The following are some perspectives based on my experiences of over a decade of teaching on multiple platforms from classrooms to synchronous ( live lectures over web conferencing platform) to asynchronous ( recording videos which can be viewed @ the students convenience).
E-Learning is definitely an enabler if the objective is to:
- Supplement Classroom Notes
- Run Quizzes / Tests
- Learn a skill on which a basic competency already exists . For example a programmer learning an additional language / platform or an automobile engineer learning the dynamics of a new brand
However if the purpose if to be able to learn a new skill ( technical or non technical) , create solutions and apply knowledge for professional purposes, then E learning in it's current forms is inadequate.
This is primarily because aspects such as exchange of ideas around a topic , classroom discussions , peer learning , networking collaborative projects just have not been included in any software/ online learning platform.
The final proof of the pudding is that many leading corporations including the likes of the big blue which had strong work from home practices are slowly moving back to office . If the best techies in the world need to be brought back to office to collaborate and create value after 5+ years of experiments on collaboration tools can freshers / beginners rely on online learning to acquire new skills or fill skill gaps.
Learning and Education is about creating value and it is important that folks who are looking to fill skill gaps / take up vocational education programs think through the inadequacies in online education before investing time , money and effort behind them.
Would always recommend a classroom or if that is not possible just pick up a good book , connect with a few friends who have expertise in the subject which you are trying to master and have a couple of discussions over a chai!
This article was written by Gautam Munshi, Founder and CEO of Redwood Algorithms.