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History and Perspectives of Elearning

Article in Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences June 2015


DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.594

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 191 (2015) 1187 1190

WCES 2014

History And Perspectives Of Elearning


Sarka Hubackova a *
a
University of Hradec Kralove, Rokitanskeho 62, 50003 Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

Abstract

Development of eLearning is connected to development, technical improvement and also better affordability of computers. New
programs were created not only to teach, but also to allow the communication between the teacher and the student. This new
system corresponded already with the todays one, but it got its name just in 1999. The initial concept of eLearning was related
with issues in contemporary essays primarily of a technical nature. All essays from initial period repeatedly emphasize the
modernity of the device and the first educational outcomes associated with it.
2015
2014TheTheAuthors.
Authors. Published
Published by Elsevier
by Elsevier Ltd. Ltd.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of WCES 2014.
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of WCES 2014
Keywords: Computer-Based Training, eLearning, Web- Based Training, history;

1. History of eLearning in the World

Development of eLearning is connected to development, technical improvement and also better affordability of
computers. Already in the late eighties and the nineties of the last century the first form of electronic education-
Computer-Based Training (CBT) was born. This is considered as the cornerstone of todays eLearning (Eger, 2005).
The CBT system requires connection of personal computer to some other multimedia, for example CD-ROM. The
system itself meant a tremendous progress, although its content was not that thoroughly elaborated and it was still
missing some later features of eLearning like no limitation by time or place. In parallel with the development of
CBT was the technology developed, that at the end lead into the rise of internet and creation of the web system. Also
this time the roots of origin and its technical base were in the United States. Technology had its progress. At the
very beginning the information could be delivered only in text format, but in the early nineties there were created
browsers, which enabled users to enrich the text by graphics. Internet spread quickly, its price declined and so it was

* Sarka Hubackova. Tel.:+420 493 332302


E-mail address: sarka.hubackova@uhk.cz

1877-0428 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of WCES 2014
doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.594
1188 Sarka Hubackova / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 191 (2015) 1187 1190

more affordable also for the middle class. The web system was improved into the now well-known and widespread
www (world wide web). The publication Introduction to eLearning (Kveton, 2003), which was written and
published on the occasion of tenth anniversary of this learning method, explains its forming and connects it with the
web adjustment to the resource of information, which is stored here and is offered to all users via Internet
connection. The new Web- Based Training (WBT) was formed. This era is well described by Baresova (2003).
New programs were created not only to teach, but also to allow the communication between the teacher and the
student. This new system corresponded already with the todays one, but it got its name just in 1999 (Kopecky,
2006). The WBT system was spreading quickly was improving and so were also the connected programs. Together
with the pedagogical approach, which started in 2002 to be more and more enforced, with professional management,
blended learning and with clearly positive results of some universities and companies it shows, that eLearning has
its advantages and can be effectively used not only for the distance but also the for face to face education (Eger,
2005). These words are valid also for the initial phase of development. Meeting of the Council of the European
Union in 2002 mapped the current use of electronic forms of learning in Europe. Discussion about eLearning
programs for years 2002- 2006 started just next year. Its main goal was to spread knowledge about new forms of
teaching, but especially improvement of education system. Meeting of the Council of the European Union in
Barcelona (2002) concretized the recommended amount of costs for eLearning development. This recommendation
applied for all member countries and significantly defined the material basis of enhancement of new forms of
teaching. The new wave of improvements in eLearning started- mainly in the content and form of new courses and
programs for universities. This trend intervened also to the state of using the electronic forms of education in Czech
Republic. The subproject ODL NET (Open and Distance Learning Network for Exchange Experiences) played a
great role in contact with other countries. This project was developed in the framework of the European program
Sokrates, which concentrates on propagation of distance education based on information and communication
technologies. This was not only to publish eLearning, but also to clarify its theoretical base. It was meant for
teachers, who started using these forms, for authors of new programs and also for students, who could benefit from
these news forms of learning in the first place. The purpose of this project was to exchange experiences among all
users of new forms of study. Its most important goals are considered: To improve the quality of on-line teaching by
using new learning and methodical approaches and to inform the academic society about technologic development
in area of education on internet. There were eight European countries involved in this project: Great Britain, Ireland,
Portugal, Spain, Greece, Finland, Cyprus and Czech Republic. (Czech Republic, represented by FIM UHK, was
involved as the only country from middle and east Europe). Following institutes took part in a project (since 2004):
Fundacin Universidad-Empresa de Valencia, ADEIT, Spain coordinator of the project
University Hradec Kralove, Faculty of informatics and management, Czech Republic
University of Limerick, Ireland
University of Oulu, Finland
Portuguese Open University, Portugal
Centre of Higher Education in Theatre Studies, Greece
University of Hull, Great Britain
University of Cyprus, Cyprus
Look at the above list shows how different learning environment and how different educational groups and units
could be represented in the project.
Sarka Hubackova / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 191 (2015) 1187 1190 1189

Fig. 1. On-line course German at the University of Hradec Kralove

2. Past and Present of eLearning in the Czech Republic

With some advance eLearning was used first particularly by large companies, who did not mind the relatively
high initial financial demand. Its benefits, however, were quickly realized also by rectors and academic university
senates. With the help of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports they supported the creation of computer
networks at colleges that later could almost automatically connect to the Internet. The process was started in 1991,
by CTU (VUT). Since the beginning of this millennium the introduction of eLearning at universities has gained
rather fast pace, which has been preserved until now. The CTU was soon joined by other universities, including the
University of Hradec Kralove (UHK) represented in this case mainly the Faculty of Informatics and Management
(FIM). In recent years we have witnessed the penetration of eLearning to secondary and primary schools. The of use
of eLearning today is in tertiary education. Definitions of eLearning provide it primarily as a means of education
based on electronic resources, trying to capture the effectiveness of distance learning in many other fields.
Gradually, the importance of supporting eLearning is emphasized for face-to-face teaching, its processual page is
underlined, educational features are increasing. The initial concept of eLearning was related with issues in
contemporary essays primarily of a technical nature. All essays from initial period repeatedly emphasize the
modernity of the device and the first educational outcomes associated with it. They are evaluated fairly general, as
schematically, the enumerations of advantages and disadvantages of eLearning in contemporary interpretations are
essentially the same, usually not documented nor specific details about the positive or negative aspects of its
implementation. Evaluation is served rather as these features seem to students less often from the perspective of
1190 Sarka Hubackova / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 191 (2015) 1187 1190

teachers. Gradually, the concept of resource begins to fade from the literature, the didactic conception process using
specially adapted and formulated curriculum organized into appropriate programs or courses starts. With the
creation of these, there rise stronger demands to publish more educational aspects of creating courses. Schematic
evaluation of its use is disappearing, in its place is getting arguments based view on its benefits. Different
possibilities of its use for the different subjects were considered. It addresses the general question of what actually
constitutes a pedagogical dimension, but also the specific issues, questions of motivation and feedback. Ways of
usage were seen in combination with face-to-face teaching, the program development goals were submitted to the
needs of the student. First speculation about whether the process of eLearning would replace teachers occurred. The
concept of e-learning as a support to contact face-to-face teaching process, which is when accepting the essential
teaching principles and taking into account the learning styles of students that actually becomes a process, which
will result in a marked increase teaching effectiveness as a whole, was gradually adopted. The pioneer of this new
form of education became colleges. Traditional universities significantly influenced not only the smaller ones but
also private colleges. The result is that today in the Czech Republic there is not any higher education institution on
which this new form of teaching was not introduced.

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