Is Online Learning the Future of Education?
- May 14, 2019
- Posted by: Ajay Jain
- Category: Generic
Only a few years ago, if a student wanted to get a qualification, a degree or a certification or even simply learn something new, he/she would look for an institute or a college/university that best matches his/her requirements. One would pay the relevant fee and then started attending the classes physically. This was the scenario until the revolution of online learning or e-learning started.
With the advent of online learning, every year, lakh of students are moving towards online education with an increasing trend. With every passing year, the e learning market is growing exponentially. The growing financial value of online education is matched only by the swelling numbers of students choosing to follow an online course.
Technology has completely changed the way education is delivered. The classroom no longer refers to a physical location only. E-learning has changed the way students think about education. Nowadays, it has become easier, yet reliable and beneficial, to receive a degree or certificate online. Students no longer need to commute to a distant location to attend classes and are often able to learn at their own pace. All a student needs is an internet connection to access the lessons and course material.
Online learning has been rapidly adopted due to the wide-spread access, and numerous benefits it offers. There are so many concerns that adults have regarding online learning, some, being:
- Do the students really learn as much from a screen as a physically present teacher?
- Will this form of education affect their soft skills and communication skills?
What is Online Education?
Let us first understand what exactly online learning or online education is. Online education is digitally supported learning that is completely dependent on and supported by the Internet for teacher/student interaction, knowledge sharing and the distribution of class materials.
Online learning can include audio, video, text, animations, virtual training environments and/or live chats with professors. It is a rich learning environment with much more diversity than a traditional classroom.
When used to its best, online education has been shown to be more effective than traditional classroom learning with pure face-to-face instruction. It can be engaging, fun, customised to ﬁt almost anyone’s schedule and leads to better and longer retention of content. It delivers better features and quality as compared to traditional classroom education.
The growth of online education has not been easy. There have been many challenges. Since its early inception in the 1960s, online education has been constantly criticized for many reasons, some of them being its apparent lack of quality check, particularly the quality teachers, unavailability of good internet connection and trust issues.
It’s also been said that online learning deprives students of many benefits of being in a classroom set up, such as face to face teacher-student interaction.
Overcoming the Challenges in Online Learning
Regardless of the challenges, the e-learning system has showcased some great strides in recent times. Online education has become an increasingly important part of all levels, primary, secondary and tertiary education, with colleges, universities and institutions using world-famous faculty members and professional support teams to promote online courses.
To tackle the question of quality of teachers, a system of user rating and internal evaluation has been integrated by many e-learning providers. Teacher evaluation mechanism has become quite popular in the world of e-learning. Such progress has shut the doubts about the quality control mechanism of eLearning. It is a popular view that online education is as strong as traditional learning in a classroom, in fact, according to many, it is better than it.
The maturity, with which technology has been integrated in the education system, has enabled online education to become more manageable and accessible. All a prospective student needs is a computer/laptop, a good internet connection and some basic IT skills, which is not a rare thing these days.
There are numerous real life instances where students achieved success through an online course and like online learning better than a traditional classroom coaching. Some of the views are:
- I like it because it makes easier for me to complete all the work. I am able to do my work without worrying about my pace and others’ style of learning.
- With an online course, I am able to manage my schedule easily.
Also, there are students who gave views about online courses at Fliplearn. Some of them are:
- Fliplearn has changed the way I used to learn. The best thing is the faculty who makes the learning simple and clears your doubts easily. I get personal attention because of small batch size.
- Fliplearn and Vidyamandir give only the best faculty for each batch. Online learning is very effective as compared to local coaching institute. Since I study in ICSE board, I need to use the detailed solution booklet more often than others and I must add the study material is extremely exhaustive and well researched.
Online education system is putting all efforts to make sure that it proves to be better than traditional classrooms. Students opting for online education have access to their “classroom” recordings whenever they want, thus, enabling them to go over ideas and review lessons at their convenience.
Education for All: The Need of the Hour
Instead of worrying whether or not online education is better than traditional learning formats, perhaps we should accept the fact that the digital age is the future. We shall focus on how we can use the online sources to deliver quality education to people all over the world, particularly the poor living in remote areas.
If a student wants to study with a renowned institute but lives halfway across the country of origin, then e-learning is the only tool that does not let distance or for that matter, any other parameter, become an obstacle in the learning process. With e-learning, the world can achieve education for all and equal accessibility to the top learning resources of the world in every domain.
Easy access to education is the need and that can fulfill only with online learning. While e-learning won’t crush traditional classrooms but it will surely change the way we know them today. With improved resources and reduced teacher workloads, classrooms can easily shift to co-learning spaces. This will enable students to learn and engage at their own pace in a collaborative environment.
We must work towards creating the best environment for students to learn and succeed and that can best happen with online learning. Thus, future of education is bright with online learning.