Main Changes That Online Learning Brought to Education
Over the past 20 years, the concept of education has undergone significant changes. Today, it is no longer even necessary to be present in an educational institution to receive a first-class education. The advancement of the Internet and technology has made it possible to give people more learning opportunities. Children can take the school program from home, and adults who are always open to new knowledge can learn new skills in the comfort of their sofas using thousands of online courses written by experts from various fields.
However, these are all superficial changes that are visible to the naked eye. Let's delve deeper into the topic and find out the essential novelties and how online learning is changing education.
Change #1. With Online Learning Education Is Much Faster Now
The standard format of training always implies trips to an educational institution, and such trips could often take the length of one lecture or even more. However, online learning destroys this foundation, and now the student just needs to take a laptop and go to the LMS or another online learning tool. The free time can be spent on additional training, preparation for the following lectures, and much more.
Standard teaching implies the fragmentation of training into classes. Besides that, online learning allows students to focus their attention on those topics that interest them most, which significantly accelerates the assimilation of knowledge. Learning pacing also plays a huge role. To continue studying the topic, students need to wait for the next day or even more (depending on the schedule set by the educational institution). Online learning does not interrupt learning flow. Thanks to open access to all educational material, students can learn as much as they need.
The final advantage is the quick solution to all issues that interest the student. For example, if a problem has arisen while learning new material, the student just needs to write to the teacher and get an immediate answer. There is no need to wait for the next lesson to catch the teacher in an educational institution to clarify specific issues.
Change #2. Raised Learning Efficiency
It’s all about how online education is effective in comparison to standard classes. Let's face it, many of us were skeptical about it in the early days of online learning. It seemed to us that nothing better than regular classes would be invented, and sitting at the computer instead of a class could only harm the effectiveness of learning. However, the time has shown quite the opposite. For example, 43% of the surveyed students said that online learning is better than classes, while only 15% said it is not as good as the standard education form.
You are still not impressed with how online learning is changing education in terms of efficiency? Well, how about that. In a recent study, IBM found that participants learned nearly five times more material without increasing time spent on training. All thanks to the incredible flexibility of online learning and creating individual programs for each student. Another factor affecting efficiency is that students can develop their curriculum, and in some cases, they can also choose who they want to study with based on the trainers’ profiles.
Change #3. Collaborative Learning
It would seem that ordinary learning is also collaborative, and it is difficult to argue with that. However, online training has significantly expanded the boundaries of this collaboration. You can study in the comfort of your home in the same classroom as a student from another continent. Training courses can have different social learning techniques that help you interact much better with other participants. The collaboration can be established through various teamwork tasks, work in pairs, dialogue simulations, and much more.
Another way how online learning is changing education is by transferring all communication and cooperation to the online space. There are various chats, forums, and emails for general communication, while for in-class interaction and more active collaboration, there are many online conference tools. If the training takes place on the computer, this does not mean that you will be alone.
Change #4. Variety of Learning Formats
Do not underestimate the diversity in the forms of learning and activities that are present within online learning. While regular classes provide a relatively limited set of learning formats, the development of technology has improved the learning process using these types of content:
Learning videos. It's no secret that information in video format is absorbed many times better. This is confirmed by 85% of institutions that noted improved student performance after introducing instructional videos into their learning processes. There are many formats in training videos, such as video tutorials, presenter screencasts, webinars, and more.
Dialogue simulations. Dialogue simulations are one of the most popular types of eLearning content since they're designed to simulate a real-life conversation with a third party, such as a customer. This eLearning method is ideal for teaching the skills required to handle conversations efficiently.
AR and VR Simulations. These technologies have revolutionized online learning. Virtual reality is a fantastic technology for teaching students both practical aspects and role-specific human interactions. In addition, these technologies are excellent for teaching complex professions and skills.
eLearning Games. Quite similar to the previous point, perhaps more familiar. We will omit simple gamification options such as leaderboards and achievements. We are talking about full-fledged educational games identical to those you run on a gaming console or PC.
Quizzes. One of the most common content formats that have not lost their popularity with the transition to online. Quizzes allow you to quickly assess student knowledge while students promptly receive feedback on their progress and learning points to improve.
Slide presentations. This is probably the first kind of content that comes to mind when it comes to online learning. Sequential slide presentations are still the backbone of online learning.
Change #5. Learning Flexibility and Accessibility
These features are one of the main advantages of online learning over standard classes. The educator and the student set their own pace of learning, which allows you to balance the learning process better and combine it with other activities. In addition, do not forget about the high availability of online learning.
Besides that, one of the main ways how online learning is changing education is opening its doors to everyone who wants to learn new things. Also, independence, an endless number of training courses, both paid and free, are open to you. Thousands of topics, tens of thousands of hours of training, all within a couple of mouse clicks.
Change #6. Cost-effectiveness
The final way how online learning is changing education is by bringing cost-efficiency to the educational process. All of the above advantages of online learning allow educational institutions to optimize their spendings on education. For example, online learning helps institutions to cut operating costs from 3% to 50%. In addition, this cost-effectiveness plays both ways, and students also get their benefits. Online education business is several times cheaper than college tuition since the costs disappear entirely from the costs of textbooks, living in a dorm, and other costs associated with training.
These were the main ways how online learning is changing education. As you have noticed, these changes have benefited the entire industry and have opened up new ways of delivering educational material, improving engagement and student performance. Technologies do not stand still, and who knows how else learning will change thanks to online training.
However, it would be wise to prepare for the future now, and if you want to transform your learning process, you need a complete online learning solution tailored to your needs. To create this solution, you can turn to a professional eLearning development team like us. Raccoon Gang is a team of online learning solution developers with a long list of custom-built online learning projects for businesses from all domains. Drop us a line, share your idea with us, and we’ll bring it to life with our expertise and technical skills.