Computer-based learning is also known as e- learning and can be defined as a broad set of applications and processes which include web-based, virtual class rooms in which learning materials are delivered through the internet, intranets, satellite broadcast interactive TV and CD-ROM. It basically involves use of electronics mostly computers and the internet as a way of communication. While computer-based learning (CBL) can refer to use of computers in class rooms, the term is broadly used to refer to a structured environment in which computers are used for learning purposes.
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Computer-based learning is associated with various advantages over class-based learning. For instance the system is more interactive as compared to class based learning. This enable the students feel they have control over their education making it even easier to understand difficult concepts. With computer-based learning, class work can be scheduled around family and work and stdents can access learning materials wherever they are provided they have access to a computer and internet thus making the system to be very convenient and flexible. This helps to cut cost of travelling for off-campus students. This system of learning also promotes self-paced learning modules that allow students to work at their own pace, something that cannot be achieved in a class room set up. Computer-based learning accommodates different learning styles and facilities through a variety of activities, something that is rarely achieved in classroom set up. Another merit of computer-based learning is that, it is easier to update learning materials. This system enables learners to develop deep knowledge of the internet and computer skills that will be of great significance to learners throughout their lives and career.
Despite having many advantages, this system is also associated with some demerits. For instance if a learner has a low motivation or has bad study habits may fall back contrary to classroom setup where an instructor will note this habit and take necessary actions. Computer based learning makes the students feel isolated from the instructor or classmates and this may have a negative impact in his or her education. Also managing computer file and online learning software may be complex for students with beginner-computer skills. Slow and unreliable internet connections can be frustrating because the system entirely depends on the use of computers and the internet.
In conclusion the use computer-based learning has proven to be superior to classroom learning as it is cheaper to implement. To take care of the drawbacks, this system needs serious improvements such including real-time online instructor to guide the students wherever they have problems. This will also serve to motivate the students and even make the system more interactive and to make sure no student is left behind.