A Learning Management System (commonly known as an LMS) is rapidly changing the face of education. Roughly 10 years ago, e-learning systems were in their infancy, and could really only track grades, assessments and provide links to homework readings and class assignments. Now, however, an LMS is capable of far more; it is literally transforming the way students learn and how instructors teach!
One of the primary benefits of employing an e-learning platform is what Gwodz-Lukawkska and Guncaga (2015) deem as “visualization through simulation.” In STEM education, it is especially important for students to be able to see relationships between notions and incorporate them into an existing structure. An LMS also allows for the use of an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on other subject areas (like language) to reify existing concepts and organizational techniques.
In addition to specific academic advantages, there are also practical benefits from using an e-learning system. Among those include faster delivery, lower costs, overall more effective learning, and lower environmental impact. Proving the efficacy of using an LMS in the classroom, performance statistics and recent research have indicated that e-learning reduces learning time by “at least 25 to 60 percent” as opposed to traditional learning techniques (Rosenberg, 2001). These new results have profound implications for learners everywhere; given the right circumstances, students have the ability to self-pace learning speed, enabling them to understand complex subject material within a more forgiving timeframe.
Despite the overwhelming popularity of integrating an LMS into the classroom, there are still some disadvantages that have been observed in certain instances. Depending on the environment in which the e-learning platform is being utilized there may or may not be the guarantee of teacher interaction. In traditional classrooms instructors are always on hand for motivation and tend to provide a sense of reassurance. While for some this absence can be disconcerting, others it is a boost into technological savvy early on!
Considering the rise of e-learning, and the potential for circulation across the world, PCS is currently developing its own LMS and has already released Droneology, which is a series of videos on an e-learning platform. To counteract some of the typical drawbacks associated with digital learning, PCS has developed Droneology to be an interactive series of micro-videos starring an instructor-like figure. Using videos engages students, and by keeping them short, or “micro,” enables users to grasp bites of information at a time, rather than all at once. As e-learning evolves, PCS and its curriculum follows suite toward the most effective and efficient teaching methods!
Gwodz-Lukawska, G & Guncaga J. (2015). Supporting of simulation and visualization in e-learning courses for stem education. Retrieved February 9, 2016, from http://mek.oszk.hu/14700/14766/14766.pdf#page=81.
Munir. (2001, February 2). Elearning advantages and disadvantages. Retrieved February 10, 2016 from https://www.classroad.com/17/elearning-advantages-and-disadvantages/Rosenbeg, M.J. (2001). E-learning: strategies for delivering knowledge in the digital age. New York: McGraw-Hill.