Is e-teaching what it seems to be?
Oscar Delgado Cabana
Universidad Latina de Costa Rica
Is e-teaching what it seems to be?
Many people can get confused when listening to the concept of e-education, e-learning or e-teaching. One of the most common reasons that this situation occurs is the fact that letter “e” before any word refers to internet or to technology. People tend to believe thate-teaching is only putting into classrooms a computer or a multimedia projector and installing an internet connection in a classroom, but things go beyond this empirical concept. E-teaching has to do with an adaptation of education to new advances in technology and educative methods (FeriaOnline, 2010). E-teaching works with platforms and interfaces that display content digitally, that leadsstudents to work in different ways, such as accessing the content anywhere at any time, participating in discussion forums, taking tests and doing homework, accomplishing online activities already established in a course outline, therefore, learners can be anywhere, so it means that students are not thought to be in classrooms. Nowadays, e-teaching institutions deal with students that are enrolled intheir curricula, but out of campuses. Hence, students that enroll e-teaching courses need specific abilities like discipline, computer knowledge and motivation in order to be successful as e-students (Jimenez & Rodríguez, 2012). The most important aspects that involve e-teaching are the platforms, the steps to create a course using this modality and its advantages and disadvantages engagingstudents in this trend.
There are significant traits that e-teaching platforms must have, and it is according to the standards of norm SCORM (FeriaOnline, 2010). The first factor that norm SCORM establishes as essential in the e-teaching platforms is accessibility. Accessibility means that contents must be easy to find. Reusability is the second aspect that SCORM points out as one standard forplatforms. Reusability stands that the contents must be used in independent teaching-learning contexts. Finally, the third and last standard for SCORM is interoperability. Interoperability sets that contents must be used in different applications and environments regardless the tools for its creation and platform. By these and more traits that can be taken into account e-teaching courses can besuccessful or not.
Basically, to create an e-teaching course, there are crucial steps to follow. The first of them is to create an average course curriculum. One of the references to create a course outline is the CEFR (Common European Framework Reference). Most of the ELT and ESL courses are based on the CEFR. E-teaching differs from average courses in the fact that, contents in an e-teaching courseare arranged in a specific portal on internet. It happens the contrary in a classroom course in which content has to be arranged by the teacher in class. The second and the most crucial step is to choose the platform format in which everything has to be arranged. It means that there has to be a thorough research to choose an e-teaching company, and if the company had different platforms,customers would choose the best format for the course. The third step to create an e-teaching course is to determine the activities, homework, tests and other factors that are going to be presented in a digital format. It means that the professionals in teaching and the platform designers join in order to plan the ways in which the content should be displayed. Factors posted on the platform must bedisplayed and arranged according to norm SCORM. Without following these stated steps, e-teaching-course curricula will present many weaknesses and can be unsupported, which can lead to the failure of the plans.
E-teaching nowadays presents many advantages and disadvantages at the time that is desired to engage students in it. One of the advantages of e-teaching, according to some standards, is that...
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