NEW  TREND  IN  E-LEARNING

MANILA
, February 11, 2005 (STAR) EVERYONE KNOWS By Arlene K. Yap-Tan (Yapster e-Learning Inc.) Nowadays, technology is so prevalent and accessible that even the not-so-IT-savvy can enjoy its full benefits. Take for example WAP-enabled cellular phones and Internet-ready television sets. In the e-Learning world, the same transformation is happening.

The trend in e-Learning now is to convert company/school-specific or Philippine-based subjects from their traditional format to
e-Learning. Where off-the-shelf content does not provide your specific needs, authoring your own courseware has long been the ambition of a number of organizations. A few years ago, you would have to be an IT programmer to achieve this but now through the use of user-friendly authoring tools, even non-IT teachers are able to shift their lesson plans into electronic media.

With the recent trend in authoring, there have been numerous new discoveries that will benefit organizations. So what are the recently discovered benefits of this so-called "conversion"?

Customization

Customization is the number one benefit of using an authoring tool to convert already existing content. In a school setting, teachers are able to apply their own "style" into the content; in a company, trainors can incorporate special company-specific scenarios into the e-Learning materials. In the end, authored courseware are always specific to the needs of the school or the company.

Testing

There are several ways of testing: multiple choice, matching type, essay questions, true or false, identification and the list goes on. Different schools adapt different testing types because each student market responds differently to certain exams. In companies, employees are usually tested in essay format. Using authoring tools will and may even expand a school or a company’s assessment capabilities. Authored courses make enrollment and even interview exams easily accessible. Extra materials With an authored course, teachers and trainors can input additional reference materials such as books, journals and special notes in relation to a topic or subject. These are especially important if the materials cover school- or company-specific topics such as an organizational chart. Although off-the-shelf content already has reference materials available, teachers and training specialists have more room to expand with the use of an authoring tool.

Versatility

The content of authored courseware can be changed whenever the need arises. For example, a company that changes HR policies yearly can directly change the content of its HR course regularly as well.

Although it seems that authoring tools bring so much benefit, there are also costs such as money and time associated with the development of the course. These costs will depend on factors such as supplier’s daily rates and how complicated the material is. Just like in any major decision, in the end, the bottom line is making sure the benefits outweigh the costs.

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Arlene K. Yap-Tan is the CEO of Yapster e-Learning Inc., a member of Yapster e-Conglomerate Inc. You may contact her at arlene.yap@2StudyIT.com.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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