Future of Online learning—what the global pandemic taught us


Future of Online learning—what the global pandemic taught us

The COVID pandemic has upended our lives in so many ways. From shaking the economy, putting people out of jobs to even restricting our day-to-day activities—it’s been a topsy-turvy ride for all of us for the past couple of months. One of the most affected sectors due to this pandemic has been the educational sector. With the sudden rise in COVID cases, the shutters were brought down throughout our country, leaving the students, instructors, and recruiters in disarray.

Despite all the unprecedented turn of events, the silver lining for the educational world is that the government and educational institutions have proactively responded to combat this situation. They have adopted measures to start the classes online, so that learning remains uninterrupted. However, due to economic disparities, not all students could take the online route. To ensure no student is left alone, the Government of India initiated schemes to distribute necessary technical equipment to students across the country.

The state of e-learning before the crisis

Even before the pandemic had hit us, the buzz about open education in the online world had gained a decent amount of traction. In fact, according to the 2019 Global Learning Technology Investment Patterns report, EdTech companies around the world have pulled an investment of a whopping $18.66 billion in 2019. Many colleges in the major cities had already recommended their students to use e-learning platforms and courses provided by them. However, those were additional and optional.

The post COVID era

In the current scenario, though, there has been a complete compulsory shift to the online mode. The transition from the traditional blackboard, chalk, and paper to big monitors, smartphones, and touch keypads has been quite a shift for both the instructors and students. Even though e-learning has its fair share of challenges, it has revolutionized the education system for good.

Let’s see the benefits of this transition.

8 benefits of online learning

The option to learn from anywhere, anytime

One of the most significant advantages of online learning is that students can learn in the comfort of their homes. They can replay their sessions even at a later day and time. It allows them to learn at their sweet pace! And this can have such a huge positive impact on the young minds. 

Looking beyond the conventional system

For some sections of society, the exposure to quality education has only been a dream till now. With the advent of the internet and online learning, many top esteemed institutions offer their entire lectures for free, providing the aspiring students with direct experience to learn from their top instructors. Education has never been this democratized in the past

A stress-free learning environment

Peer pressure can make or break a student—for some, it helps in social standing, and for the rest, it might contribute to their insecurities. Another advantage of online learning is undoubtedly the lack of peer pressure. The atmosphere of an online learning platform is conducive to making the students more forthcoming in their doubts to their instructors. They can clarify their doubts at any time of the day, unlike the conventional classroom, where the instructors are available only during the class hours.

Gamification to drive interest

All work and no play indeed make Jack and Jill dull children! Online learning platforms have given this a good thought. The exercises and assignments are visually interactive and dynamic to engage with, so the students never feel bogged down

The ease of measuring a student’s performance

Let’s look at online learning from an instructor’s standpoint. In general, thousands of students give exams, and the instructors are forced to spend hours evaluating the papers. Online learning has created a paperless medium, making the job of instructors a bit easier. They can now assess the student’s performance with the help of in-built analytical tools.

Less time on travel = more time on learning

A substantial amount of time is usually spent on getting ready and traveling to colleges. This scenario has changed now, and all the time spent on commuting is used for learning.

The cost-effectiveness of the medium

One major advantage of online learning is the cost factor. Numerous online courses are relatively very economical compared to conventional fees. It could motivate a lot more students to enhance their competency levels.

Availability of extra reading materials

With online learning becoming the space through which education is imparted, innovative tools and materials like e-books, animated tutorials, quizzes, and educational games have become a part of the online classroom.

Conclusion – The future

With things going the way they are, we may see a hybrid system of education in the future. Online learning platforms will start getting used, along with the traditional classroom setup, to give students the best of both worlds. While the pandemic has been the proverbial cat among the pigeons, as far as the educational sector is concerned – it has brought alive a soon-to-be reality.

Source: AICL

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