With COVID-19 enforcing schools to adopt online classes to observe proper social distancing measures, a lot of parents had opinions about improving the online education system.
While some adapted to the change readily, others were conscious about how remote learning wasn’t nearly close to their children’s experiences as compared to attending learning sessions on campus. One thing is for sure: there are still many qualms that need to be entertained. Plus, we all know that room for improvement is always there.
According to a recent study by Guide 2 Research, nearly 70% of the total student population worldwide was affected due to the nationwide closures of educational institutes across the planet. However, even before the pandemic hit, the global e-learning market was already going through an incredible growth phase.
By 2026 it is expected to reach $336.98 billion with a 9.1% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from 2018 to 2026. Nevertheless, surveys revealed that 52% of US graduate students want their online college-level education to improve.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the ways management can develop a better online education system.
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Let’s face it, the kids today with their Xboxes and Sony PlayStation love interactivity, and that is why introducing gamification concepts in learning experiences can be a great option. Online learning may feel stagnant if all students do stare at a computer screen where they just listen and watch.
Instead, online classes can be made all the more fun by including interactive elements that enable students to participate in real-time and have their activities examined, and their performances analyzed. Some suggestions include the following:
- Time-based online quizzes
- Problem-solving-centred online assessments
- Multiple-choice questionnaires
- Animated puzzles were developed to test their knowledge and thinking
- Informational videos or interactive presentations
- Virtual case studies involving high-quality graphics
- Use of AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) learning applications
- Boost Planning & Time Utilization
For many teachers out there, the shift from a physical class to an online class might not have gone as smoothly as others might think. Plus, all classroom sessions, whether conducted on campus or online, come with limitations of time. This is why management should request and mandate teachers to plan their online learning sessions well beforehand. This can include their goals, learning objectives, and targets they want to achieve for every session.
The more you plan for your online class, the better your time utilization gets. All lessons must be planned ahead of time so that the teachers stay on track with every passing moment. For starters, teachers can make a checklist for every session regarding the topics they need to cover and the subject matter they have to discuss.
It is not just about what goes around during the online learning session but also what happens before and after the class that is important. In order to get students really hooked up and excited, the management and teachers should curate learning resources for students that they can use before and after online learning sessions. It will help them dig deeper into their curriculum and find interesting new ideas to explore their subjects and topics. Some examples include:
- STEM-based resources such as Khan Academy (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
- Digital flashcards to memorize, learn and review new ideas such as Quizlet.
- Project management tools for group assignments and undertakings, such as Microsoft Teams.
- Additional reading material, such as Project Gutenberg that, offers over 60,000 free eBooks.
- Complementary course materials such as MIT OpenCourseWare.
When it comes to digital learning experiences, students may claim that their online classes seem dull, and we can see why there is a reason to complain. Schools and even higher educational institutes mostly utilize applications like Zoom or Skype to conduct their online learning sessions, and while they are no doubt expedient software for what they do, they were not intentionally designed for education.
This is why I recommend that educational organizations invest in developing customized or tailor-made tools that can provide students with a better digital experience. Plus, it should also contain specialized features for teachers to detect students that are not focusing or losing concentration, as well as give them more power and leverage to control the learning environment.
While people love to criticize a lot about the most minuscule of things, educational institutes and their management need to realize that not all feedback is bad feedback. Among the heap loads of complaints, if they actually ponder several opportunities where criticism, especially constructive criticism, can lead to betterments and improvements for the system.
Hence it is important for the management to listen to what students and their parents are saying. Amongst all the nonsensical voices, you will find some that are actually the voice of reason and sound judgment. This is what schools and institutes need to prioritize and enable big improvements in their online education system to materialize.
Students and their engagement during an online class don’t mean a simple nod or a ‘Yes’ during role calls or when attendance is being taken. Student engagement during online learning sessions is vital for them to retain information and keep them motivated towards their studies.
They should be allowed to participate freely, and everyone should be given an equal opportunity to share their ideas or have their concerns heard. Student engagement should always be prioritized as a crucial factor of success. According to crowdwriter.com, the following tips can help you to improve students’ engagement levels during online learning sessions:
- Active learning through group discussions and encouraging students to interact with each other. This is where the teacher stops talking and starts taking notes instead while acting as a moderator to the entire debate or conversation.
- Collaborative tools that enable students to share notes, screen sharing, and whiteboarding.
- Assigning group tasks where students should work in a group to find solutions to a problem.
- Spider web discussions, chat for additional feedback or discussions, think-pair-share, show and tell, back-and-forth dialogues, and brainstorming activities.
We simply cannot negate that videos nowadays are one of the most watched and favourite types of content across the globe. This is why management and the teaching staff should consider using the power of videos during online learning sessions. All informational videos to be shared or watched by pupils should be given special attention and must be carefully curated by the management.
The informational content should deliver tremendous learning and educational value for learners along with terrific visual quality as well as the length and duration of the video should be kept in mind. Lastly, the video should be made easy to access for all students so that it is effortless to find, watch, and enjoy.
Another way to improve the online education system is to deploy both performance-based and result-based assessments. Performance evaluations for students should be conducted on a regular basis to monitor students who are lagging behind and are unable to cope with the pace of the teacher and the rest of the students.
Result-based evaluations should point out students’ pain points and their reasons for failing a particular subject or course. It is a must that the education system always supports struggling students.
Technology has certainly paved the way forward for education to continue during turbulent times, and while it is definitely a panacea, it is far from being labeled as a panacea. The overall market for e-learning and distance education is expected to grow in the coming years, and even before the pandemic, there already existed a strong demand for remote education. The future of online education, however, heavily depends on improvements in user and learner experiences.
While the integration of information technology in education is a formidable combination, there is still much room for improvement. I hope this post was able to offer you some meaningful insights as to how management can improve the online education system.