UDC 37


Mezencev Vladimir Alekseevich
Moscow Institute of Management
Lecturer, Department of the humanities

This article discusses the fundamentals and trends in e-learning. The concepts of "e-learning", "mobile learning" and "distance learning" are differentiated. The author of the article believes that at this stage of the reform of higher education in Russia it is expedient to introduce blended learning into practice.

Category: Pedagogics

Article reference:
The use of e-learning technology in teaching foreign languages // Psychology, sociology and pedagogy. 2016. № 9 [Electronic journal]. URL: https://psychology.snauka.ru/en/2016/09/7090

View this article in Russian

One of the major challenges facing higher education today is the formation of comprehensively developed community-minded person. Achievement of this goal is only possible if interests, needs of students and proper influence on their motivational personality sphere are taken into account.
The success of learning a foreign language depends on the students’ efforts to accomplish their purpose. They must want to do something to succeed in it. Motivation is something that stimulates or rouses action, i.e. it is the stimulus that produces action. Motivating students to learn a foreign language is a rather laborious process. Very often, students encounter difficulties and these difficulties demotivate their learning. Certain motivational strategies identified in the course of teaching a foreign language can contribute to the development and encouragement of motivation [1, 2].
E-learning is the organization of educational activities with the use of information contained in the database and used in the implementation of educational programs that provide processing of information technology technical means, as well as information and telecommunication networks, providing transmission of this information, interaction of students and teaching staff.
Distance educational technology is an educational technology that is implemented mainly by use of information and telecommunication networks in indirect interaction of students and teaching staff. This approach to defining the concepts allows to separate the process of distance learning, defined in the law as an e-learning from the methodological basis for application of distance learning technologies.
Distance learning is defined as a focused, organized, interactive process of learning at a distance, carried out within the framework of the system of education with all the components inherent to it – goals and objectives, approaches, content, principles, methods, educational resources, etc., implying a constant systematic cooperation of all participants learning with the help of modern information and telecommunication means [3].
In the study of the educational environment is possible to allocate how electronic educational models are modified as they convert the process of learning organization. Generalization of works that represent the organization of the e-learning environment suggests three basic types of models. The first type of E-Learning environment is associated with the first generation of Web. This model slightly changes the traditional teaching; the essence of it is that the electronic environment allows teachers to move to electronic teaching mode by downloading slides, assessment tests and other electronic materials. The second type of model is a result of rapid development of the information environment. This model shifts the focus on a virtual nature of learning. The third type of model is related to the development of the social context of learning. [4 - 7].
The functional aspect of the consideration of the problem of e-learning involves reflection in the materials and technology of functional roles nomenclature, a student performs in a real academic, social and domestic activities and future experts in the field of professional communication. At the same time a functional role is understood as a stable set of responsibilities, activities and behaviors corresponding to certain human functions in the social or professional relationship [8 - 9].
Most often educational institutions organize blended learning, combining the use of e-learning, distance learning and traditional classroom learning. However, one can only use e-learning and distance learning. Creating an e-information educational environment is a must, so we cannot speak about the use of only distance learning without e-learning.
Mixed method involves the formation of the communicative competence, which consists of language, speech, subject, socio-cultural, educational and compensatory competencies. Motivational aspect plays an important role in foreign language acquisition. The central for mixed method is learning through educational communication activities, approximate to the real, taking into account individual characteristics of students, creation of real communication situations by setting verbal and cognitive tasks.
As regards the rules for students, they need clear regulations so that learning remains balanced. For example, the establishment of the rule that visiting classroom activities and passing the online tests is strictly required. Is necessary to combine independence and work at their own pace with the understanding that the gap in the subject automatically requires more frequent visits to classroom courses.
The use of e-learning covers the situation where the student independently learns the material through work and interaction in electronic information and educational environment. An example of such learning can be the development of massive open online courses in which a contact with teaching staff of a particular student can be completely eliminated, but made up for by interacting with the community involved in the electronic information and educational environment.
