Friday, 30 May 2008

Why newbie’s doubt jumping into eLearning - INAS’ biggest concerns

During one of the afternoons of my first work visit to the INAS in Rabat, Morocco there was a meeting in which I would present the methodology of ITM and focus on eLearning. I choose to start from the concerns people in INAS had to build an informal presentation build on Q&A and nourished with examples from medical courses and methods we have build at ITM which were running on my computer. By running the examples on my computer without having to connect I could assure the participants that sending a CDRom with the courses on them would be an option for low connected areas. If the remote areas would have access to a computer with CDRom, that is.

All the participants in the meeting were in favor of eLearning.

Questions that came up (and some of them are very familiar questions that come up globally – maybe we should build a FAQ with answers that all of us professionals can use while addressing a new group of future eLearners):

  • Is Morocco, meaning specifically the technical conditions needed for eLearning, ready for eLearning?
  • Are learning results the same for face-2-face courses and TELearning courses?
  • How do we cope with the lack of non-verbal communication that some teachers use to reconstruct their lesson as they are giving it in a face-2-face environment?
  • How do we cope with the diverse connectivity issues throughout the country?
  • How can we make sure the learners are in fact the ones that do the tests/exams?
  • What can we do to avoid a feeling of loneliness with the learners when the only contact they have with their peers is through online communication?
  • Is eLearning interesting for all kinds of learning, or is it unusable for certain educational fields?

I tried to give comforting answers wherever possible, but of course engaging in eLearning has so many factors, that a lot depends on the preparation and the willingness of all the professionals involved to succeed. But as long as a small group stays motivated, it will work.

Pointers for me for future presentations on this topic:

Ask for who is learning through the computer in an informal way (to build a case that people are gaining up on their knowledge by the use of a computer anyway).

The answers I gave to the Q/A session will be posted later on. Jetlag is getting to me.