What is eLearning?
E-learning refers to the use of technology in learning and education. There are several aspects to describing the intellectual and technical development of e-learning, which can be categorized into discrete areas:
- e-learning as an educational approach or tool that supports traditional subjects;
- e-learning as a technological medium that assists in the communication of knowledge, and its development and exchange;
- e-learning itself as an educational subject; such courses may be called “Computer Studies” or “Information and Communication Technology (ICT)”;
- e-learning administrative tools such as education management information systems (EMIS).
I’m not a teacher or an academic, I’m a civil servant that has worked in offices for over 20 years. I recently moved to the Staff Training and Development Unit. I work in the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food which is a central Government Department with over 3000 staff. I am also involve in Scouting and through that have training experience as a trainer.
When I was at school my conception of a teacher envisaged the role being about an expert imparting knowledge. However now I believe the role of the teacher is that of a facilitator. More importantly a Trainer needs to be a facilitator that provides the framework in which the learner can explore a subject making observations and drawing their own conclusions.
Facilitation is also integral to eLearning and it does not require a separate or new pedagogy. eLearning is still learning but has an ‘e‘ in front of it. The ‘e‘ stands for electronic and only relates to the mode of delivery to the learner. I do not want to get held up focusing on technology alone, as with any training delivery it is about the learning outcomes.
I have an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) background and when I started in my new role in the Training area I accepted the Project Lead for eLearning within the Department. The skills I will need include:
- Project Management
- Change Management
- Conflict Management
- Team Leadership
- Analysis and Decision making
- Delivery of Quality Results
- Interpersonal / Communication
- Self Drive / Development
- Specialist Knowledge
My philosophy is that the ‘e‘ for electronic just means I have to identify and deliver training content using technology. That technology will need to compatible with the Department existing infrastructure. Detail research will be need to identify those courses that would be suitable to be delivered electronically and those not suitable.