Part 1- Introduction The report contains the...
Business Requirements E-learning Portal Editing Services
Market survey and research
Market for E learning is growing exponentially all over the globe. In Business Requirements E-learning Portal Assignment claimed that market for e learning is growing by a rate of 16.8 percent in USA which includes various e learning products and services for pre K-12 educational level. The market research is done by a longitudinal study of 5 years time line. As per the data published in report the total e learning industry is currently having a volume of 18.2 billion us dollars annually and it is believed that the turnover will reach to 24.2 billion us dollar by the year 2015. E learning products and services not only caters to the need of education industry but also fulfills the requirement of healthcare industry’ government agencies’ nonprofit organizations’ multimedia and advertising industry’ higher and technical education sector’ pre K-12 or lower level of school education.
Sudden emphasis on e learning portals by various institutions’ colleges and universities is owed to the fact that internet is developed as a very fast and cost effective medium of communication and information exchange. The reach of internet has connected students from remote locations to the universities and colleges. Distance learning programs and part time courses are getting popular by the day because many students are working as they study. E learning portal provides them an access to the information management and learning material any time of the day at the convenience of their home or work place. The economic recession and budget cuts has also forced institutions and colleges to look at the alternative way to reduce their cost and serve a larger population of students. E learning portals fulfill this requirement effectively and thus evolved as a preferred choice for learning process by many institutes. Internet has also developed as a medium of mass communication in recent years and government agencies and nonprofit organizations are using this medium to diffuse information to the common citizen using these portals. Many departments of government like department of motor vehicles’ passport offices’ department of health care service and education’ food and drug administration are using portals on their website to update their viewers about recent development or to provide status of their applications.
Many organizations are allocating bigger budgets to the e learning process from their training and development budgets. Large numbers of organizations are showing genuine interest in developing their e portals as they are determined to capture the benefits associated with e learning portals. Governments of both developed and developing countries are also increasingly automating their process and bringing transparency in their working style. Usage of e portals is one of the tools to achieve that and this has created a increased interest in purchase and development of new e learning products and services by government sector as well (Katie A. 2011).
Survey approach and design
To gain relevant insights and various preferences of users of e learning system a survey has been designed. The nature of the research is primary and the sample size is 50. The target audience for sample selection is graduate and post graduate student of various universities and institutions which are our primary market for this e learning portal. The sample has been selected by simple random selection technique and the tool for data collection is questionnaire. The research is quantitative in nature and the data provided for analysis will be objective in nature and provide us the preference and expectations of a university going student from a e learning portal
Questionnaire is attached in appendices
The questionnaires were provided to 50 students of different colleges and universities through a online questionnaire development site and their responses were recorded. The consent of the respondent was taken for recording their responses and publishing them for academic purposes. The responses of all respondent were available in 5 days. This gives a wide variety of opinions and a large scope to get a more accurate representation of e learning system users.
The results of question one indicated that all respondent are users of internet and web based learning program. This data indicates that we have targeted the right audience and each respondent is aware of the workings of a e learning portal and its advantages and constraints.
Category 1:- yes
Category 2 :- no
This question asked the respondents about their experience with present e learning system they are working on and what is their level of satisfaction. It has been observed from the responses that 80 percent of respondents think that their e learning system can be improved with a better version. This data also indicates that a lot of scope is present in development of advance e learning systems or portals with more attributes and features.
Blue:- 40 respondents indicating that yes they think their e learning system needs an improvement
Red:- indicates that 10 respondent think it is sufficient for their needs
This question asked about the user friendliness of their e learning portal. It has been observed that almost 60 percent of respondents accept that it was difficult for them to learn the intricacies of their learning system while 35 percent find it reasonably tough and 5 percent finds it easier. This data also represents the skill sets of an average student and remaining student who are above average and a few in range of exceptionally skilled and intelligent. As a e learning portal developer we should consider the fact that we are designing the portal for masses and it should be meeting the skill set of an average learner. This data analysis put emphasis on the user friendliness of an e learning portal and makes it a very preferred and important attribute of a e learning portal.
this question asked about the usage of any advanced motion capture technologies in their present e learning system like hand movements’ gestures or video chat applications. The results were as follows. Approximately 75 percent of respondents indicated that their e learning portal does not have any motion capture technology imbedded in it and 20 percent of the respondent said that they have a live video chat option available in their learning system while 5 percent student were aware and using the advanced feature of an e learning system. This data indicates that majority of clientele base is not using any of the advanced feature which could be due to lack of availability of features or unawareness about it. This data also represents a huge market potential for e learning system with advanced motion capture applications in it
was asked about the preference of students for motion capture technology in an e learning portal instead of conventional method of accessing it using a key board and a mouse. It has been observed that everybody in the sample was in favor of using advanced motion capture features. This indicates that advance attributes like usage of hand gestures and communication capturing is preferred by the consumers of e learning portal and this provides a great opportunity for developers to develop a e learning portal with all those features and gain maximum market share. This will also suffice the previous requirement of user friendliness.
