environment that he may interact with other students and and professors.

2. Health Related Concerns: Use of computers leads to eyestrain, bad posture and other physical problems which may affect the learner. Guidelines about correct sitting posture, desk height, and recommendations for regular breaks should be given to the learner.

3. No self-discipline: Flexibility and freedom in e-learning often translates to no learning. Learners may stop fully engaging themselves in the e-learning process. People find it much easier to internalise new skills and knowledge through active training sessions with other people, than through an impersonal e-learning module.

4. No face-to-face interaction: Through the use of video conferences, webinars, and face-to-face video chat is on a large scale, it still isn't the same as sitting in the room and learning from a real person.

5. Lack of flexibility: Complex skills and competencies cannot be taught through e-learning. It is also said that 'the ability to ask questions defines ones learning'. This can happen only in the classroom set up where students learns himself by asking questions and seeking clarification. The same becomes difficult in e- learning.

6. Lack of inputs from trainers: E-learning is a structured program. It is developed as per the thinking of the developer. The material may become quickly outdated with the change in technology. The subject experts and the skilled trainers give their best when there are a lot of questions which are been raised by the learners. Training sessions become efficient with these interactions which are absent in e-learning.

7. Slow evolution: A fairly long time is required in order to make changes in the program once it is developed. Change in business model or market conditions can make the e-learning module obsolete.

Good e-learning is difficult: Developing a really effective e-learning course takes time, money, and a great amount of expertise. A good e-Learning course involves multimedia, custom web development, technical support, and strong User Interaction design. Many of 8.the first e-learning courses were clunky and unwieldy, and the technical and design problems negatively impacted the learning process.

Government Initiatives:

E – learning is the much needed and propelled sphere recognised by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and is assisted and enabled by Information Communication technologies (ICT). It combines communication media with varied education tools and help in the process of conveying information and delivering knowledge. R&D projects have been constantly receiving financial support from the Ministry in matters concerning e

–learning tools and courses. MeitY has identified the process of e–learning which has started it off with the initiation of the 12th Plan of R&D projects. The major point of focus is to bring about evolution in this field by using tools and technologies and creating new and more effective solutions to it in the years to come.

E-Learning R&D projects initiated during XIIth Plan period:

1. Design and Development of Context Aware Mobile assisted Augmented Reality Framework for Learning Environment. (20/09/2012 to 19/05/2015)

2. Development of Personalised and Performance based E-Learning tool for existing E-resources. (19/02/2013 to Ongoing)

3. MedSim – eLearning platform for Medical Simulation. (07/03/2013 to 06/09/2015)

4. Online Assessment and Evaluation System (OAES) for National Level Certification Examinations. (11/03/2013 to Ongoing)

5. Online Labs (OLabs) for school experiments - Phase 2 (28/03/2013 to 28/03/2013)

6. Setting up ICT E-Learning Centres in 204 schools in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh (26/06/2014 to Ongoing)

7. Deployment and management of Brihaspati-3 services over NKN for IndianAcademia (28/02/2014 to Ongoing)

8. Enhancing the outreach of Electronics System Design and training through

e-SA - 58% A- 42 % NAND - 0% DA - 0% SD - 0%

SA - 40% A - 48 % NAND - 12% DA - 0% SD - 0%

SA - 50% A - 40 % NAND - 10% DA - 0% SD - 0%

SA - 24% A - 42 % NAND - 46% DA - 4% SD - 4%

Learning(07/04/2014 to Ongoing)

9. ICT based Framework to enhance the teaching and learning experience in large Classroom(17/06/2014 to Ongoing)

10. Rollout of OLabs (30/06/2015 to Ongoing)

Data Analysis:

The responses are gauged on a scale of 1 to 5 where

1= Strongly Agree (SA), 2 = Agree (A), 3 = Neither Agree Nor Disagree (NAND), 4 = Disagree (DA), 5 = Strongly Disagree (SD).

Learning through digital devices is termed as E- Learning.
Current generation agrees with the concept of E-Learning.
E-learning is suitable for Indian education system.
E-learning has helped in globalising education..
E-learning is possible only with the help of technology.
Variety of formats like videos, slideshows, PDF's are used in e-learning.
E-learning has rapidly advanced due to the emergence of Smartphone's, text messaging and use of internet.
E-learning reduces the cost of education.
Organisations these days train their employees through e-learning.
SA - 16% A - 26% NAND - 36% DA- 20% SD -2 %

SA - 54% A- 38% NAND - 6% DA - 2% SD - 0%

SA -10 % A- 22% NAND - 26% DA- 38% SD - 4%

SA - 54% A- 36% NAND - 8% DA - 2% SD - 0%

SA - 44% A -54 % NAND - 2% DA - 0% SD - 0%

SA - 14% A - 34% NAND - 32% DA- 16% SD - 4%

SA -56 % A -40 % NAND - 2% DA -2 % SD - 0%

SA - 20% A -48 % NAND -26 % DA - 6% SD - 0%

SA - 28% A -58 % NAND - 10% DA - 0% SD - 4%

SA - 6% A -18 % NAND - 56% DA - 20% SD - 0%

E-learning focuses on self-paced learning.
There is no age criteria for e-learning.
E-learning is a solo act and leads to isolation. Complex skills and competencies cannot be taught through e-learning.
Working professionals can enhance their qualification and skills through e-learning.
SA - 22% A - 54% NAND - 10% DA- 14% SD - 0%

5. Government policies in India support e-learning.

Suggestion And Recommendations:

1.Steps should be taken to educate people and create awareness about E-learning opportunities.

2.Students should be exposed to the practicalities of the industries to get the feel of the industry in order to connect with it.

3.Proper knowledge should be imparted to the students about the different e-learning projects initiated by the government.

4.Change the mindset of the people towards e-learning programmes to make it more acceptable and bring it at par with the traditional classroom courses with chalkboard method.

Conclusion:

The world is swaying to the tunes of technology these days. No country can afford to neglect the advancements on technology. Industries have always been coping with the technological change. Education sector cannot be excluded from technological advances. Globalisation in the field of education had changed the perspective of the people these days. Foreign collaborations in the field of education has also enhanced the competition in this arena. This has significantly changed the entire world. Formal education through e-learning would definitely help the students to advance in their lives.There are lakhs of people in India as well as in the whole world who would opt for e-learning. The students always come from different backgrounds and also from varied age groups. Also, there are a lot of people who are working and also wanting to continue their education. This will help them to study further and enhance their opportunities.

E-learning concept is known to the people. They lag in having detailed information about e-learning. There is still no clarity about whether e-learning would be suitable to a country like India. There are certain benefits like low cost of education, self-paced learning, flexibility, no age bar. As the masses in India are not technologically very sound e-learning has challenges like health related concerns, isolation, no face to face interaction, slow evolution. As the traditional classroom routine is absent at times students become lethargic.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has initiated E-Learning R&D projects during XIIth Plan period. Most of these projects are still ongoing. Also, many of these projects have been stretched beyond the deadline. Timely completion of theses projects needs to be adhered to. The spread of information and awareness needs to be done about these projects so that the concept reaches the masses. Information of the different programmes through e- learning should be made available to the students. This will help the students to plan their career and set their career opportunities. People agree that the education today has become technology based. They are not too sure whether e-learning would be suitable to the Indian education system. Also, they have very little knowledge about the cost of programmes under e-learning. The way in which e-learning functions and the different skill sets covered comes in the form of a question mark to them. Majority of respondents are not aware whether the government policies support e-learning. Definitely, e-learning has a great role to play in Indian education system. E-learning when implemented smoothly would give a brighter future to India.

References:

Books:

Bryn, G. J. (1 June 2006). E-Learning:Concepts and Practice.
Hamada, M. (1 July 2013). E-Learning: New Technology, Applica tions and Future Trends (education in a competitive and Globalizing World).
J.Rosenberg, M. E- Learning:Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age.
Leistenschneider, J., & Leistenschneider, J. E-Learning.
Lipshiz, A. R., & Parsons, S. P. (1 May 2008). E- Learning:21st Century Issues and Challenges.
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https://www.talentlms.com/elearning/what-is-elearning
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/e- learning
https://www.talentlms.com/elearning/history-of- elearning
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/importance-e- learning-education-namisango-daniel
https://www.learndash.com/10-benefits-of-using- elearning/
https://www.learnupon.com/25-elearning-tools-need/
https://elearningindustry.com/3-different-types- elearning-authoring-tools
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.or g/49ca/ f744f47f1b9d5297c2ee73eb89d072cfa4b7.pdf
https://www.talentlms.com/elearning/benefits-and- drawbacks-of-online-learning
http://meity.gov.in/writereaddata/files/E- Learning%20R%20and%20D%20projects%20initiated%
20during%20XIIth%20Plan%20period.pdf
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http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1046/j.1360- 3736.2003.00184.x?r3_referer=wol&tracking_action
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Author's Bio: 

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