BY DR ZAINAB AL AJMI
E-learning environment has its own philosophy in the educational framework, despite the educational benefits it provides in term of achieving the educational goals, e-learning encounters a set of challenges, which can be divided into two categories as shown below:
Firstly: E-Learning Materials and Devices Challenges:
E-learning facilitates the delivery of education to learners, anytime and anywhere. The development and submitting e-learning materials is underpinned by a desire to solve authentic teaching, learning, and problems. However, there are several challenges, including: “Security and Privacy: Security from malicious, spyware, and other potential threats to privacy. Availability: Even with the use of redundant systems, availability means a guarantee for regular continuing service. Scalability: Modifying the changing demands of users, providing an additional resource to them with intelligent management. Energy efficiency: Using microprocessors with a lower energy consumption to reduce the electric charge and make compatible for use” (Siddiqui, Alam, Khan &Gupta, 2019, 337).
On the other hand, there is a disparity in the capabilities of the devices used by the learners, which affects the way they interact, such as small screens, slow processors, or low storage capacity.
Also, multiple standards and format support of hardware and software, and also user interface. The variety of characteristics associated with these platforms are to be taken into consideration when designing an application or learning activity.
According to the above analysis, there are several factors for a successful implementation of e-learning; learners preference is one of the main factors for well-designed e-learning environment, sometimes learners need a highly configured high configuration hardware for e-learning system; they need to install software on the system, and adequate Internet connection to access or share the data and hardware.
Secondly: E-Learning Educational Challenges:
In general, Learners and Teachers should focus on the worldwide accessible design of materials using applications, which doesn’t mean just content transfer; “technology should be utilized as a tool, not as aim” (Yilmaz, 2016, 183).
Principle of instructional design should be based on interactive learning strategy; all learning environments need to a pedagogical model which application is based on. Moreover; inadequate experience of the teacher as well as the learner with the implications of using technology devices, in addition to the demand to some multimedia systems in general to have prior experience with the learner in using it; this may make it difficult for learners with moderate or low abilities to adapt to these systems. Another important aspect is that there are teachers that require more continuous training to be able to deal with these ever-evolving and modernized devices and to use them satisfactorily.
Rather, it may require a high level of proficiency from teachers in computerizing and designing lessons to suit their interactive presentations according to these devices. These findings are in line with the “traditional literature which states that interactivity improves student perception of the quality of the learning material” (Uppal, 2017).
Additionally, some of the teachers may have apprehension or refusal to use modern equipment and technologies in teaching and learning; and this may cause some teachers or learners to be somewhat resistive towards the use of these devices.
Steadily, new technology functions are adding a great feature to e-learning, the fact remains that every next generation will have modern technological opportunities such as notebook, tablets, mobile phones, etc. These technological opportunities can be used in instructional environments. Today, almost all students have self-phones but sometimes that is not preferred to be used in an educational setting, the reasons may vary but mainly revolve around the challenges mentioned here.