The future of online education and which problems it solves
How do you take the claim: Not only will online education be as good as traditional education, it will be even better.
To say that online education will never be as good as classroom education (because it's not as good right now) is like saying that the Model T (Ford's 1908 model) is insecure and we'd better get back to shipping horses.
The reason online classes ended up being better than traditional is very simple:
"We can measure and respond to student behavior better when instruction is digital rather than traditional."
On the other hand, what makes a good classroom teacher?
A good teacher is someone who:
- Presents interesting and engaging content and explains complex case studies
- Takes into account how students relate to that information
- Quickly changes style based on that information
A good teacher can look at students and tell immediately whether or not a particular topic is accepted by them. He or she gives them the opportunity to repeat something that is not clear or to answer a question that has been asked. That's what we mean when we say the classroom experience is "more personal," and it's hard to imagine online education catching up to that anytime soon.
In theory, a computer can take in a lot more information than a human and respond to it much faster. According to Scientific American, two years ago the fastest computer could store almost 10 times more information than the human brain and process it almost 10 times faster.
Imagine how much better a teacher would be if they knew exactly where a student was struggling during a lesson, how long it takes them to complete an exercise, or even what the student's psychological relationship to the content is (e.g., by tracking heart rate or eye movement via a webcam).
There is research already tracking this data, but it barely touches on how we might use it to make education more engaging and effective.
This brings me to my second, even more compelling argument:
The biggest problem with classroom education is that it encourages a one-size-fits-all style of learning.
In any classroom, there are students who are ahead and those who are behind.
Even the best teacher in the world has to take that into account, which leads to the following question:
Should I slow down to get more students to understand, or speed up to cover more material? And so they necessarily end up making a compromise decision to move somewhere in between. As a result, classroom instruction is not always conducted in an optimal way for a large group of students.
LMS and online learning can solve this problem because it allows for personalized learning. The learning content and style can be adapted to a particular student and their attitude towards a particular lesson.
Imagine a world where the same lesson in class is different for every student. A world in which a programming lesson, for example, is tailored for someone who is already experienced in programming or is a beginner - why not use concepts that the student already knows so they can learn new things faster. Or one in which the material is delivered differently depending on whether the student is an auditor, an artist, or a kinesthete (who learns through movement).
Or a world in which the order of lessons is interchanged. Or a world that can predict early on that a student may struggle with the lesson and take them through a review to reinforce important concepts and avoid frustration that may later lead to abandoning the lesson.
Advances in online learning allow teachers to treat classes the same way people starting businesses treat their products.
There are hundreds of tools for testing, gamification, email campaigns, measuring user satisfaction, etc. that are used when starting a new business. Why not apply these tools to online training? It will inevitably happen, it's just a matter of time.
In recent years, online education has gained significant popularity as a viable alternative to traditional classroom-based learning. With advancements in technology and the ever-expanding reach of the internet, online education has transformed the educational landscape. This article explores the reasons why online education is poised to surpass traditional methods and why it presents a promising future for learners of all ages.
Accessibility and Flexibility
One of the key advantages of online education is its unparalleled accessibility and flexibility. Unlike traditional education, which often requires physical presence and adherence to fixed schedules, online learning offers the freedom to access educational resources and courses anytime, anywhere. Learners can pursue their education at their own pace, allowing them to balance their studies with personal and professional commitments. This accessibility and flexibility enable individuals who previously faced barriers to education, such as geographical limitations or time constraints, to fulfill their educational aspirations.
Diverse Learning Resources
Оnline education provides learners with a wealth of diverse learning resources. In traditional classrooms, educators are restricted by the availability of physical materials and resources. In contrast, online platforms offer an extensive range of multimedia content, including videos, interactive quizzes, virtual simulations, and engaging learning modules. These resources cater to various learning styles and preferences, ensuring a personalized and enriched educational experience. Moreover, the digital nature of online education enables real-time updates and access to the latest information, ensuring learners are up-to-date with evolving knowledge and industry trends.
Customized Learning Experience
Online education leverages advanced technologies to deliver a customized learning experience. Intelligent algorithms and adaptive learning platforms analyze learner data and provide personalized recommendations, tailoring the curriculum to individual needs and abilities. This approach optimizes learning outcomes by focusing on areas of improvement and providing targeted support. Additionally, online education allows learners to revisit and review content as needed, reinforcing their understanding and mastery of concepts. With personalized feedback and continuous assessment, learners can track their progress and make necessary adjustments to enhance their learning journey.
Global Networking and Collaboration
Online education transcends geographical boundaries, enabling learners to connect and collaborate with peers and experts worldwide. Virtual classrooms and discussion forums foster a global learning community, encouraging the exchange of ideas, perspectives, and cultural diversity. This interconnectedness enhances the learning experience by promoting critical thinking, collaboration, and cross-cultural understanding. Furthermore, online education provides opportunities for networking with professionals in various fields, expanding learners' professional connections and opening doors to future career prospects.
Cost-Effectiveness and Sustainability
Online education offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional education. Learners can save on commuting expenses, accommodation, and other associated costs. Additionally, online courses often have lower tuition fees compared to traditional institutions. Moreover, the digital nature of online learning reduces paper usage, contributing to environmental sustainability. With online education, learners can pursue their educational goals without incurring substantial financial burdens, making education more accessible and affordable.
As online education continues to evolve and mature, it is poised to surpass traditional education in several aspects. Its accessibility, flexibility, diverse learning resources, customized learning experiences, global networking opportunities, and cost-effectiveness make it an attractive choice for learners of all backgrounds. The future of education lies in the integration of online learning platforms and traditional methods, creating a hybrid approach that combines the best of both worlds. As we embrace technology and adapt to the changing educational landscape, online education will play an increasingly vital role in empowering learners and fostering a lifelong passion for knowledge acquisition.