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Why Do Learners Choose Online Learning: The Learners’ Voices Ilgaz Gulbahar Y
Watch exclusive, new video interviews with Ilgaz Gulbahar, a teacher and mentor of Dubai Adult Learners’ Community Learning programme.
It’s a big honor to find myself interviewed by Emirates 24|7. Which is, of course, even more alluring since I am entering the online learning space and talking with someone who helped pioneer it, someone who has spearheaded the opening of schools across the globe.
Ighad Haddad, the Founder and Director of InstaLearning, has spent the last couple of years dreaming up a technology-based means of engagement with learners. One that would give people an insight into how educators see them evolving, how learning takes place on a global scale and how to leverage this information.
As such, he agreed to have his mentor, Ilgaz Gulbahar, recorded and interviewed, and I was lucky enough to talk with him on video.
“Ifta Mandi, this was a text-based course for example,” says Ilgaz about the online language learnership that Ifta Mandi supported. “People asked questions, and they went into the syllabus and made notes; they sent out videos of one or two sections of the course. What they are getting into is that you work with a document and you go through a process; you answer questions and then finish with research. You can get several lectures, the answers to the questions you’ve got asked and experience the course.
“Having that process, and the discovery of that process, is huge,” Ilgaz continues. “Even for me, by talking to people who have had this instruction, I get to see the difference [in] the learning that is going on, so it gives me an information that others don’t know.”
He goes on to explain how his idea of online learning was rooted in technology and its ability to handle everything from educational investments to core needs like jobs and families.
“With something like, say, FAST and the machine learning (ML) class, you can literally start in a certain application and move on to something else,” he explains. “Where, say, someone does something with accounting, you can do something with reading and you can do some reasoning, but you can also start from the beginning. That is how online learning works. It is relevant no matter where you are.”
“Say, for example, you’re living in London and you’re interested in accounting, and you want to do that. You can go to the International Accounting Standards Authority’s website and start learning accounting, and not only is it relevant but it is also scalable. Once you’ve created some understanding, you can leverage that knowledge and go to other countries and see the different opportunities.”
For Ilgaz, the experience of teaching other people, whether online or face-to-face, has been nothing short of enlightening.
“On a practical level, it is a lot of fun. Because, in this journey, you are meeting people who are new to the system, they are not sitting at home playing around on their computer all day; they are constantly learning about new tools and about new ways to teach, and seeing the benefits of the educational system,” he says.
“And if you think about the institutional scene of Dubai – as well as the market here – the rate at which people in Dubai want learning… We want to be open and we want to bring in people from all over the world, and if you can incorporate learning into that as a part of the different arenas that they are dealing with – like healthcare, for example – is just what education should be all about.”
And so, in the final moments of his interview with me, Ilgaz (or at least the character he played on his post-op Facebook post) takes me to a section of the online course in which people can go through the complex financial statements, collecting and using information throughout the journey.
“So you can take things on a journey, start with a starting point and end up with some real knowledge that might help someone else,” he reasons. “And this is the whole idea behind online learning.”
To watch the full interview, visit the online section of Emirates24|7 at www.emirates247.com/entertainment/education/the-learners-voices-iber-klima-night1073241. You can also read more from Ilgaz Gulbahar here.