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dlearning and elearning

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Developing Innovative Technologies

to Facilitate of E-Learning.



The overall aim is to identify, select and evolve the use of innovative technologies in the area of e-learning considering also the pedagogical aspects and didactical models in e-learning. This approach is essential in order to understand the timing and the need for certain technologies at different levels in e-learning. If for e.g. the browsing of the e-learning content is made quicker than the access to it, the authentication process is no longer valuable.


This section aims to explain why biometrics should be considered an important solution in authentication in e-learning. The justification includes a description of the problem it intends to address with biometrics. It describes and evaluates a range of alternative solutions, including biometrics.


Biometric technologies may seem exotic, but their use is becoming increasingly common, and in 2001 MIT Technology Review named biometrics as one of the “top ten emerging technologies that will change the world.” Within the next decade, a significant proportion of the world’s population would have given a biometric sample for one reason or another (26).


*In biometrics, “authentication” is sometimes used as a generic synonym for verification which is a task where the biometric system attempts to confirm an individual’s claimed identity by comparing a submitted sample to one or more previously enrolled templates (7).




From d-learning to e-learning.


[this chapter includes information from http://learning.ericsson.net]


The evolution in education and training at a distance can be characterised as a move from dLearning (distance learning) to eLearning (electronic learning) to mLearning (mobile learning). These three stages of development correspond to the influence on society of the Industrial Revolution of the 18th to 19th centuries, the Electronics Revolution of the 1980s and the Wireless Revolution of the last years of the 20th century.


The World Bank web site gives these two definitions in its glossary of distance education terms:

Distance education:

Teaching and learning in which learning normally occurs in a different place from teaching.


Distance learning:

Term often used as synonymous with distance education, not strictly correctly since distance education includes teaching as well as learning.


Distance education: is a form of education characterized by (Keegan 1996:50):

• The quasi-permanent separation of teacher and learner throughout the length of the learning process (this distinguishes it from conventional face-to-face education);

• The influence of an educational organization both in the planning and preparation of learning materials and in the provision of student support services (this distinguishes it from private study and teach-yourself programs);

• The use of technical media - print, audio, video or computer, or the world wide web, to unite teacher and learner and carry the content of the course;

• The provision of two-way communication so that the student may benefit from or even initiate dialogue (this distinguishes it from other uses of technology in education);

• The quasi-permanent absence of the learning group through-out the length of the learning process so that people are usually taught as individuals rather than in groups, with the possibility of meetings, either face-to-face or by electronic means, for both didactic and socialization purposes.


Teaching at a distance (dLearning) is going back only 150 years to the developments of technology associated with the Industrial Revolution, especially in transport and communications. It is characterized by the separation of the teacher and the learner and of the learner from the learning group, with the interpersonal communication of conventional education being replace by a mode of communication mediated by technology. Correspondence schools, open universities and other structures of today provide this complement and enrichment of conventional provision.


The first distance educators made it possible for the first time in history to learn at a distance by separating the teacher from the learner and separating the learner from the learning group. This brought great benefits to learners as it freed them from the timetabling of lectures and of training sessions in the company training centre and enabled them to learn at times of their own choosing and in places not specifically designed for learning.


Rapid advances in information technology associated with what may be called an electronics revolution of the 1980s made it possible for the first time in history to teach face-to-face at a distance. By electronically linking students and teacher at various locations by cable, microwave ion satellite it becomes possible to create a virtual classroom.


As the third millennium starts, the impact of distance systems is demonstrated by the development of both group-based distance training systems, and of systems for individual learners. An essential feature of distance education is that the teaching acts are separated in time and place from the learning acts.


A referential moment in the history of d-learning development is represented by the 1970’s when the concepts of open learning and open universities started to grow in importance and gain pedagogical strength on the educational praxis. Giant strides in both quality and quantity of provision were made with the foundation of the European open universities at the start of the 1970s.


The development of distance learning in the United States and its reliance on the synchronous communications technologies of an Electronics Revolution in the 1980s, paved the way for e-learning. Experience with satellite transmission of courses and videoconferencing and other communications technologies gave the impetus for training on the WWW and gave American universities and companies’ leadership in the emergence of web-based learning standards.

There is now little doubt that the World Wide Web is the most successful educational tool to have appeared in a long time. It combines and integrates text, audio and video with interaction amongst participants. It can be used on a global scale and is platform independent. While largely an asynchronous medium, it can also be used for synchronous events. It is not surprising therefore, that trainers, lecturers, distance education providers and teaching institutions at all levels are increasingly using the World Wide Web as a medium for course provision.


By the start of the third millennium, and in spite of the arrival of e-learning, distance learning had established itself as a valid field of educational endeavor complementary to and side by side with conventional provision.

University degrees won at a distance and college diplomas and training certification won at a distance were nationally and internationally accepted in the main.

Much of the groundwork for the acceptance of university degrees won by e-learning and eventually by m-learning provision was achieved by the field of d-learning.


planning and designing elearning

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