Potentials and challenges of e-learning program

E-based programs provide a significantly higher level of flexibility than off-line ones. First of all, a student is not tied in terms of time and territory (off-line classes held indefinite time and place). Secondly, the information can be accessed from any place. Thirdly, the learning programs can be modified in accordance with the needs of students. Fourthly, the variety of studying material in different forms provides learners with the possibility to choose from audio, video, animated, and any other types of materials.

ICT (information and communication technologies) skills of learners develop in the process of studying the language. Therefore along with knowledge in the primary sphere, which is English language, the student will also be learning how to use new gadgets and work in various programs. This knowledge will be extremely useful for those who have little knowledge in the sphere but still wants to keep up with the ICT developments.

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Interactive learning had been a necessary part of e-learning strategy. Students are given the possibility to communicate with other students and tutors, can choose the topic which they are interested in. this interaction forms a part of the educational process when through social relations and dialogue students gain knowledge and practice their abilities. In off-line language lessons, the number of communication partners is limited to the classmates, while the on-line student is able to choose from thousands of language learners from all over the world.

Those with daytime jobs will still be able to study language with the e-courses. For many people learning new languages is not possible as their working hours are the same as of the language courses. With e-learning, students will have the chance to access the information and tutorials at any possible time, whether lunchtime, evenings or weekends.

The flexibility and accessibility of courses will lead to greater number of students coming from different backgrounds, regions, and with different needs. Therefore it is very important to provide future learners with the variety of learning programs, levels of education, types of information. Modifications of the courses for different groups of a population according to their needs (business English, language for everyday communication, English for children, etc) will increase the number of potential learners interested in the proposed courses.

New methods of teaching and learning should be proposed in the e-learning program. Student-oriented techniques and “learning instead of teaching” will be the basis of the program. At the same time with technological innovations and the development of new gadgets and software teaching techniques will be changing and improving.

If the program proves to be successful, it can be expanded to other Arabic countries, embracing the whole Arab world in one language learning community. Noting that the program will have a special orientation towards Arabic learners, it will be easy to encourage others to join the network.

Furthermore, instead of being English-centered, the program with time can include other languages, both European and Asian. Therefore learners will not have to look for additional programs and e-learning courses to choose a language. As a result, the program will be able to propose any of the world’s main languages and any type of learning program.

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Financial support has always been a problem of any start-up. And though in this case the support will be required only in the beginning, money still will be needed for teachers entering the project and those creating the basic program. It is still very complicated to explain the opportunities of e-investments as many of “old school” businessmen are not familiar with the new technologies.

Copyright issues are among the most complicated in e-business. May of the materials still exist in paper form and do not have an electronic equivalent. But the creation of such an equivalent will definitely cause complications with copyright laws.

The complications with Internet access are among the major problems for e-businesses. Libya is among countries with the low percent of the population having the access to ICT, therefore if the situation remains stable, the e-learning proposal will not get the expected audience.

E-tools will not replace teachers. This has to be fully understood and taken into account. Therefore some programs that will add the element of “tutorial presence”, such as real-time communication, have to be implemented.

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