The status and importance of e-learning for

The position and importance of e-learning for Key Stage 4 pupils

E-learning is a general term for utilizing computing machine engineering to advance instruction and acquisition. In his bookE-Learning Skills,Alan Clarke suggests that e-learning refers to, “a broad scope of techniques and methods. It includes the usage of engineering as portion of a conventional or traditional class where scholars and instructors may ne’er run into face to face.” The ‘technology’ he mentions includes non merely computing machines and the webs that connect them, but besides the package such as electronic mail, on-line databases and CD-ROMS, and the peripherals such as picture cameras and synergistic whiteboards.

Stand-alone computing machines were introduced into schools in the early 1980s. This signifier of e-learning was known as Computer Based Training ( CBT ) . Children learn best when information is presented aurally, visually and kinesthetically and one time computing machines were able to do simple sounds and show artworks, good package could be about every bit effectual as a instructor in doing larning memorable. Although, merely like a severely taught classroom-based lesson, hapless package or a hapless e-learning session could impact the quality and measure of acquisition.

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E-learning had other advantages excessively. The same information could be shared in precisely the same manner with tonss of kids, extinguishing differences between instructors. Students could research theoretical accounts and simulations safely ( and cheaply ) in practical universes without fright of failure, and kids with particular demands were able to utilize the engineering to heighten their acquisition experience, to assist them fix their work and go more independent.

Between 1989 and the mid 1990s the National Curriculum was bit by bit phased into UK schools standardizing what was taught and when it was taught, including ICT. In 1998 a National Grid for Learning ( NGfL ) was developed by the authorities to present hardware into schools, train instructors in its use and assist them to incorporate ICT into the other course of study topics.

Between 1999 and 2002 BECTA surveyed 60 schools to look into the consequence of ICT on GCSE classs – the ImpaCT2 survey. It questioned pupils and instructors from all Key Phases about their use of computing machines both in school and at place each hebdomad. On norm, over the nucleus topics of Mathematics, English and Science merely 26 % of Key Stage 4 students used ICT some hebdomads. More pupils used the Internet at place ( an norm of 33 % ) but 25 % of pupils surveyed had no Internet entree at place. Students from poorer households who couldn’t afford a computing machine were disadvantaged by necessitating to book timed slots on computing machines or by paying for Internet clip in cyber coffeehouse. Sometimes there were jobs with compatibility between place and school systems and potentially there could be troubles with computing machine viruses distributing between place and school, which could be dearly-won and time-consuming to rectify.

Although the ImpaCT2 survey used merely a little sample of schools, and could non be considered typical of all schools, it did reason that, “differences in attainment associated with the greater usage of ICT were clearly present in more than a 3rd of all comparings made between students expected and existent tonss in National Tests or GCSEs, though these were non huge.” ICT use made the largest difference to tonss in GCSE Science and Design and Technology. It made a little betterment to Markss for Geography and Modern Foreign Languages. The study besides predicted that the proportion of lessons affecting ICT was, “likely to lift as instructors gain in cognition and experience as equipment is made available in more schoolrooms and as there are betterments in the assortment of package available, both on the Internet and CD-ROM” .

In 2004 ICT was made a statutory capable alongside Mathematics, English, Science, PE, RE and Citizenship. Besides in 2004, BECTA surveyed ICT in secondary schools. On norm, schools had 1 computing machine for every 5 pupils. Most schools had Internet entree and many had broadband. With an addition of the usage of the Internet and webs, both at place and school, e-learning expanded to include non merely Computer Based Training, but besides Web Based Training ( WBT ) .

There are now many CD-ROMs and websites aimed at Key Stage 4 pupils offering forums, alteration pages and naming test demands. Some KS4 book publishing houses have created web sites to back up their books and worksheets, supplying blended acquisition, fall ining e-learning with traditional acquisition.

A typical e-learning site is the BBC Bitesize GCSE web site, aimed at Key Stage 4 students ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) . This is an illustration of asynchronous preparation which pupils can entree it any clip they want, with the right hardware and package, and so work at their ain gait.