Mixed e-learning technologies can be used directly in the classroom when teachers interact with students through electronic information and educational environment, for example, to obtain feedback for assessment of learning outcomes, to share comments on the lesson, for distribution of a content used in the classroom. However, just the use of electronic educational resources in the classroom is not e-learning. An example of full implementation of e-learning in a mixed technology is “flipped classroom” when at the expense of the preliminary work of students with the theoretical material in electronic information and educational environment lectures are replaced by practical lessons.
The introduction of e-learning in the educational institution, as a rule, leads to a change in the types of structure of learners’ work, to reduction of the number of hours of classroom work, significantly change teaching methods, methods of assessment of learning outcomes [10].
Distance learning is different from the traditional teaching by the fact that it creates new educational information environment in which a student comes, knows exactly what knowledge and skills he/she needs; learners are provided with the ability to obtain the required knowledge, using advanced information resources. A number of typical pedagogical and psychological problems are highlighted in the context of differences between the traditional and distance learning , which must be solved by a teacher and students of distance learning course: difficulties in establishing interpersonal contacts between the participants of the learning process; problems of formation of efficient small teaching groups for cooperative learning; determining individual characteristics of perception of information of the audience and learning styles for more efficient organization of educational process; updating and maintaining motivation of learning; the adequacy of teacher’s behavior chosen for distance learning methods and educational technology [11].
In modern conditions the textbook as the primary means of training, should succinctly fit into the new model of organization of educational process which is today non-linear, since the number of hours of classroom teaching is decreased and the number of hours devoted to independent work is increased, which also determines the non-linear nature of the modern e-textbook [12].
As part of the distance learning system control unit there are the following key features: management of competencies; automated creation of educational programs; management of user profiles; control of access to distance learning courses and tests; logging user activity; providing technical and methodological support to users; report generation; learning process analysis [13].
E-learning has several advantages over the traditional: 1) freedom of access – a student can practice almost anywhere; 2) reduction of educational costs – student bears the cost of storage media, but does not of costs of methodological literature; 3) flexibility of learning – duration and sequence of materials study; students choose by themselves, adapting the whole learning process to fit their capabilities and needs; 4) e-learning users develop their skills and knowledge in accordance with the latest modern technology and standards, updating learning materials; 5) equal educational opportunities – learning becomes independent of the quality of teaching in a particular educational institution; 6) ability to define criteria for assessing knowledge [14].
Electronic textbooks largely activate the learning process. The advantages of using electronic textbooks can be attributed to: increased motivation, active position of students, awareness and self-learning, self-control, variability, active thinking, interactive communication with a variety of educational resources (electronic libraries, dictionaries, encyclopedias), information richness, high visibility, flexibility of teaching methods (individualization of instruction , fast feedback), time savings during activities, development of computer literacy of students and instructors.
In our opinion, an effective integrated interactive textbook on paper and electronic media can be effective. It is necessary to build such a complex, taking into account interdisciplinary communications and language proficiency of students. To bring students to the level of English which allows them to continue their studies in European universities or after graduation to participate in the discussion of economic issues in international seminars and conferences, to conduct foreign language communication in the reception of foreign experts, the creation of joint ventures, as well as during professional activity abroad, an integrated textbook should be based on the principles of interactive approach
E-learning along with the textbook of new generation as a means of teaching foreign languages should be a resource for teaching foreign language communicative competence at a level sufficient enough, which would allow the students as future qualified specialists to participate in the processes of international economy [15]. Interactivity should be understood not only as the interaction of participants in professional communication with each other, but also how they interact with the object (content) of the communication, acting as an oral or written interactive text. Processing activities (understanding, awareness, assignment, evaluation and so on) of interactive text is an indicative basis for other activities and becomes a structural component of other activities (productive activity allowing translating the meaning of the original text into any other form of its reproduction: monologue, dialogue, polylogue, audiovisualization) [16]. The criteria for selection of content, methods and technologies implemented in the e-textbooks and teaching aids should be their focus on the formation of foreign language communicative competence, the necessary personnel for the successful implementation of professional activity.

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