The modern classroom seems significantly different when compared with the classrooms from five years ago. For one, most educational institutions have readily shifted towards newer and more effective modes of teaching and classroom management such as smart classes, LMS portals and likewise. Secondly, much of the teaching and learning today is carried out via virtual classrooms. Especially since the coronavirus pandemic, when schools and college campuses were shut down, locking millions of students and educators across the entire nation out of the classroom, online education has garnered wide recognition amongst educators and students alike.
In 2021 just like last year, online education has continually grown more popular and has indeed become the preferred mode of sharing and gaining knowledge. Many new innovations and trends in the online teaching space have become an inseparable part of our lives over the past few months. Whether you are an educator or a student, in order to make the most out of your online class experience, you must keep yourself updated with the latest trends in e-learning. Below are the major trends in online education this year to keep an eye out for….
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Rising popularity of MOOCs
MOOCs have been in high demand ever since the advent of online teaching. MOOC stands for massive open online courses. These courses are generally free or cost peanuts compared to traditional courses. Apart from being a financially feasible alternative to regular courses, they also provide all the benefits of online education such as flexibility to learn from anywhere and at any time. Teachers can also sell their courses online as the demand for online courses is rising steadily. In future, we can expect to see nano-degree programs which will provide a low-cost alternative to students looking to upgrade their resume.
Increasing role of AI in e-learning-
AI has already proved its mettle across many spheres. In the field of education too, AI is starting to see applications which can potentially make teaching and learning a cakewalk. AI can play a critical role in bringing the much-needed yet ever-elusive, personalization to our education system. It is no secret that personalized teaching is probably the only way to truly maximize the learning outcomes of every student in the classroom. With the help of machine learning, AI can accurately predict the learning needs and also generate suitable learning content for each student. Moreover, AI is also being used by educational institutions for optimizing their management and enrollment functions.
It is well known that we humans are better at retaining smaller chunks of information at a time. Micro-learning courses have become all the rage right now, owing to their practical approach towards learning. Employers also recognize the benefits of micro-learning and companies have started offering micro-training programs to their employees. The benefits of micro-learning which make it the standard of education and training today are its wide availability, time & cost efficiency and quick and significant results.
Nowadays, learners are concerned with the duration of the online courses they enroll in. Many students prefer signing up for multiple short courses rather than a single long one. Students feel that short courses are information dense and that they get to learn all the useful and practical know-hows of the subject in the least amount of time possible. High-speed learning also helps the students to have more control over their career choices as opposed to getting involved in longer studies.
Focus on skills-
In today’s world, it is abundantly clear to every student that more than anything, it is their skills which matter while seeking for a job. Consequently, a lot of focus has been put on providing excellent all-round online education which not only teaches theory but also lets the students acquaint themselves with hands-on skills. The days when many colleges were unable to instill any concrete, in-demand skills needed for employment are behind us now. Moreover, as the complexity of the tasks in the modern workplace continues to increase, it is more than fair that online courses today, are directed more towards development of practical skills in learners.
Online education has reformed the methods of teaching and learning in ways unimaginable. The major trends in online education mentioned in this article are a testament to the fact that e-learning has become the preferred mode of education today and will continue to become more popular in the future.