The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the schools to shut down throughout the world, and teachers are reaching out to the students online to conduct classes. An incredulous 1.2 billion students worldwide are continuing their schooling online.
Education has undergone a total transformation with e-learning coming to the forefront, or even rescue. If working from home is remote today, so are teaching and learning. Research indicates that online classes are not only more convenient, but they are also more effective. In this scenario, most institutes are probably tempted to adopt this system for good.
Online Learning Popular before COVID-19
Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, education technology was striding forward at a rapid pace. No wonder then that today the global online market is set to exceed $350 billion by 2025.
There’s been a spurt in the usage of language apps, video conferencing, webinars, virtual tutoring, and online learning software post-COVID-19. With demand and supply matching each other, several online learning platforms like https://www.janison.com/online-assessment/ offer their services free, resulting in a surge in the number of new learners signing up for online learning classes.
Some companies offer a collaboration suite for the teachers and students to access free video conferencing and pursue their learning online.
How Will Such Developments Affect Learning?
With the whole world gravitating towards online learning rapidly, experts believe the user experience can be flawed due to insufficient training, lack of bandwidth, and not being prepared for such a shift. However, some believe this ensures that education reaches the underprivileged. The common belief is that online education may become a part of the school learning process. Ironically, online learning is helping spread news about the coronavirus virally.
There are many instances where online learning has benefitted students. For example, Dr.Amjad of the University of Jordan reports that he’s been using online platforms to teach his students. He claims that he can reach out to more students, and the video meetings, document sharing, and other features of this modern tool render teaching online easier.
The Challenges Ahead
Such a sudden spurt in online learning is bound to be fraught with challenges. Connectivity is a significant issue in most places. Students living in areas that have not benefited from advances in technology may find it a struggle to actively participate in digital learning and find it challenging to keep up with the others.
Vast differences still exist. For instance, in advanced countries like Norway, Austria, Sweden, and Switzerland, more than 95% of the students have access to computers and are tech-savvy. In comparison, in countries like Indonesia, just 34% of the students have access to computers to complete their school work, as per the OECD data.
Even in a country like the US, such disparities exist. While kids from affluent backgrounds have ready access to computers, the Internet, and technology, their not-so privileged counterparts from underprivileged backgrounds do not have access. In Australia, the government provides laptop loans to bridge the digital divide and ensure the students have access to digital equipment to pursue their studies.
The Efficacy of Online Learning
As long as students have access to the latest technology and tools, online learning through platforms like https://www.janison.com/online-assessment/ and other free sources, it is sure to be effective.
Research indicates that students learn and retain 25 to 60% more information while learning online. This is probably because students need less time while learning online and will get spare time to learn more.
The indications are that online learning is here to stay for quite some time. The governments need to focus on closing the gap between the haves and have-nots so that technology and tools are available to all. The successful development of a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus may bring in more changes.