Online education has seen a gradual increase in the years coming to 2020, where the demand has been overwhelming due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has affected schools in over 186 countries globally, affecting over 1.2 billion students. This predicament led the academic institution and tutors to shift to online education—over 90% of developed countries are continuing their learning online.
With the pandemic effects set to be felt for up to 5 years, the online setting has seen an increased demand from over 400 million students globally in 2020, making 2020 a landmark year for e-learning. We'll look at other attributes that institutions should factor in to make online education success.
Since it's impossible to get to school with the current social distance guidelines, online education has played a significant role in enabling instructors' ease to continue with studies; students only require digital devices and internet availability to access the learning material.
However, institutions have to invest in several pieces of equipment to create course content suitable for online platforms—as this isn't a reenactment of classroom content. Students globally can access the course material online until it's safe to have face-to-face learning.
The discussion forums encourage students to interact with each other, offer tips on how to score better grades, and provide a platform to engage with the professors.
Students and lecturers alike can choose a suitable time to access the learning platform; however, the student's needs to take precedence. Online courses have been fast-tracked to take a shorter period from 5-10 weeks than the standard 15-16 weeks. Regular class sessions are altered to make then engaging to students.
The demand for online education, especially from the higher institution, will shift the student's mentality, who have had an inferior view of it, compared to the physical setup. Higher course degrees are now offered to ensure learning progress to students who had already begun their course. Over 50% of students who have taken online courses attribute their effects to be on par with the physical classroom. If not better, research shows that online students have better academic performance.
The flawless shift to e-learning has been due to technological advancement, primarily the adoption of video conferencing tools mostly used by companies to conduct online education meetings. A looked-down upon sector is now flooding with investors and developers alike to create the ideal learning environment suitable for both tutor and student success. But the significant bit has an education activity that imparts knowledge, that is, the quality of education. This was insinuated by Vickie S. Cook, an executive director at the University of Illinois at the online department. Further improvements are essential in the IT sector, from software to hardware that must be addressed for successful e-learning. Socioeconomic divided offers a disparity among the rich and the underprivileged in terms of access to the latest digital devices, high bandwidth connectivity, etc., which also be a differentiating factor among high end and less funded public universities.
The recent regulations have led to students gaining curiosity over the ideal institutions that offer quality online education. E-learning has now a significant factor for students to ponder while choosing an ideal institution. This will be a motivating factor for institutions to venture into e-learning as a long term goal if they haven't done so as of yet.
This will most definitely redefine the education sector. Besides the 13 billion already spent on education tech development, institutions will spend more funds as they're in a rush to position themselves as the go-to site for online education. This will create a new partnership between tech companies and institutions to develop a customized learning experience to meet their demands. The focus is now on the students a shift from the institution.
Institutions should have utilized the last few months and weeks in evaluating the factors affecting e-learning and how to improve on each. The administrators, lecturers, and students should keep tabs on the course subject that bears more positive effects while being taught remotely and which ones do not. This will enable stakeholders to analyze the data and come up with circular best suited for both online and classroom set up.