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Online Education Prospects Trends And Challenges Education Essay

Distance instruction is non a new construct in Pakistan as Allama Iqbal Open University ( AIOU ) , when established in 1974, was the 2nd Open University in universe and first in Asia and Africa. Conventionally, a combination of wireless, telecasting, prints and face-to-face interaction has been the cardinal manner of leaving distance instruction in Pakistan. The authorities has been at the head of major distance larning enterprises within Pakistan, the non-profit sector and civil society have besides made their grade. Some illustrations include the College of Information and Management Sciences ( CIMS ) , which was an enterprise of WOL, UNIDO, Cybersoft Technologies, ICC, the World Bank and Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering ( CASE ) who are pioneer in presenting distance instruction in professional technology grade classs in Pakistan. Tendencies in distance instruction are altering with debut of new synergistic methodological analysiss taking to online instruction by utilizing a combination of cyberspace and Mobile. The construct of on-line categories is emerging globally and seting demand of alteration in distance acquisition environment and mechanism for a alteration in the manner distance acquisition is imparted in Pakistan. Unfortunately, Pakistan has non been able to maintain gait with promotions in distance acquisition as really few establishments are offering distance and on-line instruction in Pakistan. Pakistan has yet to travel a long manner in harvesting the alone socio-economic benefits of on-line instruction.

This paper explains the chances of transforming from distance instruction to online instruction, latest tendencies in on-line instruction and challenges of on-line instruction in Pakistan.


Distance instruction or distance acquisition, is a field of instruction that focuses on learning methods and engineering with the purpose of presenting instruction, frequently on an single footing, to pupils who are non physically present in a traditional educational scene such as a schoolroom. It has been described as “ a procedure to make and supply entree to larning when the beginning of information and the scholars are separated by clip and distance, or both ” .

On-line instruction can be merely defined as “ Online entree to learning resources, anyplace and anytime ” . Online instruction is fundamentally the usage of new multimedia engineerings and cyberspace to better the quality of instruction by easing entree to resources every bit good as remote challenges and coaction. The distance between teacher and pupil is minimised in on-line instruction with the aid of on-line categories and interactions contrary to distance instruction in which manner of communicating is restricted to conventional methods.

Distance Learning Peculiarities

Besides infinite benefits of Distance acquisition, it had certain built-in criticalnesss which are discussed as under.

Distance larning requires progress planning. Both the teachers and pupils involved in distance acquisition will necessitate to do forfeits, at times, in order to acquire things done on clip.

Distance acquisition does non offer immediate feedback. In a traditional schoolroom scene, a pupil ‘s public presentation can be instantly assessed through inquiries and informal testing. With distance acquisition, a pupil has to wait for feedback until the teacher has reviewed his or her work and responded to it.

Distance acquisition does non ever offer all the needed coursework for every grade plan. For illustration, you can analyze a history lesson wholly as a distant scholar ; but you can non execute nursing clinically as a distant scholar. Thus demand is felt to germinate more synergistic instructional manners for improved pupil and teacher interaction.

Distance acquisition does non give pupils the chance to work on unwritten communicating accomplishments. Students in distance acquisition classs do non acquire the experience of practising verbal interaction with professors and other pupils.

Another disadvantage of distance acquisition is societal isolation. Most frequently, you ‘ll be analyzing entirely. Distance scholars may experience stray or lose the social-physical interaction that comes with go toing a traditional schoolroom.

Instruction Modes for Online Education

Many on-line instruction plans are chiefly text based, utilizing HTML, PowerPoint, or PDF paperss. Online plans transfer PowerPoint presentations onto their Whiteboards in order to let a instructor to show the stuff to a unrecorded category. Using plans pupil and instructor are able to pass on unrecorded utilizing the undermentioned methods ; voice, text confab, and emoticons. The classs meet utilizing a standard 50 minute agenda or a block agenda that is similar to a college or university. Multimedia engineerings have been investigated for many old ages and finally found their manner into pattern. Online lifes, tutorials, pictures, and labs are used to heighten and back up the effectivity of the online schoolroom. Today a broad spectrum of direction manners is available, including the followers:

On-line Classroom: An online schoolroom is a learning environment created in the practical infinite. The aims of an online schoolrooms are to better entree to progress educational experiences by leting pupils and teachers to take part in distant larning communities utilizing personal computing machines ; and to better the quality and effectivity of instruction by utilizing the computing machine to back up a collaborative acquisition procedure. The detonation of the cognition age has changed the context of what is learnt and how it is learnt – the construct of practical schoolrooms is a manifestation of this cognition revolution.

