eLearning is an advanced form of learning using electronic resources. This form of learning has become extremely popular in recent time because of the rapid growth in technology and the various advancements made in the learning system. eLearning has a number of advantages as compared to primitive methods of learning.
- The students can get their lessons by sitting at their own home. They need not have to travel to far off places just to attend the classes. They can learn at their own independent place and time.
- eLearning does not require any physical space or a classroom as everything is done online. Students can learn at their own pace. If they find it difficult to understand a particular topic then they can go through that topic over and over again.
- The students will also be able to customize their course material as per their own requirement.
- eLearning also enables one-to-one interaction. In case you face any kind of problem, you will be able to contact your mentor directly and clear all your doubts.
What are the challenges faced in eLearning?
Although eLearning provides a number of opportunities to the students, it has a number of challenges as well. Now let us have a look at some of the unit challenges of eLearning:
A big advantage of online learning is that a student will be able to study their lessons from their own homes. However, this can be really isolating. eLearning methods can create a distance between the students. There is no physical interaction between the students. They are not being able to learn in an encouraging and supporting community. This can bring about a lot of difficulties and they may find it difficult to persist in future.
2. Lack of instant response
In case of eLearning, the mentors and the teachers work during their working hours. So, the students may not be able to get an instant response to their queries. They may have to wait for a considerable amount of time to get their doubts cleared. This can be very demotivating for the students
3. Lack of proper technology
The people who are not very familiar with the latest forms of technology may find it difficult to cope up with eLearning methods. Also, the lack of proper internet connection prevents a student from taking his or her classes smoothly.
What is social learning?
Social learning is a form of learning that is governed by community influences. Here, the students learn by observing other students. A student can observe the behaviour of other students and acquire lessons from that. It is a cognitive learning process where the students can share their knowledge and resources with one another.
How does social learning help to overcome the challenges faced in Elearning?
Social learning can definitely help to overcome the challenges faced in eLearning methods. In social learning, the students need not be isolated from one another. They will be able to share their views with one another and also interact with other students of their age. This will also help the students to build up their confidence level. Proper communication is a very important aspect of learning and without proper communication, the students will never be able to gain proper knowledge.
What is the need for a community website?
A community website enables social learning. It brings together a number of students in a community where they can learn their lessons. A community website plays a great role in developing a positive mindset. It also helps to create a positive relationship between the students. Here we have listed some of the advantages of developing a community website for learning.
It enables better learning. The students will be able to interact with each other within the community and also share their ideas with one another. They will take more interest in their lessons in a cognitive environment.
Community websites help to improve the retention rate of the students. Once they start feeling connected with the community, they will join the classes the following year as well. This will definitely help you to expand your online learning business.
A lower level of stress
As the students are learning their lessons together, they do not feel stressed out or isolated. Instead, they begin to feel more motivated. This will definitely help to boost their confidence and yield a better result.
How to design a community website for students?
There are various ways by which you can design a community website and the easiest way to do so is by taking the help of WordPress. WordPress is not just a web development platform. It is a content management system using which you will be able to develop a fully functional community website. However, in order to design the perfect community website, you will require an exclusive WordPress theme and a set of plugins.
eLearning plugins: To design an eLearning platform for your students, you need to integrate LMS plugins to your community website. Two such popular LMS plugins are LearnDash and LifterLMS.
1. LearnDash Toolkit
LearnDash Toolkit provides you with a set of tools using which you will be able to develop a perfect eLearning platform. The plugin comes with a number of eLearning features like front-end login, LearnDash Resume Button, Login Redirect, etc. A number of extensions are also provided.
LifterLMS is an excellent eLearning plugin. It allows you to create highly flexible eLearning platforms. The plugin lets you create your own training program and display your courses before your viewers in an organized way. You can also create a membership website using LifterLMS.
Community plugins: Community plugins let you design an online community. These plugins allow you to add community features to your WordPress website. BuddyPress is one such plugin.
3. BuddyPress plugin
BuddyPress is one of the best plugins available for designing a community website. Using this plugin, you will be able to design a highly functional community website. You will be able to integrate all the social networking features seamlessly into your community website.
WordPress theme: WordPress themes provide a framework on which you will be able to create your community website. These themes provide you with a lot of customization options using which you will be able to design your desired website.
4. Reign BuddyPress
Reign BuddyPress is one such WordPress theme that provides in-built support for both elearning plugins like LearnDash or LifterLMS and community plugins like BuddyPress. The theme is retina ready and comes with a very powerful options panel from where you will be able to customize the various aspects of the theme. It also includes several community features.
In this way, a community website can help to boost your eLearning business. It is highly beneficial for the students and allows them to learn their lessons in a cognitive environment. What are the other benefits of having a community website for an eLearning platform?