E-Learning allows more participants to learn effectively with the use of multimedia technologies and internet connection. E-Learning systems are being integrated into the cloud to facilitate access of resources. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of cloud-based e-learning systems.
What is E-Learning?
The e-learning approach provides the use of new multimedia technologies in combination with an Internet connection for the improvement of learning quality through access to resources and services, as well as collaboration and exchange over long distances. With e-learning, teaching and learning can be intensified and improved.
Cloud-based E-Learning Systems
E-learning in cloud computing is a cloud-based technology. It is an infrastructure with all sorts of hardware and software resources which engage with e-learning. In addition to the virtual computer resources, e-learning can be used as services for educational institutions, students and businesses to rent computer resources and services.
Advantages and Disadvantage of Cloud-based E-Learning System
Advantages of Cloud-based E-Learning System
Low Cost: In cloud-based system e-learners can use cloud applications via PC, mobile phone, tablet etc. with an internet connection to run with minimal configuration. The configuration of the e-Learning platform is not carried out by the user but by the service provider.
Collaboration: cloud computing provides a collaboration portal where the entire resources of a team (course team) are stored in real time and managed in the latest versions. All participants in a project can work as a team and optimize the work documents that are always available in the latest version and in real time.
Scalability: In cloud-based e-Learning, the software updates of the cloud are guaranteed and supplied by the cloud provider. The user does not have to make any changes.
Availability: The retrieval, adoption or change of the learning contents stored on the cloud server can be performed at any time regardless of the user’s location. The only requirement is a web browser and the e-Learning application-platform. We can see its use and importance today in teleworking or international cooperation.
Security: With cloud-based e-learning systems resources are no longer stored locally on the user workstations, but all resources are most often outsourced to the company’s extremely secure servers. With this high security, there is a guarantee that unforeseen breakdowns, such as data loss due to a connection failure, data misuse, and hacking can be avoided.
Disadvantages of Cloud-based E-Learning Systems
Dependency: When e-learning system resources are relocated to the cloud, a company becomes very dependent on the provider. If this provider stops running the cloud, the customer data is lost. There is no possibility to access this data directly and these data cannot be used without special software.
Internet Access: Due to the access of services over the internet, additional dependencies are created. If there is no internet connection to the provider, no work is possible. There may be an interruption in an internet connection or an interruption in the data center connection. There is, therefore, an increase in risk of an interruption since the required network infrastructure is much more complex than in local operations.
Confidentiality: German data protection regulations do not have to be observed, particularly when storing data in countries like USA or Cameroon and in other countries with according to German law, inadequate data protection regulations
Conclusion and Outlook
To conclude most institutions increasingly use technology to provide e-learning services. The implementation of these systems has led to a wide range of challenges such as lack of technical resources, the cost of implementation, understanding and the underlying stakeholders’ business processes, which leads to resistance to the implementation of the systems.
The emergence of cloud-based e-learning systems proves that it is an attractive method for providing e-learning services which are a significant alternative to today’s educational perspective. Students and administrative personnel have the opportunity to quickly and economically access various application platforms and resources through the web pages on-demand. For the users, cloud-based e-learning systems need no onsite maintenance and there is a high reduction of costs due to it lowers hardware and software requirements. They are also easier to deploy across multiple locations as they are centrally administered and they offer benefits to end users in terms of availability, security, and compatibility.
On the other hand, it is very important to consider the limitations of cloud-based e-learning systems. The provision of e-learning services is less efficient when the Internet connection is low. Moreover, there is a lack of clarity concerning the security of a cloud-based system. As a result, the data confidentiality of customers and users is not guaranteed.
The improvement in the quality of Internet connections (the speed and stability of Internet connections) may lead to an increase in demand for cloud-based e-learning systems.
Autor: Justard Tankou