Hypertext classs. Structured class stuff is used as in a conventional distance instruction plan. However, all stuff is provided electronically and can be viewed with a browser. Hyperlinks connect text, multimedia parts and exercisings in a meaningful manner.

Video-based classs. These are like face-to-face schoolroom classs, with a lector speech production and PowerPoint slides or on-line illustrations used for illustration. Video-streaming engineerings are used. Students watch the picture by agencies of freeware or circuit boards ( e.g. Windows Media Player, RealPlayer ) .

Audio-based classs. These are similar but alternatively of traveling images merely the sound path of the lector is provided. Often the class pages are enhanced with a text written text of the talk.

Animated classs. Enriching text-oriented or audio-based class stuff by lifes is by and large a good manner of doing the content and its visual aspect more interesting. Animations are created utilizing Macromedia Flash or similar engineerings. These lifes help understand cardinal constructs and besides allow for better keeping of acquisition.

Web-supported text edition classs. These are based on specific text editions. Students read and reflect on the chapters by themselves. Review inquiries, subjects for treatment, exercises, instance surveies, etc. are given chapter wise on a web site and discussed with the lector.

Latest Trends – Online Education


LAMS, the Learning Activity Management System, is an unfastened beginning Learning Design system for planing, managing and presenting on-line collaborative acquisition activities. It provides instructors with an intuitive ocular authoring environment for making sequences of larning activities. These activities can include a scope of single undertakings, little group work and whole category activities based on both content and coaction. LAMS is “ divine ” by the construct and rules of IMS Learning Design.

Software and Service Providers

Noteworthy sellers are

Adobe Acrobat Connect


Citrix Online



Epiphan Systems

Fuze Meeting

Genesys Meeting Center


Google Wave

IBM Lotus Sametime and IBM LotusLive


Microsoft Office Live Meeting




OmNovia Technologies


Oracle Beehive


Premiere Global Services ( PGi )

RHUB Communications Inc.

Saba Software











Virtual Learning Environments

Alphastudy – Learning and cognition portals

Moodle – An unfastened beginning ( free ) modular php practical acquisition package

Blackboard – A household of practical acquisition package

Democrasoft – Collaborize Classroom – A free online larning platform for instructors and pupils

CyberExtension – Virtual Managed Learning Environment

Desire2Learn – A suite of larning package

FirstClass – Messaging and communications solution

Heritage Key – Virtual historical environments, such as Tutankhamun ‘s grave.

itslearning – Norse Learning Environment, delivered every bit Software as a Service ( SaaS ) , market leader in Norway, Sweden and UK.

Mingoville – Introduction to the English linguistic communication. Age 8 to 12 ( Virtual World and Language games )

RCampus A Learning and ePortfolio Management System with both personal and institutional entree

Saba Centra – Part of a Human Capital Development System

SpicyNodes – Create and portion radial maps ( related to concept maps and mind maps )

WebCT – ( Now a portion of Blackboard ) Software applications designed to heighten instruction and acquisition

WebTrain – Virtual unrecorded categories, registration, attending, attending monitoring.


A VLE will usually work over the Internet and supply a aggregation of tools such as those for assessment ( peculiarly of types that can be marked automatically, such as multiple pick ) , communicating, uploading of content, return of pupils ‘ work, peer appraisal, disposal of pupil groups, roll uping and forming pupil classs, questionnaires, tracking tools, etc. New characteristics in these systems include wikis, web logs, RSS and 3D practical acquisition infinites. VLE ‘s are frequently used in schools and other educational constitutions in order to do the acquisition experience more synergistic.

While originally created for distance instruction, VLEs are now most frequently used to supplement traditional face to confront schoolroom activities, normally known as Blended Learning. These systems normally run on waiters, to function the class to pupils Multimedia and/or web pages.

In some plans, such as Elluminate, a practical acquisition environment can be similar to a face-to-face schoolroom environment in that it allows direct communicating with the instructor. Students can utilize emoticons to “ raise their manus, ” show that they are confused, show that they understand what the instructor is stating, and even give hand clapping for something that the instructor says. Students are besides able to speak to the instructor when called on. In many of these practical acquisition environments the pupils are able to compose on the “ practical schoolroom blackboard. ” This allows them to demo their work for the remainder of the category to see. Students can besides be split up into groups in order to work with each other and discuss subjects that the instructor introduces. Many practical larning environments give instructors the ability to portion multimedia files such as picture and audio files every bit good as the ability to reassign of import paperss ( Word, PDF, aˆ¦etc. ) straight to pupils.

