Differentiating from the digital immigrants, who speak a “language” specific to the pre-digital era, the native digitals come to the fore by their own identity. Being built according to the specificity of the current society, it is marked by the influences of modern technology. In the field of education, e-learning covers a set of on-line and off-line applications and processes, which include a series of educational platforms and ways of learning based on web, CAI, virtual class, multimedia, etc. Compared to the other theories of learning, the cognitive theory of multimedia learning encourages the student to build a series of coherent mental connections, starting from multimedia material. The goal of this research is to make a comparative analysis between traditional education and e-learning. Starting from the features of virtual reality, we have focused on designing a sequence of training able to combine both the classical and modern approaches – based on the efficiency of the new educational technology. Being of an ameliorative type, our research starts from the premise that the educational process in the e-learning context is just as effective as the traditional one. It requires, however, a change in the pedagogical style and an up-dating of the way in which the training is being designed and done. Some forms of online learning (on-line and in the classroom) are likely to become the norm, because the students will choose one or several online courses to complete their training.
Keywords: E-learningvirtual classroomcognitive theory of multimedia learningstudents
Computer learning can be as effective as traditional learning, as most students use a wide range of applications in this area (organization and presentation, web browsing, email, social networking sites, etc.). Broadly speaking, by
Used a few decades ago as a reaction to behaviorism, cognitive learning defines learning as a search for the knowledge stored in memory, after the primary processing of information, the formation of mental images and their abstract processing. The traditional paradigm of learning focuses on: the transmission of knowledge, the reflections of the teacher, on given structures, abstract symbols, endorsement-retention-reproduction, finalizations and targeted applications.
Essentially objective, knowledge in itself is independent of the student’s mind, but he/ she accomplishes it subjectively, through processing, constructions, own interpretations. Different from knowledge, through this process of internalization, learning is influenced by support materials, by the independent and group working conditions, by the strategies used, by its ways of expression and communication in various forms (Joița, 2006).
Making the transition from behaviorism to constructivism, cognitive learning represents assimilation, a short or long lasting acquisition, an active process of organizing mental structures. Completing constructivism by emphasizing the relationship between the mental and the material dimension, constructivism considers that learning can most effectively happen when people are active in making tangible objects in the real world. S. Papert, the promoter of constructivism, asserts: Constructionism shares constructivism’s view of learning as “building knowledge structures” through progressive internalization of actions. It then adds the idea that this happens especially felicitously in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity, whether it’s a sand castle on the beach or a theory of the universe (Papert, 1991, as cited in Ackermann, 2001, p. 4).
Anchored learning supported by multimedia, based on the knowledge-technology relationship, is a type of learning that facilitates the practice of resolving skills in students. Computer use in education has activated multimedia and made it more interactive. It is considered that interactivity is important in the context of computer-assisted training, this type of instruction conducted in interactive learning environments is clearly superior to that performed in a traditional didactic context (without interaction) in terms of school performance (Thomas, Alexander, Jackson, & Abrami, 2013).
The central element of
2.1. Aspects of the virtual environment
Technology is increasingly used to facilitate active and collaborative learning in order to better engage students and accompany them to various learning experiences so as to meet the needs and expectations of the learners from different cultural backgrounds, with different learning styles. By defining e-Learning from a technological point of view it sends to the analysis of the relationship between e-learning and certain closely related concepts: learning using the Internet, Web-based learning, online learning and computer learning. Online learning is a systematic learning process, supported by electronic technologies.
In virtual classes, just as in the face-to-face environment,
Unlike television, the internet is generally considered as a useful resource for learning. However, some reservations need to be kept, because the more we communicate online, the lower the quantitative and qualitative face-to-face interaction would be: “Excessive TV and net consumption is considered by many teachers to be a great danger, responsible for generalizing the attention deficit at lower ages and the inability to express verbally, but also for structuring an exclusively hedonistic (pleasure-centered) culture and a neo-consumerism culture (centered on everything new), centered on waiting or searching for an incessant psychological stimulation from the outside through a screen, and a gratification (...)” (Cuciureanu et al., 2014, pp. 73-74).
A virtual learning environment is a social and informational space where learners have an active role. It is not limited to distance learning, although the differences between the two educational solutions tend to fade, to this contributing the new forms and educational solutions that are born to fit the technological development, such as m-learning. These features of the virtual environment are supplemented with the physical environment: although most of the learning activities are carried out remotely, with the support of digital devices, a virtual learning environment overlaps with the physical environment at least partially (referring to the e-learning variant known as blended learning) (Dillenbourg, as cited in Ceobanu, 2016, pp. 25-27).
Reference points of learning
Considered a process of acquiring some acquisitions or a behavioral experience by an individual, as a result of repeted situations or practice, learning is an integrative and complex concept. According to G. Claus (1977), learning is “a superior form of conscious processing of information through which the body reproduces subjectively, characteristic objective structures of the environment” (as cited in Cerghit, 2002, p. 158). We observe that “in the initial definitions of learning, it was seen as an activity determined from the outside of the person (especially the behaviorist paradigm was reported to this perspective), while it is currently considered that learning is primarily determined from the inside, surpassing the first approach (the cognitive-constructivist paradigm operates with this last explanation)” (Frăsineanu, 2012, p. 28).
