The challenges of e-learning: When technology and education collide

By Bernie Yeo


WHEN schools across Malaysia were ordered to close during the movement control order (MCO), teachers continue to impart knowledge via online platforms. But as many teachers would certainly agree, traditional classrooms and e-learning are two entirely different ballgames altogether.     

In a traditional classroom setting, teachers and students can interact directly, while an online classroom has a more impersonal and non-interactive feel to it. This goes without saying that while e-learning is a good solution to the current problem, it is not without its challenges.

Take the lukewarm response and the lack of attention from students for example. Disseminating knowledge from the screen of one’s computer can be frustrating if nobody is paying attention, and so teachers are constantly faced with the uphill task to make the subject more interesting.

From short videos to cartoons and songs, much effort is often put into piquing students’ interest, and this is especially crucial if your audience are younger school children with shorter attention spans!

As the current context of education requires educators to have advanced digital literacy skills, teachers, too, have the responsibility to equip themselves with adequate digital skills. But like students, some teachers are facing difficulties using technology and embracing the new normal in education.

There is an urgent need to address the challenges of e-learning among teachers and students. One good strategy is for the Government and the relevant ministries to reach out to those who have been conducting online learning long before the COVID-19 crisis came along and disrupted conventional teaching and learning.

Yes, we are talking about colleges and universities, especially those who offer online or distance learning degree programmes. Encompassing all teaching and learning activities, this fully online learning strategy has been adopted by numerous higher learning institutions to better accommodate working adults who are studying part-time to obtain their degrees.

Sharing experiences and exchanging resources is a good start to addressing the issues and challenges of e-learning. Who knows, maybe the answer to a successful e-learning blueprint could be in there somewhere. – Feb 26, 2021

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE