The stigma of e-learning, 5 improvements & their benefits
Why do you cringe with the idea of online learning? Have you ever given it a minute to think about it?
No? Let’s do it together!
To understand this, we need to dig into the recent past of online education. Online learning was seen as an inferior form of education, probably because in the late 90s and early 00s, “degrees” were being offered claiming that needed very little work or study. Like those “life changing” diets we keep hearing about. However, the benefits of e-learning have always been there, we were just to hectic to notice. Technology and methodology have evolved, and online learning has grown to become a common ally in education.
Yet, the stigma which has been created around this issue, proves challenging to shake, even in 2020.
Despite the great developments, negative perceptions exist implying online degrees and courses are less credible than those earned in person. The industry’s expansion – which has been huge and is predicted to grow even more – seems not enough to earn the online degree, a global respect. As Covid-19 started to spread however, universities, collages and all education institutes were forced to turn to e-learning to save the day and at this point, a high percentage of students are receiving online classes. As more people get comfortable with online learning that distinction becomes gradually less pointed out and part of the reason is the fact that everyone is learning online now. The pandemic has shifted the education system from on-campus to remote.
Many haven’t had that chance to discover the benefits of online education but with everyone forced to stay home, people who had not considered e-learning or lacked the time to focus on their education now have the chance.
Here are 5 improvements and their 5 benefits:
Online education means that organizations need to keep an open mind and rethink the teaching structure with a certain flexibility, adaptability, and optimization. The benefits? Students save hours by not commuting to class which could be spent in other activities. Plus, all lectures and needed material are provided via online platforms while the students can easily access them from the comfort of their home.
Teachers need to be taught and all faculty members need to improve their skillset. It is not that hard; educators are realizing that lectures can be communicated just as well as they can in person. In many institutions it is easy to find academics for whom teaching is not a priority. Getting them to realize the importance of committing to their students will be challenging but essential.
Teaching online needs a whole new set up which will have to come in place with new tools, additional monitors, lighting, quality equipment, while institutions will have to decide how much of the cost they are going to cover. This important move results to putting an end to certain communication problems, plus students can stop worrying about external problems and can focus on their learning path.
Online education requires a different approach, and the teaching methods need to be rethought and improve. Understanding and taking advantage of the available tools will make online learning a much more pleasant experience for all. Which means: Even employees can upskill while having a full-time job by taking online training courses and learning in their own pace.
The days where digital learning was a laughing matter, are over and students should stop wasting their time and take their courses which moved online due to the pandemic. Benefit: This will result in a certain skill development which later on will be valuable to a possible employer. Learners can also develop self-motivation and discipline to be able to keep up with schedule and course work. Reduces stress while teaching one how to manage their time.
The point is not how online classes can mimic the live ones. In fact, online and on campus learning are two very different methods, each unique in its own way. So, the point should be making the best out of a bad situation while benefiting from what new things e-learning has to offer.
Still, online learning and education in general needs a lot of improvements before it takes the next step.
Looking more into the future, it is possible we will see a shift in what technology is used and how. While it would be fun to have VR classrooms and AI professors, we need to consider who has access to what technology in order to be able to give education to all or at least most. Innovative new technology products will have to make the educational experience smother and engaging while remaining simple and accessible.
Things have indeed changed for humanity in 2020 and academia will be required to teach their classes online for the forcible future. During all this we need to remember that it is not the students who need to change but the system.