By: Julian Hoh-Il Synn
The use of media has been a great benefit to education. There are many ways that media has impacted our learning such as message boards, social media, and various software. This article will explain the use of various forms of media in e-learning. Additionally, the article will discuss which form is the most useful and efficient, and which ones are less so.
There are many resources online that very intuitive and easy to use. For example, Internet message boards can be helpful. These include websites like Stack Overflow (https://stackoverflow.com) which helps programmers with their code if something isn’t working properly. There are also various forums around the Internet that can be very helpful. People can help each other out by posting a problem, and multiple people can post solutions. This could be even more helpful than sending e-mails. Not only can the sender and receiver view the message, but so can other viewers on the message board and the rest of the Internet. This is more efficient because anyone can view the problem, and if the solution is posted, then there will be fewer people asking the same thing. People can simply search it and the answers will show up.
The Blackboard Tool
Blackboard (https://blackboard.com) is a more formal version of an Internet message board that is used in many schools today. It is used for sending announcements, uploading documents, writing journals, and keeping up with course content. Students can even post on the discussion board, which can be helpful. However, most students never post on the discussion boards unless the teacher makes it mandatory for a grade. They mostly use it for submitting assignments, completing quizzes, and checking announcements, which may already appear as an e-mail anyway. In this regard, it may be better for a student to look up their solutions online, through Stack Overflow or otherwise. Perhaps e-learning modules could be implemented into Blackboard in the future, such as how Adobe Captivate helps people learn in a more visual way. This could give more of an incentive for students and help them learn better. However, students can use other means to get help. The answer is social media, our next topic.
Social media can potentially provide a helpful form of learning. People can form groups on Facebook to ask questions about what they missed or concepts they didn’t understand. A classmate can then answer their questions. They can also upload files to encourage further discussion. YouTube can be helpful because of videos that people can post online. For example, if one needs help in Adobe FrameMaker, they can go online to check useful videos so they can see a demonstration. Anyone can search for help on any subject. It could be troubleshooting issues, advice on installation, tips on using different software, and so on.
LinkedIn can be helpful since people in high positions in important companies, recruiters, or employees in a field of interest can inform others of relevant trends. They could post articles to showcase their skills and relay information to others. Connecting with experts in the field can prove to be useful. Videos can also be posted on LinkedIn for viewing relevant information.
Teachers can upload videos for complex topics like engineering or medicine to help students learn better by using visual examples and demonstrations. This is especially helpful for a visual learner. Not everyone will have certain software installed on their computers. Therefore, in this case, they can utilize the videos to learn quickly without having to visit their school or library to use the software. Lynda.com (https://lynda.com) is also a website that people can use for learning through videos.
Video tutorials may have some potential to replace in-class learning. However, some people may prefer actual classroom interaction rather than videos. This is usually because videos feel more distant and informal. What if someone wanted to ask a question? Asking in person will take five minutes. E-mails could potentially take days. Learning online can be efficient but the lack of personal interaction could cause issues for some people.
While videos may be informative, some argue that not everyone has the time to watch videos. It may, however, appeal to those who want to learn visually as opposed to reading walls of text. Shorter videos would increase retention as a result because viewers would pay more attention if the video was short and concise. However, through video usage, these days there are several tools for learning. For example, people can use Adobe Captivate, PowerPoint and Prezi to present information in a more visually appealing way. Images should naturally fit with the page and be easy to view for best results. Google Docs can be used to edit in real time so everyone can see what’s being edited. WordPress is also used for editing and creating websites, and can be used for informing others of certain topics.
In conclusion, there seems to be many possibilities for e-learning. However, we also notice that there are advantages and disadvantages to these different types of media in e-learning. Message boards are more archaic, but can get the job done for simpler tasks. Social media can be helpful to many groups of people who can help others simply by viewing the posts and uploading files. Using software has become a helpful way to display information in an appealing way. Depending on the topic at hand, one must judge for themselves which tool is the best for learning, because each type has its own uses.
Justin Ferriman, July 21, 2013. https://www.learndash.com/how-to-effectively-use-video-for-training/
YourTrainingEdge, April 12, 2017. http://www.yourtrainingedge.com/how-social-media-is-effective-for-e-learning/
Laura Lynch, March 27, 2018. https://www.learndash.com/6-social-media-platforms-and-how-to-use-them-for-your-e-learning/
Julian Hoh-Il Synn is a student at Seneca College in the Technical Communications program and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto. Julian decided to go into the technical writing field and so joined Seneca to further hone his skills. Julian has several other skills including web programming, SQL, content management systems, and knowledge in software development. Julian believes that by using these different skills, he can excel in the technical writing field greatly and gain an edge. He is currently in a work-study position and hopes that by getting actual hands-on experience in the field, he can finally confirm that technical writing is right for him.