Download: Best Practices in eLearning
West Valley College prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities, and it provides basic skills education and workforce training. Distance Education, specifically eLearning (electronic learning, more broadly known as mobile learning), is an important and growing component of how WVC meets its mission to provide high quality education.
eLearning attracts an increasingly wide range of students from across town to across different time zones. While some of those students may mirror traditional college students, some may work part-time to pay for college, or be professionals who work full time and juggle many life-demands; some have mobility restraints, or they’re stay at-home-parents, single parents, retirees, or may be striving to find their niche or to reposition themselves in the workforce. Most of these students have grown up with the latest technology close at hand; technology is integral in their lives; they’re used to having information instantly, at their fingertips. Thus, they expect to access their education any time anywhere at their convenience. Those are some reasons why eLearning is exponentially appealing.
Pedagogy in eLearning is not the same as in face-to-face learning; teaching and learning in a virtual environment calls for particular methods, approaches, and for acknowledging that:
Teaching and learning takes place at different times of the day.
Teaching and learning does not always happen during concentrated and focused times.
Teaching and learning may be chunked or squeezed into daily routines.
Teaching and learning happens synchronously and asynchronously.
Skills with computers and mobile devices may vary from novice to expert.
Online search skills may vary from novice to expert.
Internet connections may vary in speed.
Mobile devices may vary in capabilities.
Technology evolves rapidly and therefore practices must be reviewed and updated consistently.