For Visual Learners:
For Auditory Learners:
What is Online Learning?
Online learning is more broadly defined than you might expect. It is all learning that makes use of technological devices, remotely and onsite. It includes computers, tablets, other gadgets such as touch screen smart boards, and virtual teaching assistants. It also includes the creation and use of specially designed e-learning courses. New additions to the online learning offering include virtual reality programs that allow online learners to use experiential learning styles, thus becoming hands-on without being anywhere near the thing they may be learning about.
Why Learn Online?
Aside from the fact that there’s a global pandemic threatening group spaces, online learning has been popular ever since the advent of the internet. When the University of Phoenix launched the first full bachelors and masters degrees online in 1989, they were ahead of the curve in knowing online learning provides the opportunity to schedule learning around your busy life. Whether in an academic or a business setting, learning online allows students to maximize their learning.
Yes, Online Learning is the Future of Education
It’s easy to see why online education can be considered the future of education. E-learning and EdTech are relatively new and edgy players compared to blackboards and chalk, even if whiteboards and erasable pens have replaced those archaic tools. A new generation of digital natives is entering the workforce and learning environment. This generation of learners adapts to new technology like fish to water due to them having likely grown up with an iPad in one hand and a Sony controller in the other.
Online learning allows learners to gain control over when, where, and how they study. Workdays aren’t slowing down at the moment, and mandatory office training still needs to be completed. There is no scope to gather employees into a room for these training styles, but thankfully EdTech is continuing to adapt to the needs of learners and learning environments.
With a shift from learning being all about teaching to it becoming focused on learner’s needs, we have the opportunity for previously impossible levels of accessibility. Learners can learn at their own pace. With the use of VR and virtual teaching assistants, they can access a unit until they feel they have understood it. Businesses can check for comprehension via quizzes to best equip their learners with the information they need to succeed.
In more traditional teaching and training, auditory learners were at a clear advantage whilst other learning styles such as physical or social learners were left by the wayside. Online learning can make it possible for students to discuss what they have learned in specially created web chats. This adds a social learning dimension that puts the drive to learn and understand on the students and makes it possible for them to check their comprehension with peers.
As a business, this is your employees’ chance to put their money where their mouth is. Sure, everyone writes that they can work independently on their resumes but seeing them complete online learning and e-training with speed and forethought shows true autonomy. Allowing them to work independently also shows that their employers trust them. Greater levels of trust increase retention rates and decrease common work stressors.
Naturally, the amount of independence can also become a hurdle of inaccessibility. Some learners may struggle with the discipline required for online learning. It is important to note that this lack of discipline does not make them poor learners or less intelligent. It simply means they need to be coaxed into learning differently. There are no bad learners, only teachers who aren’t willing to go the extra mile for their students.
Purchasing and rolling out a complete online learning program isn’t cheap, but it may come out on top compared to the cost of in-person-teaching. When learners are working remotely, they do not need to travel to bigger cities for industry conventions. The cost of hiring trainers, experts, hotel rooms, and hospitality all adds up. Having one online learning set-up and maintaining and updating it will work out as better value for money as you go along.
The Place of Traditional Education
Most educational institutions and business training departments are already incorporating small amounts of online learning into their traditional methods. With the groundwork laid for learners to be open to this learning style and for those footing the bill to be open to paying for its design and roll-out, the sky is the limit.
Online learning can never apply to every learning scenario, so we don’t need to fear an end to tweed-clad professors or archeological digs. However, 2020 has allowed e-learning to step up and take its rightful place in the educational sector. It is starting to be no longer seen as a poor substitute, but instead as a technique with its own merits.
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