Evaluation of a Learning Environment

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Introduction

This article aims to address the new trend of Web 2.0 technologies and other online social media specifically focusing on educational sector. The infusions of new technologies on the World Wide Web connect users in their homes, schools, colleges and workplaces, thus transforming education.

Internet has changed the way we live; over the last decade. The Internet has led to an increasingly connected communications environment, and the growth of Internet usage has resulted in declining distribution of traditional media such as television, radio, newspapers and magazines. Parallel to the increasing importance of the internet as a shopping channel, the advent of web 2.0 is rapidly moving the online landscape into a truly consumer driven era. Web 2.0 provides consumers with many methods of creating and sharing user generated content (UGC) for educational purposes which could be made available in an economically viable fashion to the under privileged.

However, there has been little evidence on theory supporting online learning models and therefore it opens a wide area for researchers to work on.

This assignment evaluates one learning environment

  •  Classle.net

This evaluation has been done basis the criteria’s mentioned below:

  • Academic content
  • Materials development/usage
  • Instructional Design / Features
  • Product specifications, qualities, and costs

Classle:

Classle is a Social Learning Network, operating out of Chennai, India primarily in the graduate school market. They focus on technical education like Engineering and other science courses.You may visit the classle website using the link: www.classle.net

Academic Content:

The academic content on this platform has been sourced from NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning), which is under the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. NPTEL is a group of IIT’s and NIT in India. These are some of the best technology schools based in India. You may view the NPTEL website here: http://nptel.iitm.ac.in/

The frame work followed in this community, is COI (community of Inquiry) Framework devised by [Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105.]

Materials development/usage:

The founder of this organization is Mr. Vaidyanathan, former Chief Learning Officer of Cognizant Technologies.  He has got more than 23 years of experience working with IT companies and has been an innovation leader. He has spent considerable time in researching in the educational field.

The platform was created basis the research report published by US Department of Education – Evaluation of Evidence based practices in online learning: A Meta – Analysis and review of online learning studies.

Functionalities / Instructional design features:

The community revolves around Game Dynamics and has been designed using Open source technologies – LAMP Stack. This has got an open source BI platform in the backend to filter and evaluate student’s basis their academic, personality, communication and problem solving ability. They have used drupal as a content Management system to enable the instructional design capabilities.

However, this cannot be compared with traditional LMS platforms like Blackboard or Moodle, rather this acts as an independent learning environment from a B2C market perspective. They primarily work with colleges and large organizations in India in the B2B segment.

Product specifications, qualities, and costs:

Operates on a SAAS model for organizations and educational institutions and costing are based on subscription model.

Some of the functionalities offered by the platforms are:

  • Quiz / Assessments based on MCQs
  • Library based learning resources
  • Discussion forums
  • Web Resources
  • Learning based on Videos
  • Learning based on Visuals

Please find a graph on observed learning patterns based on viewership on various contents. This graph has been derived from empirical data.

 

Limitations:

One of the main limitations found in the platform is lack of structural approach towards learning. This platform primarily is for Non-Cognitive learners who can practice and experience learning at their own pace.

 viewership

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