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Friday, September 19, 2014

Advancements in e-learning to benefit adult learners

The Workforce Development Agency has said e-learning is still an untapped resource, in the country's push towards a culture of lifelong learning.


Technological advancements and a high proliferation of smart mobile devices open up a wide array of possibilities for online or e-learning. Observers said e-learning empowers the learner - allowing him to learn anytime, anywhere, and even deciding what to learn.

E-learners are now able to curate their own training syllabus through what is called a "Smart Board". The Smart Board is like a normal whiteboard - but whatever the trainer writes will automatically be downloaded into a cloud-based digital repository, linking up with multiple learners across multiple devices. Trainees can then add on to the course content or modify it to suit their needs.

Said Mr David Kwee, CEO of Training Vision: "Getting instructors and learners to generate content, to comment on existing content - that begins to open up the possibilities of learning. Then the context becomes one of relevance and impact because people who are senior managers and leaders do not want to come to class to listen to things that they already know."

Social media then brings interactivity into the mix, as learners and trainers chat in real-time.

"Serious gaming", as one company calls it, is another e-learning option. Orile is a virtual reality game aimed at testing an individual's response to a company crisis. The immersive game puts learners in various scenarios and prompts them to make choices. It can also support multiple users performing different roles in one sitting.

Mr Rajit Punshi, the founder of The Operational Risk Practice, elaborated: "You can do a frame-by-frame recording of every single action and choice made by the learner and you can compare the performance of the learner to the team.

"That is very powerful because the learner may be making choices in a crisis that is beneficial for him but not in the interest of the team, and getting them to appreciate that and then apply what they are learning correctly is what we are trying to achieve. Traditional training struggles to do that."
Educational institutions are also making plans to inject more e-learning into their curriculum. 

Republic Polytechnic (RP), for example, said that up to 20 per cent of its courses should have some e-learning component in two to three years. It has also introduced what is called a "Flip Classroom" for students.

Source: Channel News Asia