Nowadays, e-learning is perceived as a normal part of college life with students of all ages throughout the world using this opportunity to learn without physically attending the teaching institution. Distance learning allows people everywhere to experience part of the traditional college atmosphere by utilizing the possibilities that online training offers. Most of the e-learning courses include the option of live chat or audio and video conferencing between students and instructors or their peers. One of the main advantages of this type of learning is that it is asynchronous, meaning that everyone can access the modules at a time convenient for them and proceed at their own speed.
Modern e-learning is also mobile so you can access your training materials from almost any device with internet. You might believe that the idea of online learning is a relatively new concept, but you’d be mistaken. Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida started offering online courses for credit back in 1983. Since then, the idea of e-learning has evolved significantly and now many schools, colleges, and universities around the world use at least some form of online-based teaching and learning. If you want to join this ever-growing community, below you will find some of the main requirements and terms related to campus e-learning.
Requirements for Developing a Good E-Learning Course
Here we will focus on some of the main requirements of a good e-learning course from a technical point of view. No doubt that the nature and content of the modules are the leading advantages of your product, however if it is not presented in the proper “wrapping” no one is going to buy it. Some of the highlights to keep in mind when designing the course include:
- Technological Requirements – once you have determined your target group, invest some time studying which hardware, software and bandwidth are available at the location and design your program accordingly.
- Page File Size – it is recommended to keep your pages to 40 kilobytes or less, so that users don’t wait longer than 15 seconds for a page to load.
- Course Interface and Design – make sure that your module is easy to navigate through, regardless of the language it uses. The panel should be intuitive. Include links to “help” pages, glossaries, live chat or any other possible support.
- Color – avoid using complex colors as it will slow the program down. Always use contrasting colors for the font and the background so that the text is easily readable. If you are going to have your course translated, be sure to read tips for a successful e-learning localization and avoid certain colors as they may be offensive.
- Font – avoid using fancy fonts that may not be supported by the learner’s computer system. Sticking with fonts like Arial and Helvetica is a good choice, since they are easy to read on the screen and will most likely will be available to everyone.
- Text – avoid using long and complicated sentences. Short, concise sentences will convey your message better. It is also good to use as many as six lines of text per screen.
- Quality – make sure that all the graphics, audio or video files incorporated in your course have a good, consistent quality. Avoid using multimedia just for the sake of using it.
- Interaction – include students in interactive elements but make sure that they are not distracting them.
- Modules – divide your e-learning course into small modules that won’t take more than 20 minutes to complete. Shorter modules will hold the students attention and result in better learning.
- Feedback – always include feedback after giving quizzes or tasks requiring assessment.
Campus E-Learning Definitions
There are different terms related to e-learning and sometimes they have specific meaning when it comes to defining campus terminology. Here are some of the most commonly used terms in this setting:
- E-learning – this term is defined by the online Oxford dictionary as “Learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the Internet. For college purposes we can extend it to a course content delivered via Internet, intranet/extranet, audio- and videotape, satellite broadcast, interactive TV, CD-ROM and more.
- Synchronous Instruction – this is a real-time teaching session led by an instructor. The teacher and all of the students are logged on at the same time and can engage in discussion, ask and answer questions, etc. This can be done via a chat room, tele- or videoconferencing. The participants can share a whiteboard or different applications.
- Asynchronous Instruction – the instruction is not conveyed in real time and each student can log on when it’s convenient and then proceed at their own speed. Usually there is a deadline set by the instructor to complete a given task, but the student determines when to do it. Communication is via online discussion groups, question and answer sessions, and e-mail.
- Distance Education – these are credit-granting courses that are delivered off campus. The instruction can be via audio, video or the Internet. Distance education can be synchronous or asynchronous and may include time spent on campus for labs or exams.
- Online Education – credit-granting courses delivered mainly via the internet to students in remote locations. It can also be synchronous or asynchronous and may include students and teachers meeting for less than 25 percent of the course time for lectures, labs or exams.
- Blended Learning Environment – this combines methods of both the traditional classroom training and e-learning. This can be a more effective way to train people who are a bit skeptical of completely online based courses excluding the actual presence of an instructor and peers.
- M-Learning (Mobile Learning) – the possibility to access course content or other information in audio and video format on different mobile devices such as MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, etc.
Now that you are aware of the main requirements and terms related to e-learning you can go ahead and enroll in one or create a course of your own. For any assistance with e-learning translation and localization ICD Translation is at your disposal.