eLearning grows, classroom setting still retains value

B-OnlineLearning15 Photo by Aabida Dhanji

Aabida Dhanji
Biz/Tech Reporter

Online learning has become the new way of learning.

There are various new websites coming up regularly for online learning. Websites like desire2learn, Blackboard, and the International Career Institute are just a few.

People are now able to take classes solely online. The International Career Institute is an online learning platform that gives individuals a chance to acquire various degrees, diplomas and certificates online.

There are several differences with an online program as compared to an in-class program, said Jennifer Vaz, a current student in the paralegal studies diploma program at the International Career Institute.

The online program is definitely much easier, however provides some key practical information that would definitely be required in the work field, she said.

“The online program has very specific tasks and questions, with support from tutorial assistants throughout the duration of the course. The assignments do require a lot of research and work, however, in comparison to a degree, much easier,” said Vaz.

“I would recommend online learning platforms to those who are seeking to qualify further after completing some kind of diploma or undergraduate degree. Even though it gives you what is required, the lack of contact with peers and professors take away from the learning,” said Vaz.

Humber grad, Virginia Jamieson, the global communications lead at Desire2Learn, helps develop and market integrated learning platforms (ILPs).

Users for them include individual learners in higher education, K-12, healthcare, government and the corporate sector, including Fortune 1000 companies, she explained.

“We are helping clients break down barriers to access the highest quality learning experiences and we’re recognized for our leadership in accessibility” she said.

“The ILP is a suite of learning solutions that are all tied together within one platform.”

Blackboard is another online learning platform that is used at Humber College. Online platforms can sometimes be difficult to use. Just this year, Humber switched to a newer version of Blackboard, which has created issues for many professors here.

“The new blackboard is much more comprehensive and there is way more that can be done with it, so it takes time to learn it,” said Alanna Turco, Humber Fitness & Health Management professor.

Because Blackboard is more comprehensive, it makes it much less user friendly said Turco.

“The number one thing for me that is different and frustrating for me is that on the old system as a professor you could see what your students saw, and on the new one you don’t have that,” she said

Not having a student view makes it frustrating for both the professor and the students, said Turco.