FocusEduVation's Blog

May 8, 2010

Universities Turning To E-Learning

Filed under: e-learning — Focus EduVation @ 11:48 am

Kenyan Universities are increasingly turning to e-learning as a tool to facilitate improved education.

They also want to rope in more students through better access to facilities, hoping to reach a wider base in a cost-effective way.

The efficiency accruing from e-learning is among the advantages gained by local universities that have adopted the use of technology.

Using different platforms, students are able follow lectures online, interact with lecturers, submit assignments and check on their grades.

Lecturers are also able to upload course materials, post assignments and generate discussions online using blogs.

However, these institutions have to train both students and lecturers on how to use the platforms.

At Strathmore University, United States International University (USIU) and University of Nairobi (UoN), all students are enrolled in e-learning courses when they first join.

Strathmore University has adopted the use of e-learning in many of its courses via the Moodle platform.

The university uses this as a way of facilitating lectures. Mr Patrick Shabana, the Director of Strategy and Performance Improvement said that the university applies a blend of direct lectures and e-learning techniques in many courses as technology gains acceptability among lecturers and students.

Middle-East’s New Learning Trend – E-learning

Filed under: e-learning — Focus EduVation @ 11:22 am

Global IT giants such as Microsoft are in talks with Middle East governments and educational institutions to bring the latest digital electronic learning systems, known as e-learning, to the region.

“With e-learning, students can learn at their own pace, get immediate feedback and repeat tasks they don’t understand,” says Azza el Shinnaway, who leads Microsoft’s education initiatives in the Gulf. “They’re also free to study in class, the library and at home via the internet or mobile phone.”

The UAE’s Advanced Network for Research and Education is talking to Microsoft to promote innovation and collaboration in the field of education.

The global IT industry is now also starting to turn its attention to education through innovative learning techniques such as using gaming technology to teach complex subjects including mathematics.

The UAE’s Advanced Network for Research and Education (Ankabut) is in talks with Microsoft to promote collaboration and innovation in education. And the whole region is becoming increasingly active in realising the benefits of e-learning.

The Middle East E-Learning Association (MEEA) was launched last February and has so far attracted members from Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, the Palestinian Territories, Jordan and Malaysia. MEEA is a non-political, non-profit body that aims to promoting e-learning throughout the region.

Despite the challenges of the global economic situation, Gulf countries are increasing their investment in education. Saudi Arabia, for example, which has a young and growing population, has announced that education budgets this year will rise 13 per cent to US$36.7 billion (Dh134.80bn), accounting for more than a quarter of the country’s entire budget expenditure.

These initiatives are not the result of the Arab world playing catch-up with practices in the US and elsewhere, but rather of using new learning technologies in innovative ways. Key to the success of these initiatives is exploiting the potential of the internet as a communications tool to link students with teachers and teachers with parents.

The ministry began by providing the service to teachers and administrators before extending it to more than 500,000 students. Each e-mail address can store 10 gigabytes of data, several times the usual allocation for e-mail boxes.

Students are also adopting the Social Media way for e-learning. In Social Media they expect an academic environments that allow the same level of interactivity and collaboration as that available on Facebook, YouTube or MySpace.

The next trend expected to hit the Gulf education sector comes from the leisure industry. As well as their interest in sites such as Facebook, many students also spend long hours playing computer games.

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