As the world looks ahead to a reality where post-secondary students return to the classroom en masse, many are wondering how remote teaching is changing education in the long run.
Whether or not you believe that the events of the past year will push even more education online, it can’t be denied that there has never been so much optimism and opportunity in the online learning industry. Here are some of the biggest changes that we expect in the years to come.
Better Learning Management Systems (LMS’s)
Gone are the days of the clunky virtual classroom. Students and teachers alike expect their learning technology to work just as well as any other application on their mobile device or computer. Part of this is ensuring that LMS’s are easy to use and resistant to “bugs” in the system.
As LMS’s become more widespread and affordable, it creates more opportunities for users who aren’t in traditional education to use them. This is especially useful for online course creators looking to help people boost their micro-skills in subjects that might not require a pricey university course.
DaDesktop is part of this revolution. As a remote teaching platform designed with usability and simplicity in mind, the platform can be used by higher education institutions, course creators, and online trainers alike.
Online Test Solutions
Educators had to adjust quickly to a new reality of online schooling in 2020; the fact that testing would be moving online too, and they would need to find a way to make sure that their students weren’t cheating.
This led to the growth of applications like Proctorio, a “learning integrity program” that used facial recognition technology and security tools through a Google Chrome extension to monitor students while they take online tests.
Tools like these will be important for the future of remote education. Too often, it is easy for a computer-savvy student to cheat the system, and throw the integrity of the entire online learning experience into question. Remote education will demand the development of more tools like Proctorio, while also taking the protection of student and educator data into account.
Changing Student Needs
The Harvard Business Review asked the question of whether students really need the four year residential experience in an article released as COVID-19 swept across North America. At that point, the great remote learning experiment had just begun. Even then, it was clear that some aspects of the higher education model were starting to show cracks.
For example, students realized that lessons that didn’t require personalization or interaction (like explaining elementary theories in most subjects) could be done better by online course providers. This would allow more resources to be used for problem-solving, research, and mentorship-based classes where students benefit from attending in person and collaborating.
There are even some who think that online courses for introductory subjects could replace the need for bulky, expensive textbooks – which represents a huge financial strain on students.
Since access to higher education is blocked to many students due to cost, time, and physically being in the space where lessons are taught, more online or ‘hybrid’ courses could benefit certain students.
One thing is certain. Many university students need to get back in the classroom to stave off loneliness and isolation, which is having significant effects on their mental health. A strong hybrid approach to online learning will balance the social and collaborative needs of students with the practicality and effectiveness of online learning for certain subjects.
Improvements for Educators
Educators are facing a steep learning curve as they try to figure out how to transfer their in-person skills to the online environment. This process takes time, and will be helped along by simpler LMS’s and better training from administrators and LMS developers.
But something important might be getting lost in all the confusion and late nights spent recording lectures. Part of the massive growth in the online course business in recent years has been because online entrepreneurs realized that once a course is created, it requires relatively little upkeep once it is being used.
For many, this meant selling course-building as the ultimate “passive income” method. Now, some of this can be dismissed since so many course creators are looking to make money, not teach anything useful – but there is something that educators can learn from this.
Once a recorded lecture has been made, it can be used by the educator as long as they prefer. This saves instructors time in the long run, which they can spend on immersive activities, group exercises, or one-on-one time with students.
Of course, having more spare time isn’t the only thing that instructors want to get out of this monumental shift to online learning. But many other factors are tied to it, as educators (especially university professors) are often overworked and underpaid.
The Future of Remote Teaching
Despite all of this optimism, many educators and students will cringe when they hear the words “online education”. The transition online has been scattered, and full of roadblocks. But the important thing to remember is that this shift was already happening – and the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated it beyond the point of speculation.
For educators who are trying to find the right remote teaching platform, it can seem like there is an endless amount of providers in the industry. How do you know which one is right for your teaching or training business?
If you consider simplicity and a fair price point to be your main priorities,DaDesktop could be the right platform for you.