In 2018, my colleague Dr Anna Fraszczyk and I conducted a study on why higher education, rail focussed courses, or subjects within these courses, are not offered in an online format. With the vast knowledge base of rail industry academics, experts and specialists across the world, we found there are limited courses offered online. Our full report is available for anyone to access and read by following this link http://www.janenepiip.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Fraszczyk-and-Piip-2019-Barriers-to-digital-learning-in-rail-Final-report.pdf
eLearning was developed around the year 2000 as computer-based training (CBT), delivered by CD ROM that is multi-media based (Zahm 2000). The initial goal of educators was to provide accessibility of learning for all learners because eLearning has the advantages of –
- Transforming the way courses are delivered and students are engaged
- Reducing costs
- Providing innovative ways to attract and retain students and just-in-time learning
Our report found educators in Europe are reluctant to embrace eLearning. The Australian eLearning Association (2018) suggests that the USA is the largest provider of self-paced eLearning products in the world with 53% market share. Several Asian countries recently passed laws that are accelerating the adoption of eLearning in higher education with 68 universities in China in 2014 recorded as have dedicated online learning institutes.
One of the key barriers is that educators do not have the time and resources to develop courses in an online format, and they are not adequately rewarded for delivering eLearning courses. Considering the trends in learning of –
- Augmented reality
- Virtual reality
- Personalised learning
- Interactive video- based learning
These are learning methods and methodologies that contemporary students demand.
MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses are short courses that many universities offer as a taster to a full course or qualification. The leader in the field has been Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Their open courseware in transport https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/transportation-courses/ is extensive and offers an opportunity to develop your skills in 2019. Investigate these courses and other sites that offer eLearning courses. The course content for MOOCs is delivered on platforms such as Coursera, edX, Futurelearn, and Udacity and developed by individual Universities.
Dr Janene Piip
Talent consultant and career practitioner