E-Learning and the Challenge of the Senses
As you may or may not know, the five primary senses available to most humans are integral in the learning process. Without them, learning can become more challenging, and progress becomes difficult. This is what detractors of e-learning often point to when trying to undermine the value of distance learning.
It could even be said that our senses’ sole purpose is to facilitate learning since we learn best through experience. The more vivid an experience is, the deeper the learning and retention that can occur. Developmental psychologists also agree that external stimuli can grow neural pathways and enhance the ability for learning.
The Importance of Stimulating Young Senses
Young children have a surfeit of cells in their brains, and they need to use them. If they don’t, and the pathways and cells are not used to learn and discover new things, then those cells and pathways will die. This is why it is important to stimulate young senses.
Think about how a child learns a language in comparison to how an adult learns a language. One is instinctive, natural. It comes easily to the children because those cells and pathways are facilitating the learning of language. Older teens and adults tend to have a much more difficult time learning a new language.
How Can the Senses be Stimulated With E-Learning?
E-learning is changing the way that children absorb knowledge. You may not think it, but there are, in fact, ways that children can have their five main senses stimulated while participating in online learning, thanks to the advancements in readily-available technology.
The small vibration that you feel through your phone’s screen when you make an error or drag something across the screen is known as haptic feedback. This technology brings the sense of touch into an online learning experience and has even been used to enhance the online learning of those with visual impairments.
You might be familiar with this technology if you have ever explored Google’s Street View. It uses an Omnifocus camera to shoot the video at a full 360° angle. It is an interactive technology as well, meaning that, when you click the arrows within the videos, you can move the FOV around.
Video Performance Assessment
Technology and online learning have also been able to create more sensory immersion in the classroom, where it was not possible before. VPA is designed to enhance the assessment of a scientific inquiry that a student has, in a way that is gamified and immersive.
A number of VPAs have already been created, and it has been found that teachers have been able to receive essential insight into the learning pathways of their students when using it.
Senses and the Online Classroom
If you’re using a virtual classroom, like Pedagogue, for example, then you might be wondering if it’s possible to stimulate the senses of young learners from a distance. With Pedagogue, you can share multimedia and other educational resources for your students to use, which can help stimulate their senses in new, unique ways.
Try not to fret too much about the sense-learning of your e-learning students. If you implement the different methods and technologies mentioned above, then you’ll have no problem encouraging a deeper, richer sense of learning.