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Online Learning for Higher Education – The Big Transformation

Online education is not a new term for anyone now. Be it parents, teachers, or students; everyone now prefers to study online and recognize it as an effective learning mode. Online classes for high school or online tuition classes for every student have become a common scenario. As an innovative approach to supplement regular education, what started around a decade ago has now become a fully-fledged, most common and acceptable mode to upskill oneself and upgrade their higher education qualifications.

These days, multiple online learning portals or learning management systems offer various courses for different levels, different sets of students, and different professionals. These courses are very commonly taken up by working professionals and graduates and postgraduates to upskill themselves and polish their talents.

If we compare this to earlier times, most higher education courses or degrees were commonly pursued offline, either through regular colleges/institutes or through distance learning. Online education, even if in the picture, was very less reliable and trusted by students. However, times have changed drastically now.

If we taken a survey, we would find that more than 70% of 12th graders, graduates, and working professionals are willing to enroll themselves in an online course to pursue their higher education or upskill their existing skill and talent set. However, we cannot deny that this significant transformation has come across with such a revolutionizing impact because of the coronavirus pandemic. The potential of the existing online learning infrastructure was best realized at the time of lockdown when the physical learning system was halted due to social distancing norms. Soon, this was leveraged to improve, innovate and utilize it further to make online learning or online study a fully-fledged system for higher education.

E-learning as a boon for higher education and working professionals

If we look at the online study scenario today, we will infer that most working professionals are enrolled in other online courses to upskill themselves for career growth. Also, many corporate companies who provide various training to the employees have onboarded a dedicated learning management system. As a result, employee training, growth, and development can now easily be managed through these online learning management systems, which receive a very positive response from both the employees and employers.

The companies which did not have any learning and development policy are beginning to consider and include it in their policies for employees as this has become more accessible, affordable, and manageable while promising great results at the same time. In addition, many universities are providing their certified degrees, certificates, diplomas, and courses through online mode.

These programs have the same weightage or value in one’s resume that a regular course from that university has. The faculty is the same, the university is the same, affiliation is the same, but the regional or physical boundaries have disappeared. The world has been confined together in computer screens. The impact of ‘online education’ is thus highly effective, opening new opportunities for students and working professionals.

However, the online learning system is not just limited to higher education. School students, right from class 1st, have also become a very integral part of it and vice versa. As mentioned many times in our previous articles, the coronavirus pandemic has played a pivotal role in shifting the classrooms from school to screens.

School online classes might have been an imagination before, but now it is the reality that has been accepted as a routine by students, teachers, and parents. The entire education system, right from school to college, institutes to tuitions, etc, is now online, connected through technology. While there are endless debates on ‘school online classes’ or ‘online tuition classes’, arguing if they are more or less efficient than the traditional ones, we would prefer not to touch those topics and lead that for some future discussions.

Here, we would closely examine what online education as an all-inclusive and go-to learning system has brought to the table for students, teachers, working professionals, and even parents.

Online education for schools

What initially seemed skeptical and unpromising is now the only force pumping the education system to keep it breathing. For more than a year now, the school students’ online school classes or online tuition classes have been keeping the entire education system at the school level alive. Had this not been an option, the student’s education would have been hampered aggressively. Furthermore, schools have been taking ‘online classes for high school’, primary school, and even pre-primary school students. Thus, it can be said that all three pillars of the school education system, i.e.,  the students, teachers, and parents, have well-adapted themselves to the online education ecosystem.

Online classes for high school seem more beneficial and effective as high school students are more serious and dedicated to their studies. Also, by the time students enter high school, they responsibly think about their future career goals and achievements. Therefore, they utilize this in the best way possible to leverage the extra time they get and put technology to exemplary work. At the same time, online school classes for primary and pre-primary classes are helping in promoting an interest in students’ minds for various subjects which otherwise seemed boring to them.

This is because of the innovative and interactive methods that online classes allow teachers to use in audio-visual lessons, games, and other activities. It is equally beneficial for teachers to now have more time and resources to manage their class, plan the lessons and customize approaches as per each student’s interest and capabilities. With artificial intelligence coming into play, it has even made testing and evaluation a much easier task, saving a lot of time for teachers who otherwise often felt overburdened.

For improved communication, learning, and evaluation processes, it is necessary for both instructors and students to have a working knowledge of information and communication technologies. Videos and online study resources need to be “mixed” into the teaching process to make it more engaging for the students in the present and future scenarios.

Why e-learning is highly beneficial for higher studies

Considering the enormous turbulence generated by the debates surrounding e-learning, it is not unexpected that views concerning the benefits of online education for higher studies are varied. The idea of where “online learning” is heading is a pertinent one. The current status and future direction of online teaching and learning must be understood to successfully determine the navigation of the online education environment.

It is well-known that e-learning in higher education improves productivity, enhances attention, and thus improves academic outcomes. According to a recent study, E-learning has been found to increase student retention rates by 25-60 percent.

E-learning, to a great extent, is a self-paced activity. In other words, e-learning allows students to learn courses at their speed and convenient to their schedule. This means that they don’t have to worry about missing out on other prospects that could come their way for the sake of improving their educational achievements.

Online classes for high school or higher education provide students with the much-needed and deserved flexibility in their schedule. The same is the case for online tuitions – be it for high school students or any other grade. Flexibility in schedule helps students choose when they are most attentive to grasp knowledge and assure that they are not missing out on any other significant opportunity.

Online education via e-learning is far more comprehensive, dynamic, and fast than traditional techniques. A single academic session is usually enough time to complete the majority of e-learning modules.

It provides easy and instant upskilling. If you need to upgrade your abilities frequently, e-learning may be a handy tool. All types of learners can benefit from eLearning at a time and location of their choice, whether they are students, veterans, novices, experts, or professionals in the middle of their careers.

It is also a sustainable model concerning the environment. According to research by the UK’s Open University, E-learning has the potential to cut an institution’s carbon footprint by a significant amount. An estimated 90% reduction in energy usage may be achieved using e-learning methods instead of traditional teaching methods. In addition, electronic learning in higher education saves energy and resources by eliminating the need for paper.

When you study online, you can trace your outcomes faster, better, and more efficiently. Also, “online education” helps teachers and parents to measure their child’s development more efficiently. When it comes to evaluating outcomes, tracing results, and obtaining feedback, e-learning works wonders. The conventional approach makes it impossible to maintain a careful eye on every student, while e-learning allows for a constant and consistent review of student development. As a result, every student’s requirements are met, and the quality of learning improves.

To sum it up, we can say that in addition to improving access and increasing alternatives, the rapid spread of the internet to the most remote regions will also empower both students and institutions. As a result, E-learning in higher education will not simply act as a medium for beginning inclusion. Still, it will also function as the single harbinger of quality, competency, and opportunity for all students.