Online education or e-learning refers to the art of imparting education via the internet and today online learning has emerged ads one of the most popular trends of spreading education and knowledge. The progress of multimedia technologies has immensely facilitated the growth of the online education industry which is estimated to be valued at about 38 billion euros or more currently. In the United States alone it has been revealed through recent statistics, that about 3.5 million students are engaged in e-learning procedures for gaining higher education. It is interesting to note that online education is considered to be predominantly a form of distant education, it is also used prominently along worth classroom teaching to aid the quality of education imparted. Therefore, it is natural to find that video conferencing or VoIP i.e. voice over internet protocol are very helpful in such cases.The growing demand amidst students has encouraged the foundation of several online colleges and educational institutions which coffer academic degrees via the internet on a plethora of courses. These ‘virtual learning environments’ are more often a preferred option for a certain section of the student population and the growing demand is a testimony to this fact. Students are encouraged to publish online journals and e-counseling is also available for distressed students. Most of these institutes offering online education do not always require students to attend the initial orientation programs physically in the campus itself, though for some it may be mandatory. There are several technological tools which are vital for the functioning of online education programs. These include virtual classrooms, learning management software, simulations, educational animations and games, emails and blogs, discussion boards, MP3 players, screencasts and podcasts, electronic performance support system, personal digital assistant or PDA, hypermedia, text chats, electronic voting system, multimedia CD-ROMs and websites etc.One of the main functions of these online learning modules is to set certain tasks for the students. Most of these are performance oriented tasks and these are extremely essential to increase the student’s proficiency while also aiding the teacher to realize his potential. The virtual classrooms also allow the various students and teachers to interact with each other with the use of text chatting and email and therefore communication is not a barrier. There are several e-learning platforms available in the internet and some of these are Authorware, ATutor, Sakai Project, Dokeos, Knowledge Forum, Tooling University , FirstClass, OLAT, TutorVista etc.
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