E-LEARNING STANDARDS IMPLEMENTATION: EASY OR DIFFICULT PROCESS?
Not all the technologies have the same speed in progress: some are quickly accepted, for others the period is longer. For example, it took 75 years for telephone to reach 50 million users when it was invented, World Wide Web (WWW) only 4 years to reach the same number of users and the Mobile phone only 1 year to reach the same number of users.
E-learning environments in fact have been available since the 1960s, though they were not called that. It took the form of text based training on large mainframe systems, some shared video or point-to-point video conferencing, and even TV broadcasts.
It wasn’t until approximately 20 years ago, with the advent of individual computing and shared networks, that e-learning became more readily available and began to be adopted by larger academic institutions.
All the world knows, that in the XXI century, our society is gradually changing from information based to knowledge based. In the last years, we have seen an explosion of interest in e-learning, not only from academic institutions but also from the commercial organizations.
There are many activities, research, and development related to e-learning, such as lifelong learning, self directed learning, organizational learning, and virtual learning environments.
The market for educational products and services is expanding rapidly especially in a global context. Tom Peters talking about how human knowledge is growing, appreciate: “E-Learning! We need to talk about e-forgetting, because to be successful at e-learning, you have to forget the ways of your past”. One of the paradoxes of our time is that the more we must learn, the less time we have to learn.
E-learning is a success story from many years. Everybody talks about e-learning advantages and disadvantages but few about the necessity of standardization in this area. So, one of the major topics in the discussion about e-learning must be standards. Some are technical standards that are intended to ensure that e-learning programs are interoperable. Other focuses on content providing a common means of cataloguing content so people can easily find it.
We must also recognize that some countries believe that is the duty of the state to educate the people. Following this opinion, quality implies access for all, a strong social responsibility and shared values. Other countries appreciate that also the private organizations are responsible for the education process, which they encourage to take an active part in people education. It is a reality that world’s systems are diverse and have different approaches which reflect also the deep rooted cultures and values. Starting from this point is better to focus on identifying shared goals, opportunities for collaboration, and ways for increasing quality and improving standardization of learning in general and for e-learning in special.
Although standards are intended to make e-learning easier to develop, exchange, and use, the standards themselves have, at times, been anything but easy. Standards help to ensure e-learning effectiveness and resource investments by promoting the following goals: interoperability, reusability, accessibility and durability.