E-Learning Workshop

By: Mr. Chhun Nan

In a two day joint workshop, held at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC), in association with the ASEAN Cyber University (ACU), University of Cambodia’s Associate Dean for the College of Science and Technology, Mr. Chhun Nan, learned about the methods and implementation of e-learning in Cambodia’s Higher Education Institutions.

In 2012, The Korea International Cooperation Agency, known as KOICA, handed over operation of an e-Learning Center to Cambodia, as a part of a project entitled, “Strengthening CLMV Capacity for ASEAN Cyber University in Cambodia.” This workshop provided a progress report on this project, in addition to discussing e-learning creation and methods. Four different e-learning methods were presented to the workshop; unfortunately, data from learning outcome studies remains limited, so it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of these models.

The four e-learning strategies discussed were, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), the Flipped Learning model, blended learning, and e-pedagogy. MOOC allows for extremely cheap or free education, and could open doors for many people who wish to get an education, but cannot afford a traditional university. However, this model contains flaws, for it does not include any in class instruction,
exploration, or clarification. The Flipped Learning model is based on the idea that some, if not all, initial instruction is given outside of the classroom though videos or podcasts, and interactive activities online. Students are able to do a bulk of the learning outside of the class period, allowing class time to focus on reviewing topics that were difficult to understand, and to complete collaborative hands-on activities. In the blended learning model students receive some non-traditional instruction and activities online, in addition to in class instruction, practice and exploration.

The workshop not only presented these models and their uses, but strategies for designing interactive e-learning courses were also discussed.

When the majority, or all, of student’s learning is done in an online environment it is important to create lessons that are interactive, so as to keep students engaged and motivated to learn. It was noted that lessons should contain high quality and meaningful content. The lessons should integrate visual components, and contain practice scenarios based on real life experiences. Since the learning is happening online, it is important to encourage group collaboration. This can be done online, in a chat forum or via email, or learners from the same area can meet up in person to conduct group projects and study groups. In addition, each lesson or unit should contain quizzes and assessments, in order to check progress, maintain student’s focus and determination, and to boost knowledge retention rates by acting as a review and summary of the information covered in the lesson or module.