Development of E-Learning Website for yaba tech students
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Markus (2008) defines e-learning as a learning process created by interaction with digitally delivered content, network-based services and tutoring support. This definition focuses on the revolutionary impact of network-enabled technology. Adding more details on methodology: e-learning is any technologically mediated learning using computers whether from a distance or in face to face classroom setting (computer assisted learning), it is a shift from traditional education or training to ICT-based personalized, ﬂexible, individual, self-organized, collaborative learning based on a community of learners, teachers, facilitators, experts”
Central in this definition are two aspects of e-learning: e-learning as computer assisted learning, and e-learning as pedagogy for student-centered and collaborative learning. These aspects in fact summarizes the development of e-learning in time. Early developments in e-learning focused on computer assisted learning, where part or all of the learning content is delivered digitally. More recently the pedagogical dimension of e-learning has become prominent.
Universities are forced to respond to the emerging developments in information and communication technology (ICT). The Internet is fast becoming an everyday tool for life activities. The use of internet for teaching and learning is becoming a normal extension. Students also have high expectations about the use of ICT in their education. The shift in learner expectations, changing demographics of learners, and the rapid development of subject knowledge forms challenges to universities (Ryan et al., 2000, Alexander, 2001).
E-learning can be defined as the use of information and communication technology to acquire knowledge and improve skills at times and on terms defined by each learner in an interactive and engaging environment. It covers a spectrum of activities from blended and hybrid learning to learning that is entirely online (distance learning). E-learning mainly takes the form of online courses, where the dominant learning technology employed today is a type of system that organizes and delivers these courses. E-learning models are attempts to develop frameworks to address the concerns of the learner and present the technology challenges to deliver effective quality e-learning. When implementing e-learning model, it is very important not to take too narrow view of what constitutes e-learning and where its main value might lie. It is very important to widen our vision to what the added value the technology offer on the learning process. It allows remote learners to interact with the subject matter, subject material, and with each other in the form that could not be achieved for learners without technology. The role of technology is to get remote learners into a position to learn as though they were in-campus. And arguably, from the pedagogical view, it may provide a new way to achieve a deep understanding of the subject.
That is to say, using technology to achieve better outcomes, better engagement and interaction for the new digital generation, effective assessment and more cost-efficient way of bringing the learning environment to the learners. E-learning models have evolved from classroom replication towards models that integrate technology and pedagogical issues. In this article we illustrate an e-learning model that emphasized the role of technology in providing electronic access services and rich contents, and focus on the pedagogical issues such online instructional design and the creation of online learning communities and social networks.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this report is to design and implement a web-based system that allows interaction between instructors and students. This involves developing an intuitive user interface for both instructor and student. Instructors and students are the external entities to the system who can log into the system and use the functionality provided by the system.
Specific Objectives include:
i.) to develop non-expensive interactive tools like message board tool, discussion group tool and chat tool to provide interaction between the student and the instructor,
ii.) to introduce members of the academics to the concept of e-Learning, online learning and virtual learning,
iii.) to foster better and cordial interaction among members of the academic community(staff and students), and
iv.) To develop a cost effective and efficient system (almost free) for disseminating educational resources between the students and lecturers.
v.) to design a system with reusable components, feasibility and provision for system expansion without compromising system performance
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Electronic learning (e-Learning), which facilitates education using communications networks, has made learning possible from anywhere at any time by using the Internet, wide area networks or local area networks. Notably, e-Learning applications which have become central to the learning process may be developed using proprietary programming tools. Meanwhile, the process of acquiring proprietary programming tools, the license and using them to develop large software application is not only complex but a huge sum of money is spent on the purchase and license. These have also affected the widespread and the level of usage of the system. A possible solution to these problems is to utilize highly flexible open source application that allows software engineers and institutions the right to reuse, study, distribute and localize the codes to satisfy user’s requirements.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study revolves around the design and implementation of an e-learning system for Yaba Tech students. The system will be able to get and store student’s profile information, educational information. Students will be able to access notes and lecture materials dropped off by the lecturers. They will be able to ask questions and receive answers during online sessions, submit assignments and get their scores. Due to some limitations met during the research, the system does not cover the calculation of the overall grade points at the end of the session.
1.5 JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY
This work could be useful for students or officers in any schooling organization. The system provides a user friendly system that facilitates quick and efficient learning to cover larger section of students no matter their location and distance. The software also provides paperless and cashless transaction solution and also has network based solutions to operate multiple counters simultaneously in a closed environment.
1.6 ASSUMPTION OF THE STUDY
During the process of data collection, information relating to e-learning was obtained from Yaba Tech. The information was collected from the admin staff during the course of my study. Hence, it is assumed that all the data collected are correct and contains no false information.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The following are some factors, which acted as an impeachment or constraints to the progress of the project work;
a. Lack of Documented materials: It was difficult to start the project initially because reference materials at my disposal are limited.
b. Financial constraint is another factors that limited the researcher in owning out this project effectively.
c. Reluctance by the respondents in giving information fearing that the information sought would be used to intimidate them or print a negative image about them.
To counter this, I carried a pilot study to establish the possible cause of non-compliance in filling the questionnaires and adjusted the questionnaire accordingly. Also I encouraged the respondents to participate without holding back the information they might be having as the research instruments would not bear their names.
1.8 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research work will be guided by the following research questions:
i. Why proposing an e-learning system for the school. Is it really important?
ii. How will the proposed computer-based system affect the existing conventional system?
iii. Can e-learning be used to develop any type of skill?
iv. Does it address a short-term or a long-term learning need?
v. Do participants have access to needed computer and communications equipment?
vi. Are participants sufficiently self-motivated for e-learning or self-study modes of learning?
vii. Do target participants’ time schedules and geographic locations enable classroom-based learning or other types of synchronous learning?
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The report is organized as follows:
This chapter (chapter 1) gives the technologies used to deliver distance education, it describes the problem statement and the main objective of this project.
Chapter 2 gives background information on distance educations. It details the related literature on e-learning
Chapter 3 gives the methodology and analysis of the system
Chapter 4 describes the design and implementation aspects of this proposed and new system.
Chapter 5 concludes the paper with conclusions and suggestions for future work
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
· E-Learning: is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.
· Open Source Software: (OSS) is computer software with its source code made available with a license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and forany purpose.
· Intranet: is a private network accessible only to an organization’s staff. Generally a wide range of information and services from the organization's internal IT systems are available that would not be available to the public from the Internet.
· ICT: Information and communications technology (ICT) is an extended term for information technology (IT) which stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals), computers as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage, and audio.
· E-Bulletin board:Electronic bulletin boards (also known as message boards or as computer forums) are online communication systems where one can share, request, or discuss information on just about any subject.
· Web: World Wide Web or the Web, a hypertext system that operates over the Internet.In computing, a web application or web app is a client–server computer program in which the client runs in a web browser.