E-learning in continuing education

Currently, the term “e-learning” is more widely used than “distance learning”. This is explained by the fact that by e-learning we mean a variety of forms of education using computer technology and various modern means of communication and telecommunications. Moreover, they can be used, including within the walls of the university, without implying the mandatory development of educational material at a great distance and in complete isolation from the traditional educational process.

The main niche for the use of e-learning in Western countries is the provision of educational services to various categories of adults. There are many educational institutions specializing in the field of e-learning. So, for example, in the USA such “online universities” include: WGU, Capella, Walden, University of Phoenix, Grand Canyon University, Kaplan, Devry. Most of them have existed for more than 20 years, starting as a classic institution of distance (distance) education, gradually transferring most of their educational process to the Internet.

Foreign experience shows that comprehensive e-learning programs are a good tool for implementing the idea of lifelong education, that is, lifelong education, which allows a specialist to constantly maintain his professional tone, improve his qualifications or undergo retraining as necessary.

In Europe, where university e-learning projects in most cases are actively supported by state funding, their global mission is declared as ensuring access to education, providing opportunities for any category of adult population to be included in the educational process, regardless of their life circumstances.

The introduction of e-learning can be a good source of income for the university when implementing continuing education courses, preparing applicants or courses in individual subjects for individual education. At these programs, students study the material themselves using electronic courses posted on the website, have the opportunity to remotely receive advice from teachers and only to pass the final tests and exams to come directly to the university

Additional professional education, implemented through e-learning, is in demand for many social groups. These include specialists who need to improve their skills, seek to find or change a profession, as well as people with physical disabilities who use e-learning tools to receive higher education without leaving home. With the help of comprehensive e-learning programs, young mothers on maternity leave, representatives of small and medium-sized businesses who do not have the means and time for expensive full-time business schools, and shift workers in industrial enterprises can develop their professional skills or acquire a new specialty. , military personnel - contract soldiers, etc.

For these categories of learners, the most important features inherent in e-learning are the flexibility to organize the learning process. This is, first of all, the asynchrony of the educational process, evening classes, flexible schedules, a continuous set of students, students - oriented education, an electronic library, computer modeling.

Make a schedule of classes

Online courses for financial professionals there are a great many: financial management, tax and accounting, Excel and many others. etc. Since resources are spent on such education less, a desire arises - not only for the management of the company, but also for the specialist himself - to take up several disciplines at once. I would recommend not to do so, but first try to see if such a training format, chosen specialization, teacher and presentation are suitable for you at all. We at the academy offer free trial access to the first module of any course. Here, on your own or with the help of an administrator, you 

In this article we will consider those types of e-learning, the basis of which is the worldwide computer network Internet. The information basis of such systems are electronic training courses located on computers - network servers.

To create a complete e-learning system (SEA), the following components are required:

  • Learning Management System (LMS);
  • electronic training courses, as a complex of teaching materials, system content;
  • knowledge control system, certification of students;
  • distance counseling system for students;
  • Telecommunication environment, communication channels.

Educational resources that are used in e-learning range from simple graphic images and video clips, interactive animations and models, illustrated text materials to interactive taskbooks that include thematic task sets with automatic verification and organization of testing and control work, support for specific learning paths and fully electronic courses combining the remaining types of digital resources in various combinations.

Tools are also being developed for conducting classes online, the so-called "virtual classes", webinars, which allow using the means of synchronous video communication to create the illusion of the presence of students sitting at their computers at a real training seminar. However, the widespread introduction of webinars is hindered by the low bandwidth of Russian Internet communication channels. An alternative to this technique are video recordings of lectures.

The placement of lectures in video format can increase the efficiency of the formation of new curricula, since it is easier to take off a finished course than to prepare the corresponding material for publication on the site. But this is also associated with certain difficulties. Lectures last at least 45 minutes - this is a difficult video format for the web to perceive, and therefore developers need to supplement them with various services, for example, the ability to simultaneously view a presentation on the course or other related training objects.

An analysis of the educational resources of e-learning presented on various educational sites shows that most of the multimedia lessons available there are a linear representation of educational information.

An analysis of the educational resources of e-learning presented on various educational sites shows that most of the multimedia lessons available there are a linear representation of educational information.

However, e-learning becomes effective only when multimedia objects become integral components of electronic lecture classes, when part of the seminars is transferred to the interactive class, there are opportunities for intermediate control of students' knowledge using remote computer testing, virtual laboratories and workshops are implemented to consolidate theoretical material.

The goals and audience of the e-learning project depend on which part of the interactive materials students study in free mode, and what percentage of online courses are conducted in accordance with the strict sequence of the learning path.

One of the obvious tasks of e-learning is to support students' independent work. Means of modern search solutions, Internet information wealth and developed LMS-tools open up even greater opportunities for teachers to motivate students, communicate with them and conduct interesting discussions, than with traditional classroom work.

For most teachers in Russian universities, the introduction of e-learning tools is a problem, and a considerable one. If for a modern student working with various Internet-services is completely natural, then for teachers, it is difficult because of the need to master new technologies, and from a psychological point of view. Very often, they perceive e-learning as an additional burden, not seeing in e-learning the potential for exemption from routine work, the benefits of accessing learning resources on the Internet, opportunities to improve the perception of material using interactive elements and to simplify the intermediate control of students' knowledge using automated tests and control work.

More popular is the use of special authoring tools with which teachers can develop courses on their subjects themselves.

Turning to copyright tools allows us to solve another problem - supporting the uniqueness of the content and principles of teaching courses in a particular university. The creation and replication of ready-made courses for higher education has few prospects, since each university is proud of its scientific school, the intellectual capital of the faculty and the specifics of the educational process. However, for Russian higher education, it is nowhere more relevant to create various industry communities capable of allocating material resources for the implementation of standard electronic courses in subjects with a common program, for example, courses in economics for economic universities or specialized courses of a specific industry focus.

Universities generally view their e-learning courses as intellectual property and are not inclined to freely share educational resources on the Internet with the community beyond their own academic and academic audience.

There are a number of important factors that justify the investment of universities in e-learning: e-learning is also a tool for fixing their unique knowledge and traditions of a scientific school. The preservation of the best courses and other educational materials in electronic form protects the university’s investment in educational and scientific content, which is necessary in technical and classical education due to age problems, and in business education due to the high level of teachers' mobility. In addition, e-learning tools can free teachers from a significant part of the routine work by transferring to the electronic space the processes of preparation for classes and the means of intermediate control of knowledge. Working with e-learning tools, they get more opportunities to realize their creative potential in the classroom, improve the perception of the material using media components, support a variety of virtual communications and discussions with students and colleagues. Traditional exams, which the legislation does not allow transferring to the on-line in Russia, with the help of e-learning can be exempted from standard questions that have already been tested at the stage of automated testing.

However, in addition to sufficient cash, any e-learning project needs a number of important conditions that determine its success. The introduction of e-learning opportunities is not just the mastery of new tools, but also a serious restructuring in the minds of both teachers and students, requiring appropriate motivation and support from the university leadership. We need a well-developed technological infrastructure, including a sufficient number of computers for the personal use of teachers, so that they can use the system’s capabilities without restrictions, play a decisive role in it, as well as a developed telecommunication transport system that allows you to combine all the workplaces and departments of the university into a single network.

Originally published May 2, 2019