Category 1 :- yes for advanced movement capture technology
Category 2 :- no for advanced movement capture technology
this question was asked for analyzing the general perception of students towards online or computer based learning process and how it is considered by them in a comparative analysis with conventional classroom teaching. It has been observed that only 50 percent students are in favor of an online learning system while 10 percent prefer the conventional classroom method and 40 percent of people are not sure or cannot say. This indicates the development phase of the e learning system and the steep learning curve on which the e learning process has reached. The 40 percent student who are not sure about it are a huge untapped potential and their opinion can be favored in a positive manner towards online learning system if they were introduced to the advanced learning system and their sustainable advantages in time.
Category 1 is the respondent who found e learning more effective than classroom teaching
Category 2 is the respondents who are not sure which one is better
Category 3 is the respondent group who finds conventional classroom much more effective.
was asked to assess the opinion of student towards an idea of developing a real time e learning portal with advanced attributes like motion capture’ enhanced interactivity’ simulation programs in it. It has been observed that all though 70 percent of students were in favor of developing such an e learning portal 30 percent were not sure about it however the striking feature is none of the respondent said no to the idea. This indicates that slowly the student community is ready to accept the idea of highly interactive’ fully online and highly sensitive e learning system which will eliminate the requirements of a conventional classroom in future learning processes.
Category 1 is the students who are in favor of developing a real time portal
Category 2 is the group of students who were not sure about it
Category 3 is the students who were against it.
was asked to identify the most difficult thing they had to face while using an e learning portal. Total 5 broad categories were provided to the respondents which were as follows.
- Usage skills development of a e learning portal
- The pace with which content was delivered
- The content delivery mode was not very comfortable
- The learning environment was not as conducive as a classroom.
- All of it
After the responses analysis it was observed that majority of students accept that learning environment was not as conducive as the classroom. This indicates a very specific gap which is present with current e learning system and it needs to be addressed efficiently before an advanced version is developed. To make a more conducive environment we need to make it more real life in nature. That means developing a real classroom environment with live discussions’ group discussions’ interaction of a higher level’ face to face confrontation and ability to experience any simulation by the student themselves to accept a new concept of learning. The new learning portal should have all these attributes to fulfill the existing gap present in the learning portals.
Category 1:- Usage skills development of a e learning portal
Category 2:- The pace with which content was delivered
Category 3:- The content delivery mode was not very comfortable
Category 4:- The learning environment was not as conducive as a classroom.
Category 5:- All of it
was asked to identify importance of other feature in the e learning portals which are analogues to a campus environment of a college. The learning not only takes place inside the classroom but many learning are present outside the classroom in games or group activities. These leanings are team work’ trust’ mutual efforts’ friendship’ fraternity’ socializing etc. including these features in a e learning portal will make it much more closer to the student and their needs. Students do prefer to go to a conventional college campus for these learning and group activities which if provided by an e learning portal will definitely attract more number of students to use e learning systems and its unique features.
Blue indicates the number of respondents who prefer to see these features in their portal
Red indicates the number of respondent who wants the e learning portal as a strict academic application
Green indicates the number of respondents who are not sure about it.
3.1 Higher education market analysis
It was observed in a study that by the end of year 2006 approximately 3.5 million users of e learning process in USA market were students. Also as quoted by the report of Sloan Foundation reports, there is a healthy growth rate of 12-14 percent per annum for the number of new enrollments in online learning courses offered by many universities and institutions from year 2004-2009 which is much higher than the average growth rate of 2 percent in conventional enrollments in the admission procedures at a post secondary level studies. Another authors Allen and Seamen (2009) states that almost 25 percent of the students who are pursing studies at a higher level have taken up at least one fully online course in year 2008 while ambient insight research study states that 44 percent of total post secondary students have taken participation in a online course fully or partially in year 2009 the report also forecast that by the end of year 2014 approximately 81 percent of USA students are expected to be involved in online course directly or indirectly (Ambient Insight Research’ 2009). All these facts and figures clearly states that online learning market is growing exponentially in student community and catering to their needs in an efficient and effective manner. Advantages of a online course if continuously recognized by a wider spectrum of population and it will be growing in the future as well as new markets are also getting involved continuously (Allen, I. E. and Seaman, J. 2008).
