FIVE GROWING TRENDS IN ONLINE LEARNING
Advancement in technology has reshaped human lives on a massive scale. That change in technology has transformed the daily practices of people. For example, before people used to buy their clothes, shoes, makeup, and accessories from a retail store. But now everything is digitalized. The retail stores are closing down because online buying has attracted so many consumers towards it.
Similarly, due to the convenience and comfort provided by digital technology, education is also getting digitalized. Because of the accessibility of educational courses and degrees available online, a significant change has occurred in the teaching and learning disciplines. Online training or E-learning is one of the rapidly growing forms of education, which gives immense opportunities for learners to enhance their knowledge and polish their skills. Institutions all around the world are experimenting with a variety of ways to engage students through the Internet and are offering various courses and degrees in different fields.
Online learning during the Covid-19 global pandemic is becoming as much of a necessity as anything. Online learning has taken place in many traditional educational institutions, as social distancing and isolation have become the norm. As more of these educational institutions move to online learning, it looks as if this will become a trend that will outlive the COVID-19 outbreak and extend well into the future as well. Among the many great things about the digitization of education is the ability for more students to seek out more meaningful degrees through online learning.
Additionally, online learning gives students the liberty of scheduling their timetables and saves them from the hassle of a daily commute. The cost of living is rising at an unprecedented rate, and many people are finding affording education difficult. They have no other option but to manage work and studies simultaneously. Managing a job and degree is a daily struggle, but online learning brings a little convenience in it. Moreover, the average tuition fee for online courses is comparatively low, which is a significant reason students opt for it. The Internet has made it possible to pursue a degree from a foreign institute and has given access to its resources to the students living in different countries. Hence, online learning brings together people from various cultures, traditions, and nationalities to one place.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced people to rethink and change their lifestyles. People are staying indoors, and it has led to a hike in online learning. E-learning is here to stay, and its trends continue to evolve.
The following are some of the online learning trends for the year 2020:
- Virtual Learning
The breakthrough of three-dimensional technology has revolutionized several technological processes and has given almost-real experiences to the users. The discoveries and advancement in this technology boggle the human mind. Virtual reality is a term used for computerized environment generated by 3D technology. Users feel that they are part of the virtual world, despite sitting miles away. Initially, some people were not convinced about the concept of online learning as they believed students lose focus if they are not in a proper learning environment. They raised the concern that if a tutor is not physically present, he will not be able to hold learners’ attention for a longer duration. 3D technology has made it possible to give learners a virtual classroom experience; hence learners usually listen with focus and divert their attention to the teacher.
The growing popularity of online education is not specific for any age group. Many students are doing a part-time job after graduating from school, and online learning seems like a blessing to them. Moreover, high school students who are from a financially weak background can support their families by doing a part-time job. They, in this situation, choose to get a high school diploma online so that they can continue with their studies together with supporting their families.
All in all, virtual reality technology has become more accessible and affordable in recent years, and learners globally are taking advantage of it. The virtual technology has paved ways for the institutions to create digital classrooms for immersive learning opportunities.
Microlearning refers to the learning of smaller units at short intervals, which learners can comprehend easily. Most of the e-learning material is content-based. The length and duration of content are dependent on the subject and design. Modern life is hectic, where people have to accomplish a lot in 24 hours. A general observation is that majority of people are always short of time, and they prefer short courses over long ones. Furthermore, leaners like the idea of learning explicit content in small chunks as they consider extra knowledge superficial and waste of time. Microlearning is practical for corporations who want to provide training to their employees and do not want to invest much of their time.
Studies have indicated that short content retains longer in a person’s mind. Teachers narrow down the text and use the platforms of email, portals, or Whatsapp to send content to the learners. Microlearning is a growing trend of online learning, and since it has innumerable benefits, it will keep growing.
Game-based learning and gamification have gained immense fame among online learners. Instead of scoring marks, the concept of earning badges and points works as a motivating factor for learners. Games boost learners’ engagement in the course material and give them a sense of empowerment. As a teaching tool, it has validated its effectiveness even in traditional classrooms. The digitalization of games has made them a popular choice amongst e-learners, and most of them choose to learn through games over learning through other conventional methods.
- Collaborative Learning
Cooperative learning has proven to be a potent learning tool in conventional class setups. Learners generally learn better and faster from their peers and giving them collaborative learning opportunities make the task easy for teachers. Some learners tend to stay quiet and find it challenging to participate in traditional class discussions; however, they perceive participating virtually doable and contribute meaningfully in studies and projects. Videoconferencing, online portals, teleconferencing are some of the platforms that support collaborative learning in online education. Positive outcomes of cooperative learning have made it a growing trend in online learning.
- Mobile Learning
In the modern world, you hardly see people without carrying a mobile phone. It has become an indispensable accessory for human beings. Innumerable people are using mobile phones, and it has generated mobile learning in online learners. Mobile learning has made it possible for students to consume content from anywhere on these hand-held devices. Besides, mobile is a convenient way to interact with other learners or teachers. Institutes are aware of the growing popularity of mobile learning, and they ensure designing their content in such ways that it is easily accessible to mobile learners. Mobile learning facilitates learners through the delivery of learning experiences to an individual who does not have the means of acquiring education traditionally.
Online learning is gaining recognition on a larger scale, and more and more students are preferring pursuing online education over traditional methods. The emergence of new technology is further simplifying the process of online learning. However, affordability is the significant reason for its immense popularity. Diversity of learning materials and accessibility of knowledge brings quality education to learners all around the world through online learning. Hopefully, you will benefit from the tips as mentioned above if you choose to prefer completing your education online.