E-Learning Challenges and Implementations Strategies for Teaching English Language Courses in Distance Learning Centres in the COVID-19 Era

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume VI, Issue I, January 2022 | ISSN 2454–6186

E-Learning Challenges and Implementations Strategies for Teaching English Language Courses in Distance Learning Centres in the COVID-19 Era

Peace Alufohai
Ambrose Alli University, Nigeria

IJRISS Call for paper

 

Abstract
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is viral pneumonia with symptoms such as dry cough, fever, sore throat, dyspnea, body pain, and diarrhea. Considering the spread of this dreadful infectious disease, the federal government instituted COVID-19 suppression protocols such as physical/social distancing in classrooms and also encouraged the use of e-learning facilities to reduce the spread of the virus in all tertiary institutions. To examine the prospects of e-learning in the COVID-19 era, this paper examines the e-learning challenges and implementation strategies for teaching English Language courses in distance learning centres in the COVID-19 era. The objectives of this paper are therefore to: identify the challenges of e-learning implementation and discuss possible strategies needed for proper e-learning implementation for English language courses in distance learning centres in the COVID-19 era. Some basic concepts such as e-learning and COVID-19 were conceptually clarified. Based on the review, it was uncovered that inadequate human capacity, inadequate funding, lack of e-learning infrastructure, ICT and bandwidth constraints, poor electricity supply, and institutional governance are the constraints of e-learning adoption and integration for the teaching English language courses in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) centres in the COVID-19 era. Some ready strategies for resolving these challenges include integration of open sources into e-learning, the establishment of data collection repositories, encouragement of resource sharing among staff, development of partnerships and networks, integration of ICT with the whole curriculum, and evaluation of e-learning practices. To resolve these challenges it is suggested that: Open Distance Learning (ODL) centres need to be properly funded by the government to enhance the use of Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) and e-learning systems for teaching English Language courses in distance learning centres.

Keywords: E-Learning, English Language Courses, Distance Learning Centres, COVID-19 Era

Introduction

Learning in the school system has risen beyond the traditional real-time classroom situation where learners have to be physically present at a designated location (class) to gain knowledge and skills from a more knowledgeable person (teachers) (Aina, 2020). However, in recent times, knowledge has risen to the point of integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with classroom teaching and learning. The use of ICTs in the school context focuses specifically on the application of these new technologies in an educational context and environment and serves as a tool for supporting the various components of education. Such components include, among others, teaching and learning, resources management (human, material, financial resources), and admission and examination processes also known as learning assessment (Sharma, Ekundayo & Ng, 2019). One specific form of ICT for promoting teaching and learning in schools is e-learning. Consequently, e-learning environments acts as an interface to provide different means to achieve the learning goals of students.

E-learning is one of the information technology basic skills and concepts as very crucial in education. This is because it adds value to the processes of learning and the organization and administration of learning institutions. It encompasses different types of technologies, which are utilized for capturing, processing, and transmitting data and information, using computer facilities. It is an umbrella term that includes communication devices or applications, encompassing radio, television, cellular phones, computers, network, hardware and software, satellite systems, and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them (Kumar, 2016). Although e-learning platforms are exhaustive, some common ones include: Zoom, Microsoft teams, Google hangout (meet), Skype, Bamboo learning, Google classroom, Docebo, WizIQ, Adobe captivate, Elucidat, Blackboard learn amongst others. These

E-learning also helps in reaching geographically dispersed groups, to provide “anywhere- anytime” learning, providing consistency, ensuring compliance with regulations, and improving productivity (Suri & Sharma, 2013). Using an e-learning portal can also be of great help as class assignments can be assigned to the students and also submitted back through the e-learning interface. E-learning is also associated with the new ways of learning that are more cost-efficient than traditional learning strategies. It also allows students to take better control of the process of learning and also provides much more references and learning scopes than the ones provided in the usual textbooks. In recent times, there has been a clamour to use e-learning in most secondary and higher education institutions because of the outbreak of the infectious disease called Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (World Health Organization, 2020).