Web 2.0 and eLearning

  • Social networking sites
  • Blogs
  • Widgets
  • Embeddable videos
  • Forums
  • Web based applications
  • Messenger and chat programs

 

Any application promoting interconnectivity and interactivity on the Web are referred to as Web 2.0. By that definition, email should also be a part of Web 2.0.

 

Web 2.0 is changing the face of online learning. Suddenly, scalability is no longer a problem in online learning. Learning modules are available everywhere and to everyone; a lot of it is free of charge.

Most of it though is a literal form of social learning. Any learning where there is an interaction is social learning. And online learning in Web 2.0 is all about sophisticated forms of social learning.

 

Social Networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are used by schools and universities, to deliver more student or user friendly education. There are open source LMS, like Moodle, also available to make online education more viable at the delivery end. Online collaborative authoring tools, like Composica allow you to add features such as widgets, videos etc. This makes both creation and delivery of online learning universal.

 

Increasingly, the demand is for rapid creation of content. The need is also for making it available fast, and across geographies. Web 2.0 applications have made this possible.


Instructional Designers now have the task of incorporating these features into a rapid instructional model. The ID challenge for Web 2.0 is simple. To make learning relevant and retentive on a platform that is very fluid and dynamic. Retaining user attention to the blog /online content module will be the focus, as the user is likely to navigate away within two minutes of visiting the page.

 

Other issues are

  • To authenticate learning delivered via the web
  • To create a subject focus and streamlined course structure

These two factors are particularly relevant as the web has a vast database of resources, some of which may be mere opinions, instead of facts. Some may be erroneous facts.

 

Will Web 2.0 provide a challenge to traditional elearning? Time will tell. It will definitely be the more popular and cheaper medium of learning, though.

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