Online Learning – The Future of Higher Education

Online Learning – The Future of Higher Education

The changing dynamics and landscape of the education system promise an advanced and tech-friendly ecosystem for students and teachers. Today, schools, colleges, institutions, and even private tuitions are taking online classes for high school to ensure the continuity of learning among students. This has highlighted the important role technology can play in transforming the entire education system for the better. However, if we go back to the early 2000s or even the 2010s, technology or tech gadgets and the internet were not considered very healthy by many parents. It was indeed not usual practice, and tech and internet usage were limited to a certain extent for students.

 

The changing landscape of the education system

Comparing that with the current situation, we see a completely different picture. Amid the ongoing scenario of pandemics in the entire world, the education system might have collapsed entirely if technology and the internet hadn’t come to the rescue. Today, most of the learning happens online via online classes. Thus, technology and the internet have become the key drivers of the entire education system, creating an altogether different infrastructure, leaving behind the physical one.

While we can safely argue that this is not a permanent condition or that online classrooms would replace the physical ones completely, this indeed promises a revolutionized future for higher education in future. While school kids would still require a complete physical infrastructure to ultimately shape themselves with holistic learning, online classes are proving to be an excellent opportunity for the higher education system. For graduates and above, and even undergraduates, the online education system is no less than a boon.

For students who wish to study at their desired universities or colleges but cannot do so because of distant constraints, online classes for high school and higher education are blurring the boundaries and getting them straight into their dream course from dream college. Also, considering the working professionals who have minimal time to pursue their higher studies, online courses are the safest and the best bet ever. Now, they can enroll themselves into the course of their choice and customize it as per their schedule. All it takes is a device, and an internet connection, and the gap between their dreams and reality slowly begins to bridge.

Increasing the retention power in students

While we all agree that online education is opening up many new and significant opportunities to the students and teachers, it also improves the existing system by assisting it in many ways. The invention of various technologies happened years ago to assist humans in multiple ways and reduce their manual work to a great extent while increasing their efficiency and productivity at the same time. This is exactly what various technological inventions have been doing in the education industry as well.

With new Learning Management Systems coming up in the market every day, it is helping both students and teachers to learn and teach better, respectively. The use of audiovisual modules helps in clearing the concepts of many students who find it difficult otherwise. It also helps them in improving their regaining and recalling power. It ensures that with the effective use of explanation through videos, the student understands the concept entirely rather than just mugging it up from the textbook. Going by some recent research, the retention rate in online learning is more significant than in conventional classrooms. This is probably owing to a reduction in stresses and demands in traditional school systems. Students are permitted to practice at their speed and have access to their course content for life if they choose to return and recall their lessons.

In many ways, it is helping teachers greatly to tutor and mentor the children for a better outcome. The use of smart classrooms was initiated around a decade ago in many schools. By 2018, most schools adopted this technology in their classrooms, and blackboards were replaced with smartboards. This transition was yet fresh when the coronavirus pandemic broke out in most parts of the world in 2020 and schools were forced to be shut. Since then, laptop screens and mobile phones have become the only source of accessing the classroom for millions of students. Once considered a distraction, the internet and technological gadgets now became necessary to ensure the continuity of the child’s education. Here, we do not wish to highlight that technology and the internet are mandatory for the education system, but we wish to point out that the proper use of the right resources can yield excellent results at appropriate times. And technology is that resource which when used appropriately, can help students excel in many areas of their education.

It opens up vast opportunities

There are countless professions and subjects to teach and learn in such a large and wide domain as the internet. So many institutions and colleges offer their programs to study online at a range of levels and subjects. There are possibilities for every learner, from language to quantum physics, chemistry, etc., and from marketing to music composition. Online study is also an excellent way to obtain a professional certification, diploma, or degree from a university or an institution without visiting it physically. As said earlier, it is a great option available to working professionals who want to upgrade themselves in their career or have a zest for learning. Usually, working professionals are too busy to visit any institution or university to pursue higher education. Even if they make time, their schedule won’t match. Customizing your course and deciding the tenure and timing of the course to study online in the online learning system is an excellent answer to this challenge and has undoubtedly helped millions of people recently. This is how online classes for high school and higher education is a boon. It also saves up a lot of time as well as money. A win-win situation, indeed!

Online learning – accelerating higher education

The debate on whether ‘online classes’ are the future of the education system or not is one of the crucial ones right now. Many experts strongly argue in favor of it, while some state otherwise. Like in every case, this coin, too, has two sides. Going by the experts who believe that the ‘online classes for high school’ are the future of the education system, the high school students and the professionals seeking skill upgrades are the most benefited ones from the online education system. With online learning, an increasing number of students will acquire information that can significantly enhance their job chances and perhaps the world as technology becomes broadly available. In developing nations, online learning allows students to study coding, computer programming, and engineering that promote innovation worldwide. In a recent survey, 46 percent of graduates received “online tuition classes”, while hybrid classes combining distance learning with traditional teaching techniques are more frequent than ever before. Many students are drawn to online learning flexibility and mix their education with their employment or personal obligations. For others, remote education offers a cheaper alternative to regular campus courses.

Blended learning

In several world regions, the “blended learning” method is gaining popularity like never before. A recent study by the New Media Consortium has revealed that hybrid courses in schools, universities, and other collaborative institutions are becoming the norm. In the research, it was also clear that the trend is likely to continue because of a more linked digital world and substantial investment by extensive technology. The blended learning or online learning in higher education resulted in tremendous academic success than simple face-to-face traditional methods, reveals another research funded by the Bill Gates Foundation. Michael Barbour, the director of doctoral studies at Sacred Heart University, considers that we have been on the brink of an educational revolution. “There’s no question things are changing. One thing we can say is that the schools of tomorrow won’t look anything like the ones kids go to today.”, says Barbour.

Although there is so much uncertainty about what lies ahead, the future of education after the pandemic subsides relies on the readiness of schools to study digitally. This chance emphasizes future-oriented abilities such as informed decision making, creative problem solving, creative thinking, communication, collaborative learning, and adaptability. Thus, it is good to think about how this problematic issue may help us determine what a holistic learning environment should look like.

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