In ‘Virtually There ‘ , a book and DVD battalion distributed freely to schools by the Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning Foundation ( YHGfL ) , Professor Stephen Heppell writes in the preface:

“ Learning is interrupting out of the narrow boxes that it was trapped in during the twentieth century ; instructors ‘ professionalism, contemplation and inventiveness are taking larning to topographic points that truly excite this new coevals of affiliated immature school pupils – and their instructors excessively. VLEs are assisting to do certain that their acquisition is non confined to a peculiar edifice, or restricted to any individual location or minute. “ [ 1 ]

Similar footings

A VLE is a computing machine plan that facilitates computerized acquisition or e-learning. Such e-learning systems are sometimes besides called Learning Management System ( LMS ) , Content Management System ( CMS ) , Learning Content Management System ( LCMS ) , Managed Learning Environment ( MLE ) , Learning Support System ( LSS ) , Online Learning Centre ( OLC ) , OpenCourseWare ( OCW ) , or Learning Platform ( LP ) ; it is education via computer-mediated communicating ( CMC ) or On-line Education.

A more right term may be a practical environment for larning, instead than practical acquisition environment. This removes any ambiguities and identifies that it is the environment which is practical and non the acquisition. The term virtual may besides lend to confusion, proposing that the acquisition is non existent or reliable.

In the United States, CMS and LMS are the more common footings, nevertheless LMS is more often associated with package for pull offing corporate preparation plans instead than classs in traditional instruction establishments.

In the United Kingdom and many European states, the footings VLE and MLE are favored ; nevertheless, it is of import to recognize that these are two really different things. A VLE can be considered a subsystem of an MLE, whereas MLE refers to the wider substructure of information systems in an organisation that support and enable electronic acquisition on a wider graduated table. In fact a instead academic reading of the term MLE could be extended to embrace the physical environment in which larning takes topographic point ( i.e. a school ) . Besides the usage of VLE avoids confusion with the usage of LMS to intend “ Library Management System ” ( which is more normally referred to as Integrated Library System, or ILS, in the United States ) .

Becta, in the UK, have coined the term larning platform to cover both MLE and VLE as used in the schools sector. ‘The term larning platform describes a wide scope of ICT systems used to present and back up acquisition. Through a learning platform, hardware, package and supporting services are brought together to enable more effectual ways of working within and outside the schoolroom. At the bosom of any learning platform is the construct of a individualized online larning infinite for the student. This infinite should offer instructors and students entree to stored work, e-learning resources, communicating and coaction with equals, and the installation to track advancement. ‘ [ 2 ]


A VLE should do it possible for a class interior decorator to show to pupils, through a individual, consistent, and intuitive interface, all the constituents required for a class of instruction or preparation. Although logically it is non a demand, in pattern VLEs ever make extended usage of computing machines and the Internet.A VLE should implement all the undermentioned elements:

The course of study for the class

Administrative information including the location of Sessionss, inside informations of pre-requisites and co-requisites, recognition information, and how to acquire aid

A notice board for up-to-date class information

Student enrollment and trailing installations, if necessary with payment options

Basic instruction stuffs. These may be the complete content of the class, if the VLE is being used in a distance larning context, or transcripts of ocular AIDSs used in talks or other categories where it is being used to back up a campus-based class.

Extra resources, including reading stuffs, and links to outside resources in libraries and on the Internet.

Self-assessment quizzes which can be scored automatically

Formal appraisal processs

Electronic communicating support including electronic mail, threaded treatments and a confab room, with or without a moderator

Differential entree rights for teachers and pupils

Production of certification and statistics on the class in the format required for institutional disposal and quality control

All these installations should be capable of being hyperlinked together

Easy authoring tools for making the necessary paperss including the interpolation of hyperlinks – though it is acceptable ( arguably, preferred ) for the VLE to be designed leting standard word processors or other office package to be used for authoring.

In add-on, the VLE should be capable of back uping legion classs, so that pupils and teachers in a given establishment ( and, so, across establishments ) experience a consistent interface when traveling from one class to another.


Open University Support System

Universities and other establishments of higher and farther instruction are progressively turning to VLEs in order to:

Conserve on the clip of learning staff, particularly when they are besides involved in research and disposal. The extent of the economic system over traditional “ talk-and-chalk ” instruction is non yet clear, but for teachers without web development expertness, utilizing a VLE absorbs less clip and produces a more professional consequence.

Supply a service for pupils who progressively look to the cyberspace as the natural medium for happening information and resources.

Ensure that quality control demands are met by supplying a standard vehicle for roll uping the needed information

Facilitate the integrating of distance and campus-based acquisition or of larning on different campuses.