Compared to the classical formula of learning,
There are a number of differences between traditional learning and e-learning. The first relates to a linear and predefined organization of the pedagogical path and has no immediate link with the operational activities; the second is aimed at the adaptive progression of each one of them, depending on the situation and it is integrated with the operational activities (idem, p. 78); in traditional learning the results are the ones that matter, while in e-learning the interaction process is considered more important than the results (Dillenbourg, 1999; Mercer & Howe, 2012). If the aspects of planning, monitoring and evaluation are the attribute of the teacher in traditional learning, in e-learning these also include the student, and can be seen as part of the socio-emotional development (Volet, Summers, & Thurman, 2009). If the content was important before, it is now a pretext for training.
The cognitive theory of multimedia learning
Unlike behaviorists, cognitivists focus on individual and developmental differences that occur in cognition. This is one of the reasons why there is not a single cognitive model of learning.
Learning can be measured by tests of retention (i.e., remembering the presented information) and transfer (i.e., being able to use the information to solve new problems). Our focus is on transfer because we are mainly interested in how words and pictures can be used to promote understanding.
Mayer (2012, p. 8) argues that meaningful learning from words and pictures happens when the learner engages in five cognitive processes (figure
Selecting relevant words for processing in verbal working memory;
Selecting relevant images for processing in visual working memory;
Organizing selected words into a verbal model;
Organizing selected images into a pictorial model;
Integrating the verbal and pictorial representations with each other and with prior knowledge.
As its author states, “the theory incorporates elements from classic information-processing models, such as two channels from Paivio's (1986) dual-coding theory, limited processing capacity from Baddeley's (1986, 1999) model of working memory, and a flowchart representation of memory stores and cognitive processes from Atkinson and Shiffirin” (1968) (as in cited Mayer, 2012, p. 15).
Our research starts from the premise that the educational process in the context of e-learning is as efficient as the traditional one. Taking into account the growing interest in e-learning and the specificity of the generation that is growing in the digital era, we raise the issue of adapting the educational offer to the demand of the native population.
We start the research from the following
Purpose of the Study
Carrying out the comparative analysis between traditional learning and e-learning;
Capitalizing on aspects specific to the cognitive theory of multimedia learning;
Centralizing the students' opinions about e-learning features;
Designing and implementing a Technological Model for the accomplishment of e-learning that will also benefit from the advantages of classical learning;
Drawing up conclusions on the practical value of this Technological Model and proposing suggestions on how to up-date training in the technological era.
We propose a program for using web tools in the
In order to achieve the objectives we have documented by studying the specialized literature and applied a
The answers received from the students are listed in the table
By analyzing the answers of the students, we find the following:
If the students of the Master program knew about 80% of the meaning of the e-learning concept, those who enrolled in the license program only knew in a proportion of 39.74%. After the application of the intervention program, the percentages increased significantly among both categories of students, which partly confirm its relevance. The percentage difference is higher for undergraduate students (over 50%), which explains their receptivity to the new information technologies and the favorable attitude towards the use of specific applications in formal education.
As for the knowing of the e-learning features, the percentage of the undergraduate students who know the specifics of the e-learning specialization program grew significantly in the post-test (by 53.85%) and in the case of the master program students it increased by 22.23%. The additional information comes from capitalizing on modern applications, as they are used in training activities.
Compared to the total number of students involved in the research (123 students of which: 78 - license and 45 - master), the number of those who could distinguish between traditional learning and e-learning before the intervention is 110. After applying the independent variable, their number increased slightly, 116 responding affirmatively to item 3.
As far as item 4 is concerned, over 80% (84.62%) of the undergraduate students consider our program to be effective, the percentage of the master students being similar to that of the undergraduate students (88.89%).
As a result of this analysis, we find that the established hypothesis is confirmed, the reference to the new technological applications influencing the modalities and the learning strategies. The students are receptive to the new, they use a range of gadgets in learning and expect the educational offers to include new information technologies.
We propose the use of e-learning in initial teacher training courses, and
Depending largely on the learning environment, the training programs should take into account the new information technologies that have got into schools as well. The development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has graded learning, oriented it towards the person, allowing educators to choose their content and tools according to their own needs and interests. Web-based learning has many advantages and reconsiders the teacher-student relationship.
As we move more towards training in e-learning and Internet training, the problem of the student's cognitive overload ˗ when using multimedia ˗ becomes more complex. Therefore, specialists are looking for solutions to this problem, but also effective ways of implementing new technologies in the educational process. These take the form of theories whose value is given by the comprehensive manner in which it explains the relationships between the variables involved, the degree of applicability of the ideas proposed and the plus-value to the educational act.
The young generation has grown connected to the Internet and feels comfortable in online engagement. The opportunities brought by virtual technology derive from its main features and advantages, one of the most important features referring to the existence of e-learning platforms;
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18 December 2019
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Educational strategies,teacher education, educational policy, organization of education, management of education, teacher training
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Ilie, V., & Frăsineanu*, E. S. (2019). Traditional Learning Versus E-Learning. In E. Soare, & C. Langa (Eds.), Education Facing Contemporary World Issues, vol 67. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1192-1201). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.08.03.146