Like many web sites, the BBC site uses colorful artworks and sounds to assist do the information memorable and meaningful. The single pages load rapidly, and for users with older browsers, those utilizing slower dial-up modems or who pay for everything they download and view, there is an option to see the site as ‘text’ merely. Artworks can be changed farther with a nexus to handiness aid to change font size, manner and coloring material. In ‘text only’ mode the alive mini acquisition games are unaccessible.

Lack of interactivity between instructor and scholar can be another disadvantage of asynchronous preparation. In a traditional schoolroom, pupils can inquire inquiries and have them answered rapidly by the instructor. On the BBC web site, users can seek an on-line database to hold inquiries answered with pre-written responses about instantly, or they can ‘chat’ to each other by posting textual messages on the on-line message board ‘Onion Street’ . If utilizing the message board there is no warrant when inquiries will be answered, if at all pupils can have immediate feedback each clip they complete a series of on-line trial inquiries, naming non merely the student’s responses but by reenforcing the right replies with farther accounts.

An addition in cheaper computing machine engineering and Internet entree has seen more pupils utilizing the World Wide Web non merely to research their ain involvements but besides to revise and research subjects for prep. Some GCSE pupils have been caught utilizing work taken from the Internet and claiming it as their ain. Not merely is this plagiarism a breach of right of first publication, but it may hold led to some pupils having over hyperbolic classs. This maltreatment of e-learning is hard to track and supervise, but some scrutiny boards and schools are now fall backing to scanning and comparing students’ work with on-line and published beginnings. Checks can be clip devouring and sometimes expensive if excess staff demand to be drafted in to assist look into assignments.

Many schools now have non merely their ain web site or home page on the Internet or an intranet but their ain Virtual Learning Environment to convey together information and resources for parents, pupils and instructors, such as message boards, alteration notes and class notes. A few schools and colleges are besides get downing to develop a Managed Learning Environment which they can utilize to supervise on-line acquisition, create assessment informations and portfolios. These may good be platitude over the following few old ages as schools try to do marker and appraisal easier.

As engineering improves and becomes even more accessible, e-learning could get down to switch off from being asynchronous to synchronal preparation. This type of e-learning is closest to larning in a schoolroom with a instructor as at a pre-arranged clip a coach meets utilizing computing machines with their pupils via Instant Messaging, Internet telephone, audio conferencing or picture conferencing. The demand to hold a timetable makes it more inflexible than asynchronous preparation. It can besides be more expensive than other signifiers of e-learning such as CD-ROMS or web sites in footings of required hardware and staff wages, but feedback and interaction can be given rapidly and easy. One advantage of synchronal preparation is that the people don’t have to be together in the same edifice, or even the same state. Possibly the hereafter of e-learning would genuinely be instruction where pupils irrespective of physical and political boundaries, linguistic communication or civilization can larn together.


E-Learning Skillsby Alan Clarke, Palgrave Macmillan 2004 ISBN 1403917558

ICT for Training Assistantsby John Galloway, David Fulton Publishers Ltd, London 2004 ISBN 1843122030

ICT in Schools Survey Survey 2004DfES/BECTA 2004 ISBN 1844783634

ImpaCT2 Learning at Home and School: Case StudiesDfES/BECTA 2002 ISBN 1841858250

ImpaCT2 Pupils’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of ICT in the Home, School and CommunityDfES/BECTA 2002 ISBN 1841858269

ImpaCT2 The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Pupil Learning and AttainmentDfES/BECTA 2002 ISBN 184185 8080

Supporting Learning and Teaching in Secondary SchoolsBECTA 2006 Referee: BEC1-15400

The National Curriculum Handbook for Secondary Teachers In EnglandDfEE/QCA 1999

The Role of ICTby Avril Loveless, Continuum 2003 ISBN 0826458645

Web sites

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hypertext transfer protocol: //

hypertext transfer protocol: //

hypertext transfer protocol: //

hypertext transfer protocol: //


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