Online education has come a long way in making quality education accessible, engaging and in some cases more impactful by embracing new era technology.
The education sector is constantly evolving to meet the challenges it faces to make education more effective, accessible and prepare students for life. The adoption of new technologies in the education sector since the technology boom of the 1980s has brought about a major shift in the learning paradigm. Although online education has been around for a while, the covid-19 pandemic has made it a cornerstone of education. During lockdown, it replaced the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom. Since then, online education has also evolved, with many students continuing to prefer online education over physical classes.
Offline – Online: Transition
As the world came to a standstill during the pandemic, students around the world had only one option to continue their education: online. The sudden transition became a necessity for students, and many faced initial start-up issues.
Sitting in front of a computer and attending online classes can feel lonely when you’re used to studying with peers in large classrooms with great infrastructure. Early on, educators realized that the experience of learning online was not the same as learning offline. The learning activities and curriculum designed for offline lessons were not suitable for online lessons and had to be improvised to attract and hold a student’s attention, especially for younger students.
Educators and parents worry that online education won’t have the same impact as offline. Students were waking up minutes before a class, lacking interaction, and there seemed to be little motivation to study on their own. However, when covid-19 introduced what is commonly referred to as the “new normal”, students adapted remarkably well to this change. The students perfectly combined the best of what offline and online education had to offer and smoothly transitioned from offline to online.
With the pandemic over, what will education look like in the future? What will happen to online education? Is it here to stay? If yes, why ?
We take a look at some of the key factors driving students to embrace online learning.
Online Education: Transformative Impact
It is undeniable that the pandemic has changed the way we live, work, socialize and study. The strict confinement measures introduced at the start of the pandemic affected students around the world when they could not go to schools or universities. However, it is commendable how quickly students and teachers have adapted to online learning and teaching.
What figures reveal?
To overcome the limitations posed during this period, educational institutions quickly shifted to e-learning and started delivering education through the online medium. Instead of using physical classrooms, digital platforms have taken over and distance learning has become a norm rather than an exception. And it looks like it’s here to stay!
- According to Wiley Education Services’ annual survey, 2020 Online College Students, Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences, 78% of online students who learned face-to-face believe their online experience was the same or better than their classroom. live.
- Top 10 educational institutions across the globe have seen at least a 10% increase in online education enrollment compared to offline enrollment
- The Asian market, which is the biggest consumer, is seeing its revenue increase by 20% per year thanks to the e-learning industry, while Thailand, India, China and the Philippines are seeing annual growth of the market by 30%.
Student perspective on online learning
Although there are a number of stakeholders involved in online education, the most important are students. They made the transition from physical to online classes very easy. Students believe that online courses with their many benefits make learning more accessible and engaging.
- Exposure and Connectivity
The main advantage that online education offers to students is the connection with students and professors all over the world. This exposes them to different learning methods, techniques and cultures. From the comfort of their homes, they can access a world-class education.
Online learning also exposes students to different software, learning applications and environments which in turn contribute to the holistic development of learners, making them more dynamic. The transition to e-learning has also helped students realize that e-learning has now become a mainstay in the education sector and that they need to update their skills to stay relevant in the future.
- Convenience and commitment
Online education has made things easier for students and teachers. Students can access their assignments and grades with a single click. They don’t have to waste time getting to class, they can just wake up ten minutes before class login. The integration and adoption of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are also making online education more engaging and creating a tailored learning experience for students.
With online education, students have easier access to global universities. An Indian student aspiring to graduate from Harvard University does not have to travel all the way to the United States. Or they can choose to complete a certain part of the program online and attend college for the desired length of time. Online education has opened up new ways to earn credentials and the best part is that it can all be done from the comfort of your home. Students can choose when and where they want to learn from by easily accessing their courses online. It also allows students to choose the pace of learning according to their convenience.
Another important aspect of online learning is the creation of independent learners. Without constant supervision, students become more able to follow instructions and learn on their own. In case of obstacles, learners are encouraged to solve their problem by consulting other resources before contacting the teacher. This is especially important from the perspective of corporate careers and creating future leaders who have developed skills to do things for themselves. As online education provides opportunities for students to explore, plan, analyze and evaluate things independently, it becomes essential in transforming students into better learners and performers.
Online education has transformed the landscape of education. While it hasn’t completely replaced the on-campus experience, it has come a long way in making quality education accessible, engaging, and in some cases more impactful by embracing new age technology. It provides a more personalized learning environment for learners while motivating them to be more independent, agile and dynamic. Combining the best practices of online and offline education, hybrid programs – which can be delivered online and also on campus, are the future of education.