Monday, July 6, 2009

A Discussion on E-learning Offered in Malaysia Universities: Pros and Cons from the Students Perspective

Electronic learning (or E-learning) is a type of technology that used to support a learning process. Malaysian Universities have given the sense that they are committed to e-learning as a teaching method. Students are required to participate in an Online Forum using Learning Management System and discussed among each others and with their tutors on their subject matters or assignment. The commitment of Malaysian Universities has ensured that e-learning technologies have become a permanent feature of the tertiary sector in Malaysia.

There are some pros when using e-learning compared to traditional face-to-face courses and lectures. Students can learn at their own place, study at their convenience and get desired resources anywhere as long as they can access to a computer and Internet connection. It can also reduce travel time and costs for off-campus student and no additional travel costs to add to their family budget. Besides, e-learning also encourage more interaction among students and instructors than in large lecture rooms and students can have flexibility in joining discussions in the bulletin board threaded discussion areas at any hour, or visit with others and instructors distantly in chat rooms.

Although e-learning offer some advantages, it also provides some cons as well. Without routine structures of a traditional class, students may get lost or confused about course activities such as deadlines for their assignments. Besides, instructor may not always be available when their students are studying or need their helps. More important is that low motivation or bad study habits will fall behind students especially for students with beginner-level computer skills.

The pros and cons of e-learning vary depending on the main target group for whom the e-courses were designed in the first place. But it is unarguable that e-learning is rapidly growing as a form of training delivery and most are finding that clear benefits to e-learning will guarantee it in their overall learning strategy.

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