E-Learning: How It Works?

E-learning works using two different formats: with or without learning management. In the beginning, there were only unmanaged models, which worked by distributing content saved on floppy disks and, more recently, on CDs and pen drives.

Education professionals widely criticized this format. It did not allow for monitoring and correction of the activities carried out by the student, making an assessment and management of learning impossible. To solve this problem, educational institutions started developing and using specific virtual learning environments, generally through LMS (Learning Management System) platforms.

Inspired by the characteristics of classrooms, these systems have intuitive interfaces and channels that enable communication between students, colleagues, and tutors. Thus, the student interacts in forums, chats and sends activities such as tests, works, and presentations via the LMS platform, being evaluated frequently. You also have access to complementary materials, visit website for support for studies, and clarification of doubts, either in real-time or after a few hours.

What Are The Main Components Of E-Learning?

A virtual learning environment where e-learning is developed must have four main components:

  • two-way communication
  • collaborative learning
  • Well-structured content
  • Assessment instruments.

Two-Way Communication

It consists of interactive communication, in which all participants are, at the same time, senders and receivers; that is, they send and receive information. This component arises from the idea that the student is the centerpiece of distance learning and must proactively contribute to the teaching process. Thus, students, colleagues, and tutors learn and teach through e-learning platforms, using instruments synchronously (in real-time) or asynchronously.

Collaborative Learning

This concept refers to the possibility for students to work in groups, seeking a common goal. Modern e-learning platforms have instruments that allow interaction and favor this collaboration among colleagues, even at a distance. They can, for example, use chat to debate a subject, exchange knowledge via email, and even collectively assemble papers and presentations using online editing tools.

Well-Structured Content

The content itself and the way it is organized are paramount in any learning process, but they become even more relevant in e-learning.

And it’s not hard to understand why. In face-to-face education, the student has direct and personal access to the teacher’s knowledge, questioning him during the class. In electronic learning, he can consult tutors, when necessary, but he will not always have his doubts resolved when he studies. Therefore, the content needs to be thought out as simply as possible, enriched with support materials (glossaries, infographics, books, etc.), and follow a logic that can be easily understood.

When opening a module, chapter, or class, it is helpful to state its objectives, prerequisites for understanding, and approximate duration so that the student can allocate the time needed for this task. Content for e-learning should also be reviewed with even more attention, as it will not be possible to correct the information quickly.

Noak Purl
the authorNoak Purl