Online Learning: A New Reality for Educational Institutions (Part II)
This is part 2 of a two-part article on Online Learning as a New Reality for Educational Institutions. This part of the article focuses on the scope of online education, its advantages and the transition experience.
As established in Part I, e-learning is going to play a significant role in the future of the world’s education systems. Educational institutions ranging from play-schools to world-renowned universities have taken to adapting themselves to online learning platforms. There are multiple reasons why online platforms can be beneficial to the process of learning:
Uninterrupted education: Having an online platform helps steer clear of physical obstructions to learning. Schools and colleges using online platforms during the current pandemic spread is a good example of this feature.
Interactive sessions: Contemporary e-learning platforms provide interactive features that help the teacher and students communicate with each other. Earlier, the lack of possibilities for interaction made educational institutions have second thoughts about going online. This problem has been efficiently tackled by today’s e-learning platforms.
More attention to participation: In e-classroom spaces, teachers can pay better attention to each student because they all appear simultaneously on-screen. This allows teachers to give more equal opportunities for each student to take part in the discussion.
Increased Reach: MOOCs (Mass Open Online Course) are distant-learning classrooms set up by educational institutions that allow students of any age and in any geographical location to access its content. This type of e-learning broadens the scope of education by giving every student the opportunity to interact with subject-specialists from around the world.
“In times where small instructor-led classrooms tend to be the exception, electronic learning solutions can offer more collaboration and interaction with experts and peers, as well as higher success rate than live alternatives.”
– Keith Bachman, Corporate e-learning Executive at W.R. Hambrecht & Assoc.
Prof. Kathy Plum who teaches Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School is one of the teachers who has recently switched to online teaching sessions. In a conversation with Medium, she describes the transition experience in a conversation with Medium as one that is beneficial in its own right and cannot be the same as teaching in person. “I think we all have to go into it recognizing that it’s not the same learning experience. There are some benefits of remote; one of the learned crafts in classrooms is having a balance of students that talk, and figuring out who to call”, she says.
The transition experience from in-person teaching to online education is one that might take some practice to get accustomed to, but once the teachers and students are oriented to available features, the possibilities for learning are limitless. This is what makes e-learning the Future of Education.