Frequent questions about
WHAT IS ITS MEANING?
It is learning assistance through electronic means, in which the most common is the Internet; therefore, their main application is as a tool for long distance education. Its main advantage is the characteristic that let it teach in a non synchronize way ( it is not necessary that the emissary and the receptor work simultaneously) so it could be a very powerful complement for the teaching in the classroom.
WHICH ARE THE ELEMENTS THAT COMPUND IT?
The main elements are:
- A Web platform.- which is equivalent to a virtual campus, because it has many of the characteristics that a campus or a regular school have; such as the classrooms, the library, different means of communication among their staff members (teachers, students, administrators), school administration control, administration controls among others. You can have access through a website that has the Institution image as well as the index to use the functions, they are presented in an attractive visual way for the user.
- Courses and contents.- these are created by using specialized methodologies that allow the teacher to apply different didactic tools such as; sound, graphs, video, among others, in a simultaneous way therefore they set up all the knowledge in hand of the students by using the specific ways of learning that everyone has. Besides, all the courses are designed through “objects of learning” and the students can have access through the index, they, of course are related with the rest of the “objects”, that way the students can restart in the section of the topic they were looking at and they can relate them with the antecedent topics; The “objects” also facilitate the review of the concepts that were more difficult to assimilate for a specific student as many times as he wishes and at his own pace.
The design of the courses includes options such as; tasks, exercises, simulations, research, reports, and all the necessary stages for an adequate teaching- learning process.
- Spaces.- The “enlarged learning community” is a reality for the E-learning because this platform supplies tools that permits a wide communication flow among their members because it includes options such as the chat, (instant conversations between one or several members located in different places) email , (remittance or reception of texts, images, links and more) reunion parlors, lectures and seminars in real time as well as the use of tools for common work, plans, projects, research and the creation of documents for consulting and to enrich the information for the users that require them.
- Links.- Other characteristic that the education based in electronic means has is the almost immediate access to data bases, news, sites of interest for the learners and to information that is on the web, in a pertinent way, the links are selected and relevant for the educational topics and for the university or school life, with a restriction on the non desired topics.
- Personalization.- this seems a dichotomy concept when we talk about the use of technology but starting with the use of tools that are never going to substitute the humanism ( a book is also a non “attendance” mean of communication between the author and the reader) we can affirm that its intention (education) as well as many characteristics such as the flexibility and collaboration, the E-learning could be personalized ; for example: one student can choose his preferences, interests and needs through different filters and facilities that the platform has, the same thing for the institutions can “customize” its characteristics that identify it such as colors, logos, the development of special applications according to its needs, shows the flexibility of adaptation and solutions that this platform can offer.
Are there alternative means?
Of course, due that the long distance education it has been of common use for a long time. We know the regular mail courses, the semi-presence courses, and the most recent ones, the ones given through satellite, however those options are limited or due to its lack of opportunities related to communication or because of its high cost and the need of having an infrastructure that requires of a high inversion (via satellite) and in which it is necessary to move to the site in which the specific installations are found , while the alternative through internet is easier to access from anywhere, such as a house, an office or even a café.
About your convenience.
Which benefits do I get using the E-learning platform?
There are many, even when there is a variation depending on the characteristics and needs of the users the room of the provider and the technical infrastructure (equipment and connections) of the user.
However we can highlight the following:
- Flexibility of access regarded to the place and time.
- For an educational institution the market grows wider because it can offer its products worldwide.
- For the interested students, there is the possibility of acceding to different education sources without having limitations only to the ones in the place where they live or because they are traveling, or because they do not have time to study.
- For the institution the platform means the opportunity to offer its academic programs permanently, as well as its courses, lectures, etc. without any kind of requirements, or the availability of time by the teachers, the lack of classrooms available, or the needs to have certain number of students to assure the economical balance of an event, because once you count with the materials on the web, the students can enroll themselves individually and take the courses whenever they want to.
- For a potential student, the idea of having an inventory of courses and eligible high quality materials and backed up by Institutions of excellence (to whom it might be impossible to have access to), means a great opportunity of development through the acquisition of knowledge, competences and relationships among the rest of the members of the learning communities that he is integrated to or that he can build.
- The costs of the education get the profits of the “scale of economics” due to the permanent costs of the product are dissolved when the number of students in the market grows, and that is also translated in lower costs, besides the savings of the indirect associated costs that are avoided like the ones that correspond to the displacement and others like the publicity that result in more economic when using e-marketing.
- The teachers are the main beneficiaries in this system because they have different kinds of collaboration tools available with their co-workers from different places in their own organization and all over the world , they can support themselves in non synchronized means of communication to assist their students, and also indirectly once they get trained in the planning of materials and contents that will be used through internet and that help them to have a personal development of their didactic skills and competences by applying multimedia tools (texts, indexes, summaries, graphics, audio and video).
