Beyond e-Learning, Towards Real Learning

eLearning And Social Collaboration

The e-learning ecosystem for last one decade is predominantly revolving around ‘tracking’, ‘monitoring’, ‘supervision’ and the goal of ‘actual learning’ is left behind. Most of the standards followed by the eLearning platforms and content providers quintessentially ensure whether the course has been completed by the learner or not, or how the learner has fared in the assessments. They are less focused on whether the learning has happened or not. The focus has always been to improve the learning content and less has been the focus on understanding the learning patterns of the users and helping them learn, the way they want to.

Today’s learner wants ‘personalization’, ‘social collaboration’ and ‘anywhere, anytime, any device’ access to the learning content. I delivered a session at Learning Technologies 2013 on the topic ‘Content distribution strategy through multiple devices’. In this session, we discussed in detail how a personalization interface along with a powerful annotations engine can help address many of these needs of today’s learners.

Personalization and annotations combined with social features can aid social collaboration, content co-creation and sharing, thereby creating an added layer of enriched content on top of the actual content. Annotations stored on Cloud and synced across sessions offer freedom of using multiple devices, without breaking continuity. Learners can share their annotations, follow others and collaboratively create and manage tags to annotate and categorize content. This makes the learning more effective and gives learners the freedom of applying their learning pattern to the content.

Harbinger, being a thought leader in the eLearning space, has shared this observation in various forums and has helped number of customers to implement it in their context. You too will realize and agree that the future of eLearning is ‘actual learning and not just tracking or monitoring’. Do let me know what do you think?

3 Replies to “Beyond e-Learning, Towards Real Learning

  1. I ‘read’ your actual content and tried to ‘re-add’ here:

    What is meant by ‘real/actual learning’? How does one assess whether the ‘actual learning’ has happened or not?

    If the course is not being completed then it means lack of interest or the priority amongst several other factors.

    Understanding the learning patterns also requires ‘tracking’, ‘monitoring’ and ‘supervision’?!

    How does your personalization interface along with a powerful annotations engine function dynamically?

    Looking forward to discussing those social features that can be integrated with our e-learning solutions to be developed soon by Harbinger.

  2. Very interesting and agree with you that eLearning is actual learning and not just tracking and monitoring.

  3. Dear JP,
    Thank you for your comment and queries. I have answered most of them below and remaining can be discussed offline, if required:
    – Actual learning here means the objective of someone, undergoing a particular course content in order to learn / asses a subject or topic. The focus of the material supplied to the learner should be to ensure that these objectives are met and not just a mere formality is done.

    – Depending on the type of learning environment, the learning can be applied to implement something and the success of such implementation could be one of the criteria. In some cases like educational learning there can be assessments/ tests which can be used as a mechanism to judge the learner.

    – I agree to the ‘lack of interest’ point and that is why I have emphasized to provide the learner, the ‘personalization’ needed in the standard course content to ensure that the learner is hooked-on to the learning. And ‘Annotation engine’ can provide that personalization, apart from various other ways.

    – The focus of such tracking is to facilitate the learning and not just ensuring whether the desired/ expected time is spent on a course. It is like a teacher coming in a classroom and giving a lecture viz-a-vis a teacher coming in the classroom, giving a lecture and ensuring whether the students are able to follow him or if he is too slow / fast, etc. The later type of teachers are more effective, popular and successful.

    – It is a technology layer which resides on top of the existing content and the same ‘personalization’ can be experienced on various devices that the user might have while s/he is on the move. Details can be shared and discussed offline please.

    – Sure. We will be happy to have you as our next customer.

    Best Regards,

    Anjani Kumar Shukla

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