Many universities and higher educational institutions are opting to offer online courses to students because the running cost of these courses and infrastructure requirement is very less in comparison to off line courses and level of satisfaction is equivalent among students for both modalities. Schools and colleges which are working on a nonprofit basis or private schools are still not incorporating online learning courses in their curriculum because of the initial cost of developing the system. It is expected that in a few years the cost of system will be reduced sufficiently for other schools and nonprofit organizations to take interest in them. it is a important feature while establishing a e learning system that teachers and trainers who are providing the content are well qualified and trained for the job and their understanding of the needs of students and their educational requirements in clear. Their proficiency in the usage of computer and computer based presentation skills should be of higher level. Many universities have implemented the e learning programs for the small modules and courses successfully and after getting the positive results they are employing the similar process for higher level courses like doctoral programs and research studies etc.
3.2 Review of relevant commercial products
Many big players of IT and ITES industries have entered into the e learning and e portal sector of business. The preferred choices of market entry among these giants are through acquisition of e portal developers or forming an in house development section. This development has created a healthy competition among players and benefitted the customer in the end. If we compare various commercially available products we can observe that the cost of development and maintenance of a e portal has reduced significantly over the last few years. Every big player of IT industry is aiming to provide enterprise wide solution for e learning. This is more applicable in big universities and institutions which requires a large number of divisions in their portals and serves a large number of people. One feature which is common in all commercially available products is they are easy to be integrated with the existing system and infrastructure. They all aim to provide a complete solution to its clients. Suppliers of e learning portals who are purely into the development and sales of commercially viable products are extending their efforts towards development of newer products and increasing their brand promotion. Marketing techniques are more focused and promoting awareness among users. It is also observed during the market research that with increasing competition in market vendors are also identifying and targeting newer markets. These markets are relatively unsaturated and have a huge potential for sales and the commercial products which are offered to them are cost effective’ customized and more suited to the requirements of that particular sector. The newly emerging markets which are targeted by suppliers are healthcare, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, industrial, education, government, and other regulated market segments. The detailed analyses of market drivers, restraints, and technology trends provide inputs for vendors to streamline their Business Operation Management strategies (Tavangarian D., Leypold M., Nölting K., Röser M., 2004).
Virtual classrooms are a newly emerging concept in education industry which is supplied by many commercially available products. Awareness and usage of virtual classrooms is growing because they are very easy to use and provides a lot a benefit in time saving and cost reduction for both learning centers and users. Various learning management systems (LMS) and learning content management systems (LCMS) are available in market with different orientation and learning styles. Each institution or industrial sector chooses according to their needs. E learning portals and systems are posing a very stiff challenge to the conventional learning system. E learning system are stimulating demand of content provider in the market and offering alternative modalities of learning which could be based on games’ simulations’ cell phone based applications etc. The virtual classroom also provides the opportunity for students to receive direct instruction from a qualified teacher in an interactive environment. Students have direct and immediate access to their instructor for instant feedback and direction. The virtual classroom also provides a structured schedule of classes, which can be helpful for students who may find the freedom of asynchronous learning to be overwhelming. The virtual classroom also provides a social learning environment that closely replicates the traditional "brick and mortar" classroom. Most virtual classroom applications provide a recording feature. Each class is recorded and stored on a server, which allows for instant playback of any class over the course of the school year. This can be extremely useful for students to review material and concepts for an upcoming exam. This also provides students with the opportunity to watch any class that they may have missed, so that they never have to fall behind. It also gives parents the ability to monitor any classroom to insure that they are satisfied with the education their child is receiving (Harasim, L., Hiltz, S., Teles, L. and Turoff, M. 1995).
E learning system and service providing is also available in two forms by most of the commercial vendors. They can either provide an in house e learning system which is present inside the learning institutions and they are more customized in nature. Their cost of development and maintenance is also relatively higher while another mode of service rendering is by Hosted e-Learning. It is very much popular in organizations which are struggling to cut the cost. Hosted e learning provides services to multiple organizations with a single establishment which is owned by the vendor. The economies of scale of service providing reduces the cost of services dramatically and also saves the high amount of capital investment each organization has to incur in developing a in house learning system. Another benefit associated with hosted e learning system is vendor has to worry about the up gradation and maintenance of the system and customer will only have to pay for what it uses (Frost & Sullivan. 2004).