For illustration, accredited establishments such as Chapman College University, Touro University, and Adams State College offer online, on-demand instructor preparation classs for pedagogues to gain alumnus recognition and/or Masterss grades. [ 3 ] In the UK schools are being encouraged to do usage of larning platforms. The DCSF in the UK authorities has published an eStrategy [ 4 ] sketching precedences that include every scholar in schools holding entree to an online larning infinite and e-portfolio. [ 5 ]

Virtual acquisition environments besides have become popular among younger pupils. Pennsylvania has a figure of cyber charter schools available to offer pupils a pick in their instruction. PA Cyber Charter School is the largest 1 in Pennsylvania with an registration of 10,000 pupils from kindergarten through 12th class. [ 6 ]

Transfering class content

Most VLEs support Shareable Content Object Reference Model ( SCORM ) as a standard manner to upload, launch and path classs. There are no normally used criterions that define how the scholar ‘s public presentation within a class should be transferred from one VLE to another.

Some establishments have attempted to battle this job by holding to portion content through unfastened criterions, such as those defined by the IMS Global Consortium. Local organic structures such as in the schools sector in the UK the DCSF via Becta have additionall defined a acquisition platform “ conformity model ” to promote interoperability. [ 7 ]

Virtual Learning Environments are non limited merely to pupils and scholars in alumnus degree surveies. There are many practical acquisition environments being created at all times, particularly due to the increased popularity of on-line public instruction for pupils in grades k-12. One illustration of a practical acquisition environment for some of the youngest scholars is coined with the name: Small Lincoln. “ Small Lincoln is an synergistic and prosecuting standards-based course of study that combines rich multimedia with comprehensive offline activities. Little Lincoln is presently offered for Early Kindergarten, Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade pupils. Small Lincoln Third Grade will be available for the 2011-2012 academic twelvemonth. “ [ 8 ] This online larning environment allows for the pupils to use advanced engineering while come oning through criterions based course of study. It is merely one of many practical acquisition environments available at this clip.

On-line instruction Challenges – Pakistan

Some of the lessons learnt from Pakistan ‘s experience in e-learning are as follows:

oˆ‚? Technological and institutional substructure lies at the bosom of the challenges

confronted by Pakistan in advancing e-learning. With a blue norm of 7.5

persons per 100 dwellers utilizing Internet, the gait of developing dependable and

rapid ICT substructure in the state needs to pick-up. Furthermore, extra

establishments offering e-learning on a national degree must be instituted while bing

universities should be engaged in supplying parallel e-learning programmes. The

HEC has taken applaudable enterprises in this regard, which shall be discussed in

the following subdivision.

oˆ‚? Computer literacy and entree are yet another set of challenges for advancing elearning

in Pakistan ( Reddi & A ; Mishra, 2005 ) . While the authorities is seeking to do

ICT substructure more low-cost, stairss to advance OSS are notable. The HEC

has besides facilitated the obtaining of the International Computer Driving License

( ICDL ) , which will assist gait up computing machine literacy in the state ( HEC, 2006 ) .

oˆ‚? English as a medium of leaving instruction is a serious hinderance in guaranting the

publicity of e-learning within Pakistan. This is because most of the population

accounted as literate is non familiar or fluent in English linguistic communication. The content must

therefore be converted into Urdu linguistic communication for guaranting greater entree, acceptableness and

public-service corporation. The function of the Centre for Research in Urdu Language Processing ( CRULP ) ,

which will be discussed in the following subdivision, is important in this respect.

oˆ‚? Culture stands in the face of all schemes aimed at advancing e-learning in Pakistan.

Awareness runs sing the public-service corporation of e-learning in the multitudes must be

initiated and renowned establishments should back or take-up e-learning distance

programmes, so that the credibleness of this medium of instruction may be established.

oˆ‚? The ingraining of modern-day e-learning enabling techniques such as OSD and

larning accomplishments such as SRL are perfectly critical in bettering the acquisition

experience of e-learners. For case, the method of IMPROVE, developed by

Mevarech and Kramarski ( 1997 ) and Kramarski and Mevarech ( 2003 ) ‘supports

pupils SRL in mathematics by utilizing four classs of self-metacognitive

oppugning ‘ :

O groking the job

o building connexions between old and new cognition

O utilizing appropriate schemes for work outing the job, and

o reflecting on the procedures and the solution ( Kramarski & A ; Gutman, 2006,

p.25 ) .

Research has shown that pupils utilizing IMPROVE ‘significantly outperformed other

pupils in problem-solving, procedural and reassign undertakings sing mathematical

accounts ‘ , and in utilizing self-monitoring schemes during job resolution ( op. cit. ,

p.24 ) .

oˆ‚? E-tutors require proper preparation before they should be allowed to ease e-learners.

