The concept of traditional education has altered radically within the last couple of years.Various online learning approaches have made sure that being present within the four walls of a classroom is no longer the only option for students. Today, there are no barriers in case of the accessibility to quality education.
In fact, afterthe pandemic paralysed the entire world, educators proactively resorted to online learning methods to keep the learning process going. The past couple of months have definitely paved the way for a revolution of online education.
Although there is scepticismsurrounding online learning approaches and their effectiveness, their impact has been quite favourable in imparting knowledge. This makes online learning processes worth embracing. On that note, presented below are some reasons why 2020 is said to be the biggest year for online learning processes.
1. The rise of learning management solutions
Online learning promotes the use of learning management solutions that accumulate content dynamically from different sources to provide engagingmaterialto students to learn from. Educators identify the topics, keywords, and sites by using these solutions.
Over time, students can rate this content based onrelevance, quality, accessibility or other criteria. This way,the system begins to filter out “poor” content and find more quality content similar to the highly-rated content.
Such solutions employ semantic analysis, social andcollaborative ratings to continue to find and curate content. Some popular learning management solutions include Flipboard, Curata, and Feedly.
2. More use of Open Educational Resources (OER)
Obtaining higher education isexpensive for most students. This is why governments and educators are looking for ways to improve access to education by lowering the expenses of acquiring quality education.
Now, textbooks are one of the major expenditures that students incur while pursuing higher studies. However, the widespread adoption and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) in textbooks (or complete OER-based textbooks) and materials can resolve this problem to a great extent. Even UNESCOand the Commonwealth of Learning have recommended the use of these resources to reduce the financial burden on students.
3. Curriculum as a community will gain prominence
Curriculum as a community depends on a learning environment, where participants engage with the content and each other. Online collaborative activities enable every learner to share their ideas and thereby develop an interactive canvas of diverse feedback and reactions.
A community in online courses enables the students to take part and learn together. This approach recognises learning as a social activity by itself. Students can also learn through contact and discourse by interacting with another person who canoffer guidance on a specific subject. Engaging in conversation with one another also promotes knowledge and fuels growth.
4. More flexibility in the learning process
Online education enables students to determine and control the pace of their learning. Also, there’s an added flexibility of setting a schedule that suits both the students and the teachers.
Studying online allows students to learn time management skills, which makes finding the right balance between studies and other commitments. A proper agenda between the student and teacher can also prompt both parties to accept new responsibilities and gain more autonomy.
5. More partnerships between academic institutions and companies
Colleges and universities are collaborating to deliver skill-based learning opportunities for students via Degrees and Diplomas. Since many companies struggle to find employees with the right skills, they are forging strategic partnerships with universities to create learning programs.
For instance, AT&T has a MOOC-based program offered in partnership with Georgia Tech and Udacity. Shopify selects students from high school and enrols them in a Dev-Degree program presented in collaboration with York University and Carleton University in Canada.
6. Microlearning will become a norm
Microlearning is still a new concept in 2020, but it willgain significance both in the education sector because of its engaging nature.Microlearning refers to small bite-sized chunks of information that are created to teach specific skills. Means of microlearning can be images, infographics, videos, audio, quizzes, games, or a combination of them.
Most educators agree that students find long, rambling learning modules to be boring. Smaller chunks of content are easier to teach and also improve the retention levels of the learners.Moreover, microlearning is less time-consuming and an education tool that is cheaper-to-produce and yet effective.
7. Promotes personalised learning experience for students
It’s rarely a secret that online education is flexible enough to take into student’s requirements into account.Online classes are usually smaller than conventional class size, which makes addressing the individual needs easier. Most of the time, online learning allows for greater interaction and more feedback between the students and the teachers.
There’s often access to diverse study materials like videos, photos, and eBooks. And it also lets teachers make optimum use of other formats like forums or social media groups to improve the quality of learning for students. Students can access the content shared through these platforms at any moment from anywhere, which offers them a more dynamic and tailor-made education.
Even though the traditional learning processes are not going anywhere, educators and students have opened up to the possibilities of online learning. So, it can be estimated that the post-pandemic world will witness a balance between both the traditional and online learning approaches. There will be more promising innovations in the sphere of online learning in the days to come.