3.3 Comparative analysis
Usage of advanced communication technologies and alternative forms of teaching methods are increasingly used by various institutions and universities to ensure that students are benefitted even if they are geographically distant or absent. Conventional teaching includes lectures’ physical interaction between the student and instructor or with other students while as a contrasting feature in e learning the mutual interaction is relatively lesser and even if it is present it is purely virtual. The downside of e learning and research methodology is non development of feeling of togetherness and fraternity in the student community as it is present in students who visit the college campus on a regular basis. Many academics and researchers are convinced that e learning system might have its advantages but it cannot fully replace all benefits associated with traditional teaching (Nagy, A. 2005). The real application of e learning method is when they can be propagated as a supplementary system which are augmenting the traditional teaching method and replacing those theoretical components which does not need any practical application to be mastered. In a e learning system the information is exchanged over the multimedia interfaces using internet as a connecting medium. These multimedia application includes films’ sound recordings’ pictures’ graphs’ computer animation etc. while on the other hand Traditional teaching will have lectures’ seminars’ direct discussions’ hands on experience etc which have limitations of place and timing which creates an entry barrier and only some students are able to attend all of them. That makes assimilation of knowledge often difficult and inadequate. In an e learning system the information is available as an open source to the students and the content is delivered to them on demand. Here there is no limitation of distance or number of users. A large number of populations can be served efficiently if proper educational infrastructure is available with them. In a properly planned and organized e-learning course a appropriate selection of didactic material is available which ensures that student’s efficiency is improved in context of their learning process. Theoretical knowledge studies have many components which can be easily transmitted in a digital form as they do not need student to be physically present for any practical experience. If this component of learning process is added with the traditional approach a lot of savings can be made in form of time’ space and cost which is spent in learning process by a student and a institution. Before developing a model of education it is to be ensured that it consists of substantive and methodological content of teaching materials and learning purposes is compatible with the model of teaching which could be traditional or e learning (Pó?janowicz W., Latosiewicz R., Kulesza-Bro?czyk B., Piekut K., Kalisz A., Piechocka D. I., Terlikowski S. J., 2010). Another difference between traditional and online models is that in case of e learning technology models various technical specifications is to be considered like reliability, functionality, ease of use etc. Effectiveness of teaching can also be defined as an “improvement in the performance of a chosen activity which is replaced by e learning mode from traditional teaching modality”.
E learning is one the most promising endeavors currently in progress in education industry. its implications are huge and the associated advantages are also very high. a simple usage of computers for storing data and enhancing presentation aids has been evolved into an e learning systems where not only teacher can use various technology to develop an educational environment but it can also keep track fo factors like attendance’ progress’ discipline and learning habits of a student. This information can be shared by teacher’ students and parents of the student by a integrated e learning system. Developing an effective e learning portal is a very complex task with many factors to be considered. it is expected by many researchers’ academicians and technology experts that in near future the cost of developing a e learning portal or system will be reduced to such a level that even small to medium enterprises can take advantage of its features and enhance their knowledge base.
Questionnaire for students
Q 1 :- did you ever used or currently using an internet based learning process or a course in which some part of learning is through a web based application?
Q 2 :- Are you fully satisfied with the present learning system which is used by you?
Q 3 :- what was your experience with the toughness level of your learning portal when you first started using it
- Reasonably tough
Q 4 :- Does your e learning system have any advanced feature like motion capture or recognizing the gestures
- Not aware of it
Q 5:- would you prefer to add these features in your current e learning system
Q 6:- do you think that e learning system is more effective in learning process than a conventional classroom teaching session
- Not sure
Q 7:- Do you think that a new learning portal should replace your existing learning system with attributes like motion capture technologies and enhanced interactivity
Q 8 :- what was the most difficult thing you faced when you started using a new e learning system.
- Usage skills development of a e learning portal
- The pace with which content was delivered
- The content delivery mode was not very comfortable
- The learning environment was not as conducive as a classroom.
- All of it
Q 9:- Do you think learning which is offered by a college campus outside the classroom like companionship’ socializing’ mutual respect and group activity can be incorporated into a e learning portal as well.
- Not sure
- Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 43-59
- Honey, P & Mumford, A, (1982) The Manual of Learning Styles. Maidenhead, UK, Peter Honey Publications
- Pó?janowicz W., Latosiewicz R., Kulesza-Bro?czyk B., Piekut K., Kalisz A., Piechocka D. I., Terlikowski S. J (2010) : Comparative analysis of e-learning and traditional teaching methods in the field of nursing in the Medical University of Bialystok. The chosen aspects of woman and family’s health Vol. 2, s. 94–104, Bydgoszcz
- Jackson, C. J. (2005). An applied neuropsychological model of functional and dysfunctional learning: Applications for business, education, training and clinical psychology. Cymeon: Australia
- Sprenger, M. (2003) Differentiation through learning styles and memory Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press
- Massa, L. J.; Mayer, R. E. (2006) "Testing the ATI hypothesis: Should multimedia instruction accommodate verbalizer-visualizer cognitive style?". Learning and Individual Differences 16: 321–336