Particular programmes for such preparations should be initiated at a national degree, so that a

critical mass of e-tutors is made available with the proliferation of e-learning in


oˆ‚? Constant encouragement, practical yet personal tutor-student interactions and adding an

component of enjoyment in e-learning programmes ( Abdon & A ; Raab, 2001 ) is the key to

adding value to the Pakistani e-learner ‘s experience.

HEC e-learning Initiative

The HEC was set up to with the position of bettering the quality of higher instruction in the

state and run intoing the demand of trained human resource originating from development

challenges and chances presented by the rapid development in ICTs. In add-on to its

nucleus HR activities, HEC has besides sponsored plans to set up world-class ICT

substructure in universities across the state. These enterprises laid the platform for the

bringing of a scope of ICT-based educational services, which are inclusive of a worldclass

Digital Library and Video Conferencing Facilities.

Specific e-learning enterprises of the HEC include the development of ‘Online Lecturing

and Net-Meeting utilizing IP-based Video Conferencing System ‘ , which is expected to

provide for Video Conferencing installations in all public sector universities and will let

for the constitution of universe category picture conferencing talk suites. The chief

aim of presenting this Video Conferencing installation is to heighten interaction

between the pupil and the instructor, run into the deficit of qualified module members at

the universities located in distant and distant countries, and finally elate the criterion of

instruction in Pakistan. In the initial stage, 18 universities/ grade awarding establishments

will be provided with this installation, while the 2nd stage will include an extra 32

universities. The undertaking involves supply, installing, integrating, proving, commissioning

and maintenance/support of to the full functional Video Conferencing System along with the

collaborative tools to heighten the Students-Teacher interaction through distance acquisition

( HEC, 2006 ; Masood et Al, 2007 ) .


These new and advanced engineerings are non intended as replacings for traditional instruction, but instead as extensions that enhance, compliment and graduated table acquisition in deep and powerful ways. Furthermore, engineering tends to exceed cultural morasss sabotaging consensus in states holding diverse civilizations, linguistic communications and governmental legal powers.

Although e-learning is yet to play a substantial portion in Pakistan ‘s instruction sphere, the

authorities ‘s drift, policy thrust, focussed schemes and acute execution program are

promoting. It is expected that Pakistan would fall in the conference of Asiatic states, such

as Malaysia, who have made considerable advancement in the kingdom of e-learning and hold

used this medium for the national-level societal and economic benefits, in non excessively distant-afuture.

The first stairss of elearning in agribusiness are being taken in merely about every state. The United

States, Europe, and Australia are taking the acceptance of elearning in agribusiness, and they are

besides greatly helping developing states to make the same. While much of the available support

and involvement has been geared toward specialised plans in agriculture, agroterrorism,


agricultural direction, a big figure of organisations have been bring forthing agricultural

elearning preparation of changing quality. The challenge is to to the full work electronic media, maximising

its utility and the kingdom of possible resourcesI? elearning must non be Power Point

presentations modified into on-line faculties, but instead welldesigned

preparation that draw on the

best electronic resources available. The recent online plans developed and made available

by the FAO and a few other organisations are transfusing smaller organisations, which could

otherwise non afford the clip or money to develop them, with highquality

elearning preparation

resources. An consequence similar to the cell phone epidemic that swept across most of the development

universe is assisting to advance elearning. Many communities are jumping traditional preparation bringing

methods and are traveling directly to utilizing elearning. Extension agents will go on to play a critical

function in agricultural extension, bridging the spread between elearning methods and execution in

the field.

Kurbel, Karl: Virtuality on the Students ‘ and on the Teachers ‘ sides: A Multimedia and Internet based International Master Program ; ICEF Berlin GmbH ( Eds. ) , Proceedings on the 7th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning and Training – Online Educa ; Berlin, Germany ; November 2001, pp. 133-136

^ Loutchko, Iouri ; Kurbel, Karl ; Pakhomov, Alexei: Production and Delivery of Multimedia Courses for Internet Based Virtual Education ; The World Congress “ Networked Learning in a Global Environment: Challenges and Solutions for Virtual Education ” , Berlin, Germany, May 1 – 4, 2002

Honeyman, M. ; Miller, G. ( December 1993 ) . “ Agriculture distance instruction: A valid option for higher instruction? ” . Proceedings of the twentieth Annual National Agricultural Education Research Meeting: 67-73.

HEC, 2006, ‘E-Learning ‘ , Higher Education Commission, Government of Pakistan,

Available at hypertext transfer protocol: //, Accessed [ January

24, 2007 ]

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