Monthly Archives: February 2013

History of E-learning

The word “E-learning” seems so general and common today, especially the speed with which it is becoming a learning norm nowadays, labels it as one of the widely practiced concept all over the world. But, till 1999, no one could even imagine that learning would be possible without meeting at a physical location and there had never been a term like “E-learning” till then. The word “E-learning” and its concept first emerged in October 1999, in a seminar at Los Angeles, organized by CBT systems. In this seminar, the origin and usage of this word in a professional field, was never thought to be the most admiring and adopted idea in just few coming years. It implies that the concept of E-learning is not that old.

The world “E-learning” is also associated with the expressions like “virtual learning” or “online learning”. Experts define E-learning as a mean to gain learning that is based on the utilization of new advanced technologies that permit access to interactive, online and sometime tailored training via Internet and other media like interactive TV, Intranet, CD-ROM, extranet etc so as to expand competencies while the course of learning is self-determining from place and time.

The growth of the e-Learning concept has derived from so many other ‘educational revolutions’. Some of such revolutions are quoted by Billings and Moursund (1988) as:

  • The development of writing and reading
  • The emergence of the teacher/scholar profession
  • The development of portable technology
  • The advancement of electronic technology

It seems that the basic ideas, didactical grounds and methodologies are not so new!

The history of E-learning has been a gradual evolution since long.

In the beginning of 1960s, Psychology professors from Stanford University, named Richard C. Atkinson and Patrick Suppes tested computers to be used to teach math to kids in elementary schools in East Palo Alto, California. These experiments gave birth to Stanford’s Education Program for Gifted Youth.

In the year 1963, Bernard Luskin set up the earliest computer in a community college for teaching. At that time he was working with Stanford along with others and made progress in computer assisted training. Luskin finished his milestone UCLA thesis while working with the Rand Corporation in examining the problems to computer assisted education in 1970.

Initially the e-learning systems, that are based on Computer-Based Training frequently tried to replicate conventional teaching methods whereby the function of the e-learning system was assumed to be for conveying knowledge, as contrasting to systems that were developed afterward. These were designed on the basis of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), which initiated the idea of shared growth of knowledge.

In 1993, William D. Graziadei introduced an online computer-conveyed lecture, seminar and evaluation project via electronic mail. The first most online high school was founded by 1994. Till now the e-learning has become the hot norm of societies at large, all over the world. The global e-learning industry is anticipated to have value over $48 billion as per some conservative estimates.(Nagy, A., 2005, pp. 79-96). From 1994 till 2006 i.e. just within 12 years, over 3.5 million students had been reported to participate in on-line learning environment at various higher education institutions in US.

E-Learning is now being adopted widely and used by a number of companies to update and educate both their customers and employees. Companies with big and spread out division chains employ it to teach their staff even for the newest product advancements without the requirement of arranging physical courses.

Reference:

1. Nagy, A. (2005). The Impact of E-Learning, in: Bruck, P.A.; Buchholz, A.; Karssen, Z.; Zerfass, A. (Eds). E-Content: Technologies and Perspectives for the European Market. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, pp. 79–96

Tin Can API-Another Fabulous Addition To Enhance E-Learning Model

If we talk about E-learning and online learning approaches, then the discussion would never be complete if we skip the most recent development in this regard. This development has come out in the name of Tin Can-API, a new protocol set ready to replace SCORM.

Since long, SCORM, a collection of specifications and standards had been used for e-learning and web based training. SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model, and it is a tool that is used to record when anyone takes an e-learning course and records quiz results. It describes communications between a host system referred to as the run-time environment, and user side content that is usually up hold by some learning management system. SCORM also tells how content might be packaged into a transportable ZIP file named “Package Interchange Format”. The last main modernization of SCORM took place in 2004. (Tillett, Jeff, 2012)

Tin-Can API is another evolution of the inflexible SCORM specification. There are a lot of benefits for using Tin-Can, however, the major trait that is proving to be its biggest benefit is its capability to record learning beyond the limitations of a browser’s window. This “light weight” feature of Tin-Can has made it quite versatile, so it is just a matter of time until you will start seeing it integrated in several different ways.

The major features that Tin-Can provides, along with so many other minor qualities, include:

  • Informal learning
  • Personalize learning
  • Performance tracking
  • Analysis
  • Visualization

For learning management system, especially the e- learning one, these features can be termed as ideal as they enhance their efficiency by giving lot of comfort and security.

In addition, there is a fitted query API to assist sorting out recorded statements, and a situation API that permits for a kind of “scratch space” for utilizing applications. Tin Can API statements get saved in a data store named as Learning Record Store that can exist itself or inside a Learning Management System.

Using Tin-Can API:

With Tin-Can API, you can now capture a variety of actions of your users at levels of factors never seen earlier than in conventional learning management systems. There are ways to help you to implement Tin-Can API in your own learning management system through three phases:

Phase 1: Learning Record Store Integration

This phase is complete. The first phase is to incorporate a Learning Record Store (LRS) to house Tin-Can statements.   Learning Record Store is the point where all the learning statements are saved.  An LRS is an innovative method that derived out of Tin-Can API. When Tin-Can API statements are formed, they are conveyed to an LRS which proves as a warehouse for delivered learning statements.

Phase 2: Tin-Can Organic Statement Generation for Quizzes

The second phase is still in progress by LeanDash and you will very soon see the results of this phase as well.

Phase 3:

Currently, no details are available about phase 3. However, it is also going to come very soon.

Reference:

1. Tillett, Jeff. (2012), “Project Tin Can – The Next Generation of SCORM”. Project Tin Can – The Next Generation of SCORM. Float Mobile Learning.