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Key E-learning Elements

The definition of learning is paying attention to and retaining new information. The brain has a limited attention span and needs to give its neural systems a break every three to five minutes or it stops responding. The brain rebounds fast, but instructors need to take into account the pattern of brain fatigue and recovery in order to give over lessons in an efficient manner.

Rapid Pattern

The best way to keep the brain energetic is to switch from one type of instruction to another one in a rapid pattern. The best way to do this is to weave different sets of information into one whole, forcing the student to use different parts of his brain. Here's how this works:

*Hear A Fact- Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was written in 1804-08.

*Link The Fact To A Concept- Beethoven was becoming more and more hearing impaired during this time, the world was in a state of upheaval due to the Napoleonic Wars, and Austria was beset both by political friction and its occupation by Napoleon's army in 1805.

*Seeing Both Ideas In Tandem-Some say the four rapid notes which open the symphony are meant to represent Fate knocking at the door. The image is evocative of world and local turmoil as well Beethoven's personal troubles in the form of increasing deafness.

Neural Systems

Because each of these ideas relates to the others, they band together to create a memory, and this is what is meant by "learning."  The instructor's goal must be to develop a memory for each neural system. When there is a flow between neural systems, learning can be achieved with greater ease.

Besides bowing to the needs of the neural system, learning must include many features, for instance, interactivity, audio/visual effects, and some back and forth between student and teacher. E-learning is perfect in this respect as it can provide so many elements to be incorporated into the learning program. This helps to keep the learning process a compelling one. Here are some of the ways e-learning can facilitate the learning process:

*Using Varied Content-Adding sounds and images to text aid the brain in building memory and retaining material.

Interactive Tools

*Interactive Tools Keep Interest Alive-Pop quizzes, games, and choosing graphics are all ways to build interest and aid in the retention of the material.

*Fast Feedback-Fast feedback is important because the brain doesn't have time to dwell on mistakes and can land on the correct answer fast. This helps the student to conquer the next step in the learning process without getting stuck on a tangent.  E-learning excels at giving immediate responses.

Interacting With Others-E-learning provides excellent solutions to the traditional classroom discussion by offering chat, bulletin boards, messaging, and email.

Individual Pace

Another advantage to e-learning is that a student can learn according to his individual pace. That means that if circumstances force him to push off his course work, or the course work is difficult, the student can go slower or take a break and come back to the work—something not often possible in an academic institution. On the other hand, if the course work is very easy or the student is a fast learner, he won't have to wait for anyone, and can work as fast as he likes. 


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