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Schools search for online-learning solutions

Update: December, 28/2013 - 09:41
HCM CITY (VNS)— E-learning plays an important role in today's classrooms, with positive and negative results, a university lecturer said at a recent workshop on IT in schools held in HCM City yesterday.

Assoc Prof Nguyen Dinh Thuc of HCM City's University of Sciences said that instructional design models and online learning systems could satisfy educational needs at different levels.

With the advantages of technology, most systems can now provide useful services and learning activities, he added.

Learning systems include Blackboard, JoomlaLMS, SharePointLS, Sakai, Atutor and Moodle, Thuc said.

E-learning allows students to be flexible in their use of time and space.

However, communication between teachers and students and unappealing self-study activities are two drawbacks, he said.

The system also is dependent on the learning environment providing convenient services or activities to realise proposed strategies, he added.

According to Thuc, designing strategies using online-learning remains a major issue for researchers and e-learning developers, he said.

He suggested that active learning and collaborative learning methods should be widely applied in an online-learning environment.

In active learning, students do their own research and take initiative, while collaborative learning focuses on teamwork. This kind of learning helps to realise UNESCO's 21st century learning standards.

Dr Nguyen Manh Tuan of School of Industrial Management under the University of Technology said that collaboration between learners and teachers in an online environment was critical.

Universities should identify what learners need from e-learning, he added.

Asso. Prof Tran Van Hao, rector of the Vocational College of Technology, said that e-learning methods must agree with learners' time and money as well as their level.

With four-year experience in providing part-time online-learning courses, Thuc said that one challenge is developing learning content.

The school spends VND40 million-50 million (US$1,904-2,380) to develop learning content in one subject, he said.

A representative of the HCM City University of Technical Education said that they had faced the same challenge when implementing e-learning in the university.

The workshop also discussed trends in e-learning and the latest IT technology alternatives that are poised to become mainstream educational strategies in the near future. — VNS

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