- On the other hand, the students have a learning method available that let them reinforce their learning because they will be able to emphasize ( through reviewing, consulting and practicing ) important elements, or the ones that are relevant for them in a course, without having limitations, or lack of the immediate availability of a teacher because he has to assist other students or because he has other tasks to do.
- The E-learning is a modern tool and is being developed with new thing all the time, incorporating the latest technologies , generating different kinds of options and complementing them with support to the traditional education and making grow the potential and divulgation as well as the development of an Institution and facilitating to reach the society that he serves.
Which are its limitations?
- The profile of the student that learns through the E-learning method is similar to the one of any long distance education system. He is a person whose maturity let him have the required discipline to self learned programs, he is constant and well organized, as well as with a criteria to have priority over certain activities and with a clear vision on his personal objectives that can take him to commit himself with them.
- Also the person most count with the basic knowledge and skills regarded to the use of computers and the internet.
Because of the aspects mentioned above, the E-learning is not convenient (at least completely) to students of basic levels (even in process of maturity); also (at least in the present form) to visual disabled people that are impeded to use a computer, the same will happen with the ones that are not familiar with the use of computers (very easy ones) it is necessary for them to acquire the knowledge of the things mentioned above, to really take advantage of the tools that this platform offers.
- The informatics infrastructure is also a limitation because, the more multimedia resources are used in a course, the more quality of equipment is required, this is in terms of speed and process, resolution in screens and projectors, updated operation systems and links to internet, because the main enemy in this kind of situations is patience, that can cause lost in concentration and disinterest pm the user part.
Which characteristics does an E-learning platform have?
Information and disclosure tools:
- Ways to enroll in courses and events.
- Calendar and schedule management (such as for events or forums).
- Consulting of programs, institutional or groups’ activities.
- Galleries of materials available (articles, books, pictures, etc) that the users or members of the institution are able to contribute with.
- Personalized institutional image highlighting it through colors, movements, audio, and elements such as; welcome messages from the president of the Institution, or similar communiqués.
- An own system of email and chat.
- A system for forums and meetings.
- Searching and information tools specifying the values for specific questions and that are able to catalogue the results.
- Recommended links.
- A list of the members of the system.
Tools for the courses (virtual classroom)
- List of topics and course programming (pen sum) structured activities accordingly with the standards of the institution.
- Access to the materials of the course (anthologies, presentations, references, etc.)
- Exams; creation, realization and evaluation.
- Fix ness, follow up and validation of tasks.
- Personal web site for each teacher.
- Personal web site for each student.
- The creation of groups and learning communities with feed back among the members of them.
- Access and use of virtual libraries (through links and through the creation of the institution).
- Access to service support such as; translators and searchers through links.
- Address books for coworkers and study groups.
- Grades: registration, storage, consulting, data base to give out documents and certifications.
- Data base of the teachers; résumés, assigned courses, and more.
- A survey system.
- Payment forms; referential deposits from some banks, the charging to credit cards through internet (safe payment), as well as reports of the transactions.
- IS THE ACCESS SAFE? The access service to the modules for the students, teachers and administrative personnel is done through the https: // protocol thanks to a SSL certificate of 128 bits , that guarantees confidentiality in the access data for the users.
- WHAT ABOUT THE REGISTERED INFORMATION? Thanks to the user identification and password the information and privileges are classified according to their account which assures confidentiality and avoids the risk to accede to non authorized information for the user.
What kind of equipment and infrastructure do I require?
- COMPUTER EQUIPMENT FOR THE USER.- to have the maximum advantage of the tools that the platform has , for the E-learning INNOVAS 5 it is recommendable that the user counts with a computer with the following minimum characteristics:
- Pentium III / AMD to 533 MHz or a higher processor .
- A RAM memory of 256 MB or higher.
- A color monitor SVGA or higher.
- A PC microphone.
- Internet Explorer 6 or a higher one.
- An Internet connection of 128Kbps or higher. The most convenient thing is to count with internet through cable; DSL, ADSL, etc.(the most speed you count with the most fluency for the courses as well as the downloading and visualization of the multimedia contents )
- THE COMPUTER EQUIPMENT OF THE INSTITUTION.- Thanks to the hosting service for the platform (which is set up in high security and capacity servers) given by INNOVA5, the Institution needs equipments similar to the ones above described , plus a good connection to internet. In case that the institution creates his own contents, it would be necessary to count with a more powerful computer equipment that can support the development of multimedia applications.
- FILES AND SUPPORT OF THE CONTENTS.- the server, in which the platform is hostage does the daily support of all the information , therefore, the possibility that this gets lost is almost null. The platform contains a system to manage the files that allows their storage and access in a clear and organized way.