E-learning in Ugur Demiray’s opinion

Since the beginning of his academic career, Ugur Demiray focused mainly on the aspects of Distance Education. His many articles feature a lot of information on how technology, such as satellites can offer a helping hand in the educational process in a long-distance setting.

Here are some of Ugur Demiray’s thoughts on e-learning and its development through the years.

As we all know, e-learning a prime form of Distance Learning provides individuals all over the world with the opportunity to access the necessary resources to achieve a proper training. Individuals aside, e-learning is a cost-effective way of preparing the employees from an institution. However simple the process of teaching using the internet and other methods that don’t involve direct contact with an educators may seem, it is hardly as easy as we may believe.

E-learning context is very important. It is common to find educators who perceive e-learning as internet-only education that encourages a static and content-focused series of text pages on screen. Others envisage the shallow and random online messages that are typical of a social real-time chat session, and wonder how that type of communication could add any value to academic discourse. Some may have experienced e-learning done poorly, and extrapolate their experience into a negative impression of all e-learning.Ugur Demiray – E-learning Practices, vol. 2, 2010

Let’s not forget that e-learning didn’t take off until the early 1990s when the technological advancements have made such a thing possible, so it’s a relatively new way of educating people. The educational necessities via this system have been hindered by the less than adequate methods of delivery in the early 1990s, when despite the advances the IT area has made people were still faced with problems such as slow modems, network troubles and so on.

Like all other environments e-learning is taking a life of its own, if until now the focus was mainly falling on the teacher, there is an ever so slight shift of it towards the learner. This is how Ugur Demiray portrays this shift:

The new learning landscape is a multichannel learning environment that can be seen as a “complex adaptive system”. For the most part, this environment is “self organizing” and because of that it is difficult to exactly predict how it is all going to turn out in the next five years. But, there is no question that a major shift is taking place -a turn from instructor centric curricula towards learner centric searching for relevant resources of learning as need.”

We can see how for all intents and purposes e-learning is an ever changing environment, what was seen as e-learning 20 years ago is now a distant, slightly amusing memories when set against what we can do today. Possibly in 20 years what we do now will seem equally as anachronic, but for the time being the system seems to have gained a lot of terrain against the more classical approach of face-to-face teaching. E-learning, a method that still uses an instructor is shifting towards a method of teaching that slowly phases out the teacher unless the situation calls for his presence, such as an exam.

Only the future can tell how all this changes will affect the way education is perceived in and how the e-learning will develop in following years, it is predicted that with all the devices and gadgets that we continue to create the “e” from e-learning will be eventually phased out, considering that this system will be as common and as taken for granted as the old one.

Ugur Demiray has presented his opinion in quite the eloquent fashion, basing them on his own research and that of other scientist who have developed theories regarding e-learning. For further information visit our other articles regarding this topic.

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