Document Type : Articles
1 M.S. , School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Tehran Tehran
2 Ph.D. , School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Tehran Tehran
The steady growing innovations in the area of information and communication technology have raised new concepts and possibilities in different life aspects. In the field of further education and professional training, electronic learning and Web-based education are perhaps the most prominent ones. Proponents of this technology claim that e-learning courses are at least as effective as corresponding traditional ones, and therefore sometimes a very good substitute for it. Although there are so many similarities between traditional and e-learning systems, confronting the extended range of e-learning users -with very different prior knowledge of the domain, backgrounds, learning styles, interests and preferences- is no more possible with the “one-size-fits-all” approach. Hence, creation and management of instructional content would be the major hazard in e-learning industry. Contents should be provided considering social, cultural and pedagogical characteristics of the learners. E-learning covers a wide set of applications and processes. With such an extended scope, covering number of available e-learning tools is extensive. Though, in recent years, features and capabilities of authoring tools have been drastically improved. Concepts such as “adapting to the needs of learners” and “personalized content” make authoring tools play a more prominent role in the process of creating learning contents. In this paper, we propose a new pedagogical perspective in web-based learning environments. This perspective explores the most prominent opportunities of the information technology era, in order to ensure a more meaningful learning. Advantages, limitations and particularly deficiencies of e-learning systems are investigated based on this perspective. Also, in order to cover the importance of authoring tools in the performance of e-learning systems, capabilities and limitations of current available authoring tools are comparatively studied. These comparisons are based on criteria such as compatibility with e-learning standards, the amount of time and cost needed for the instructional design and potential features. Outcomes of the study emphasize on the importance of the learning variables such as cognitive, social and affective learners’ characteristics, which play a critical role in the design and implementation of web-based learning systems. These outcomes would certainly be of significant help with enhancing the decision making procedure for managers and presidents of learning areas, which may be overwhelmed by all the technology decisions they have to make, the number of choices available, and the terminology they may not be familiar with. These outcomes would basically lead to determining basic factors of learner satisfaction and therefore improving educational performance.