Rashmi Vyas, Anshu, Hem Lata, William Burdick, Tejinder Singh
Online learning is a new concept developing countries. Although distance education in India dates back to as early the 1960s (Sharma, 2001), until this day most of it is print-based, rather than web-based (Kanjilal, 1998).
Initially, lack of technology posed a major hurdle for online learning India. Today, although technology in India has developed in leaps and bounds and there over 9 million internet subscribers (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, n.d.), online learning is still not very popular in medical education in India. Some of the barriers online learning are concerns that the quality education may be compromised in an online learning format. This is a potential threat web-based learning, because we may easily lose sight of the goal: learning (Conway,2003).
Even with the revolution in information technology, online learning remains relatively new concept in India. There have been no formal courses and no formal evaluations for this mode of learning. The situation is akin to what was faced by printbased distance learning a few years ago. One way to build credibility of this learning mode to replicate the good practices of conventional class room based teaching.
To ensure that quality is retained in online learning, principles that have been identified for traditional classroom teaching need be incorporated into the online learning environment.
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