How has the pandemic accelerated the demand for online education? originally appeared on Quora: the place to acquire and share knowledge, enabling people to learn from others and better understand the world.
The shift to e-learning happened before the pandemic. Most universities already offered distance education in one form or another, but doubled during Covid.
This last year’s experience, while at times uncomfortable, accelerated the discovery by teachers and students of the many benefits of online learning, including increased accessibility, flexibility and collaboration. In fact, a 2021 to study
found that 68% of students are interested in a combination of in-person and online education. This demand is a signal that online education has ample room for growth, even beyond the pandemic.
For the record, I’ve heard instructors say that online learning has changed the way they teach and allowed them to reach a lot more students and interact more frequently. Many have turned to group exercise exercise and it has had incredible results. A professor at a major university in California mentioned that the group work they were able to deploy online has deepened student engagement as well as their attendance. There was a level of sharing, collaboration and responsibility that they didn’t see in their face-to-face classes.
Another conversation with a vice-provost highlighted the evolution of thinking about when in-person interactions are necessary. While group meeting was initially thought to be a prerequisite for effective remote collaboration and meaningful community development, the last year has proven that thoughtful online facilitation and the ability to connect easily. in ad-hoc ways can also result in valuable community connections and learning. This leads him to rethink the possibilities of semi-residential programs and the enormous value of having a digital classroom that can be reserved for a set of students 24/7.
2020 has been an unprecedented year, and many more people have had a taste of what is possible with online education. As schools and college campuses begin to reopen this fall, I think we’ll see a change in the system to provide a range of learning opportunities, especially with strong growth in online learning.