Nowadays, companies are more and more aware of the importance of distance learning and e-learning and how this system allows their employees to be always updated through trainings. Students of all ages as well are using e-learning more than ever before to attend online masters and learn languages.
Distance learning, also called DL, online learning or digital learning, is now a very popular method for Users of all ages who want to take courses and strengthen their skills. It is expected a 9% growth of e-learning for the period 2020-2023. What can you learn through distance learning and e-learning? Let’s find out together.
DISTANCE LEARNING PLATFORMS: THE WORLD OF EDUCATION
Distance learning is a learning system that takes place remotely, via devices connected to the internet that allow to access to web platforms where the training courses can be found. These platforms are also called LMS platforms, whose acronym means “learning management system”.
Distance learning also includes video streaming and video conferencing services, allowing a certain number of Users to attend recorded or live lessons, avoiding the need to physically attend classes.
In addition to degree courses and distance learning masters, professional training is also aimed at different categories of professionals, as well as personal training. Distance learning is interactive, multimedia, modular and personalized, ant it offers the following basic functions:
Distance learning was born in a certain sense with audio cassettes and CDs, but with the advent of the internet and digital technologies, the scope and effectiveness of distance learning has tripled. Thanks to the customization of the LMS platforms and to the possibility to activate on-demand training, as well as the possibility to allow a large number of Users to participate, e-learning easily connects different people and locations and allow to share useful materials for learning and training.
In addition to traditional distance learning, there is also online microlearning. It consists of mini-courses or individual modules accessible from a mobile device, that allow even who does not have a computer to exploit the potential of LMS platforms. Usually the LMS platforms are designed for mobile learning, so that the User can participate more easily in training. Mobile learning also integrates messaging apps and facilitates interaction and involvement, as if the student were actually in a physical classroom.
Innovative technologies also allow to access data analytics in order to improve the effectiveness of the User experience. Moreover, gamification can be implemented in the LMS platform, in order to engage students in games that increase motivation and participation.
ADVANTAGES OF DISTANCE LEARNING PLATFORMS IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR
Accessibility and flexibility are the main advantages obtained from distance learning. Those who provide courses have also the possibility to save costs due to equipment and classrooms maintenance.
Furthermore, distance learning gives greater autonomy to students, who have the possibility to organise the fruition of the courses optimizing their results and their learning experience. Moreover, technology allows to increase the quality of training and to extend the fields of action on which distance learning can be applied.
In addition to the aforementioned advantages, the access to data analytics allows to optimize the effectiveness of the offer and the possibility to interact, also helps LMS platforms and those who provide courses to obtain instant feedback. In fact, thanks to chats, tutors and students can interact in real time.
LMS PLATFORMS: HOW DO THEY WORK AND WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THEM
Every well-developed LMS platform has the following characteristics:
The LMS platforms for distance learning integrate learning experience with the material offered to Users and assessment tests created by the teachers in a simple and intuitive way. Video lessons can be uploaded by attaching video as a learning material or by connecting to external providers such as YouTube.
The use of video lessons allows e-learning services to improve the quality of courses and to reach a higher audience of student. The most popular courses are based on on-demand video lessons, therefore pre-recorded, and do not use portals such as YouTube, as this would require a large number of resources, great storage and bandwidth for distribution to end-users.
In order to enjoy the videos in the highest possible quality, automatic adaptation systems of the distributed video quality are used, including the resolution and quality of the video according to the screens of the device on which it will be displayed.
The most used systems for streaming on the Internet are Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming and MPEG Dynamic Adaptive Streaming. Their formats of representation of audio and video information allow to index the same movie with different resolutions and qualities.
Thanks to new technologies, browsers download the video indexes and automatically play the video in the default quality, enabling also the download of video fragments, called chunks, without installing various apps or plugins. The ability to view video streams from the browser has increased video traffic on the web, bringing the percentage of video traffic compared to total data traffic from 73% to 82% in 2021.
Moreover, it can be said that the areas in which the corporate e-learning works better are the following: