Friday, January 28, 2011

Challenges to e-learning & possible avenues to overcome them

Even though e-Learning is one of the most startling utilizations of the developments in electronic & web world, it has its share of constraints. We have thus far written only about the pros of the trends in e-learning.

This post would focus on the challenges associated with the implementation of e-learning solutions in institutional and organizational training spaces and also a glimpse on the opportunities to overcome these challenges.

1.Investment: Not unlike other technology-based solutions, the realization of a typical e-learning package is not a cake-walk as it requires a good amount of investment in terms of money and time. One of the universal problems with e-learning courses is that its development and maintenance take a major chunk of the time. So, in terms of the initial time required to be invested, e-learning is quite far (takes more time) from traditional learning courses. But the good news is that, once the initial investment is made, the pattern that gets followed to train batches of pupils would be the same. So overcoming the initial hurdle would help in making e-learning a better alternative to class room training if the set of individuals to be trained come in many number of batches. Investment in terms of money is another aspect. There are a lot of e-learning solution and software providers these days but they are as expensive as they are tech-savvy.

Avenues for solution: On a closer look, the initial investment on the package and infrastructure is more. But the variable costs associated with staffers in traditional learning courses are negated here. So in terms of money and time, e-learning might lose the short-term battle to traditional learning but it would win the long-term war. So, analysing the longevity requirement of the training, a choice between traditional and e-learning can be made - with e-learning befitting long-term programmes.

2.Transition to e-learning: Instructors are in the need to restructure their book-based courses to suit online learning mode as much of their works in the original version would have been designed to be effective for a traditional classroom setup. Extensive research and regular reviews of the courses is expected of them to ensure compliance with technology-enabled learning standards. The challenges balloon if the instructor is not an expert /tech savvy; i.e., it requires more time to acquire the essential understanding to carry out the restructuring successfully.

Avenues for solution: e-learning instructors are to be provided effective training courses on how to create e-learning courses effectively so that they can work more efficiently. Also an increased interaction with students in terms of feedback, demands through emails can be encouraged. An increased correspondence with students makes things more difficult. Placing a limit on the number of students in an online class is a measure that could be looked at to resolve this problem.

3.Changes to Content : As much of the e-learning based trainings focus on subjects of technology, the frequent updates in technology calls for a frequent revamp of the courses too.

Avenues for solution: But, e-learning is a blessing in disguise as updating it online one time in a server and rendering it to different client systems is an easy process compared to the cumbersome process of changing the content in a new versioned book and distributing it across the learners. So, in this area too, e-learning scores over its classroom counterpart.

With this note, it is clear that the bottlenecks of e-learning are not huge threats as they come along with avenues that provide solutions. In a future post, we would explain how some of these avenues are being  experimented with in today's world and how successful they are turning out to be.


  1. Great start! e-learning is the future ..just as the crop of bookworms fade, a newer crop of e-bookworms have evolved. With the new avatar of tablets that double up as ebook readers and users hooked on to social networks most of the time, its a WIN-WIN...

    Good articles..awaiting more of this!!!

  2. You've said it all. The new tech gadgets seem to be embracing e-learning.
    Keep following this blog for more on that!