Sexuality Education through E-Learning

The challenge to generate and express meaning: Can sexual education and e-learning be compatible?

Dra. Olga Marega

Nowadays many people meet other people in cyberspace and they soon fall in love. How is this possible if they have never seen each other? Though they don’t know what the other looks like, they can share their thoughts, their outlook on life. Probably they reach their souls and hearts first, getting to know their innermost feelings.

It is a fact that to teach about sexuality it is not only necessary to pass on knowledge with a sound grounding in science, but also to open one’s mind and get rid of all sexual prejudices (especially against sexual diversity, gender, etc) and adopt a positive attitude towards sexuality. Learning must go beyond the intellectual boundaries and reach emotions and personal experiences. Is it possible to do this with e-learning education?

There are four ways to give sex education: presence education, open education, distance learning, and virtual education (or e-learning). Presence education is matchless, but for several reasons not everybody can have access to this alternative, especially teachers that live far away from educational establishments. E-learning can offer more advantages than traditional distance education. .

The general vision of e-learning courses is conservative and incomplete; people consider this educational system like a tool for information transmission, not as a tool for generating and expressing meaning.

My goal in this paper is:

*  To mention advantages of e-learning sex education compared with distance sex education.

*  To complete the e-learning concept for teaching sexuality, especially like a valuable way to help understanding, when the right strategies are used.

When online courses are properly designed and facilitated by knowledgeable educators, it is possible to use multiple instructional (or pedagogical) strategies to obtain the sought-after emotional learning.

Effective online instruction to learn sexuality depends on:

*  The quality of the contents. They should be didactic, esthetic, and functional.

*  The right choice of learning styles or a combination of styles, in order to provide significant experiences for each class participant.

*  A lot of practical, attractive, enjoyable and interactive tools like: “guided design”, “games”,  “role-plays”, “workshops”, “collaborative learning”, “case study”, “discussion in synchronous communication by Chat, or otherwise, by Forum”.

*  The use of multimedia technology like a: “flash” to animated processes, “clip arts” o “photos” to reinforce significance, “emerging windows”, “glossaries”, “audio and video” alone or combined, “Web-links”, etc.

Conclusion:

The online learning environment allows educators and learners to keep permanent communication and to exchange information, ideas, and even feelings while working together from anywhere in the world. There are many ways to successfully “reach the emotions”. It is only necessary to use intellectual creativity to choose the right strategies adapted to the demands of each group. We should trust that as human beings, we can use technological advances to increase knowledge and improve our way of life, and not just to kill people at war.