To many people in Africa, especially Ghana, the topic of e learning is quite foreign and far-fetched as if that era is a million miles away from them. I was no different and frankly, I didn’t believe in the power and authenticity of the many e learning platforms scattered across the web.
However, in the year 2020, with the onset of COVID-19 and the hullabaloo accompanying, the e learning bubble grew astronomically as in-person studies were disrupted indefinitely. Personally, I was affected by this change as I was preparing frantically to write my Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons Primaries. This exam was unfortunately postponed because of the pandemic. Also, at the rescheduled date, I was unable travel to write as I was in voluntary quarantine after testing positive for the dreaded COVID-19. As its stated in an African proverb: “two simultaneous slap leaves you with teary eyes” I was devastated by the development. That was when I started to take another look at the possible positive impact of e learning on my academic endeavors.
I got over my skepticism and started an in-depth search into this alternative to tradition learning. E learning looked like a huge gamble as the search for the authentic health-related online courses was another daunting task. I wanted to know about pros and cons of being a Nurse anesthetist and many others. I decided to research more about e learning before I invest any time or financial resources in it. I found out that E learning as we know it has been around for over ten years or so. During that time, it had emerged from being a radical idea—the effectiveness of which was yet to be proven—to something that is widely regarded as mainstream. It’s the core to numerous business plans and a service offered by most colleges and universities. And now, e learning was evolving with the World Wide Web as a whole and it’s changing to a degree significant enough to warrant a new name: E-learning 2.0. [eLearn Magazine Volume 2005, Issue 10 (October 2005), Page 1, Feature: E-learning 2.0, Stephen Downes]
I was fascinated by this finding and decided to venture into it. That was when my first real enrollment in an e learning program began. It was with University of Washington Canvas online learning program. The program was hosted on Instructure. Instructure, Inc. is an educational technology company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. It is the developer and publisher of Canvas, a web-based learning management system (LMS), and MasteryConnect, an assessment management system. The company is owned by private-equity firm Thoma Bravo.
I was impressed with the pace and how smooth and simple the whole experience was. I couldn’t believe e learning could be so simple and straight forward. I was excited by the fact that I was able to move at my own pace and assignments were always on point. After that program, I earning a certificate which mailed to me. very nice and durable certificate it was. My first real certification through elearning. The certificate too was verifiable online. Thus my faith and belief in e learning increased tremendously and ever since I have chosen to more of such programs. Even though along the way I met a few bad nuts who absconded with my money, I still think, e learning is a better alternative to in-person studies and as such, Ghanaians and all Africans should embrace this wonderful technological advancement.
There are several Learning management soft wares online to choose from. Many companies have sprung up in the wake of this learning innovation and searching for the right one may be difficult but taking some time to sieve through the article put up together on some blogs like elearning Weblog and the rest can help clear the air and make your search much more productive. Do well to follow through with the advice available on these blogs and subscribe to the feed to get regular update. E learning is here to stay and we better equip ourselves to take full advantage of its many benefits.