Online learning has seen steady growth over the last decade, as the internet’s reach has increased among people. Many have had the opportunity to learn from the comfort of their homes with the help of online courses because education has changed dramatically with the rise of e-learning. The COVID-19 outbreak has further fueled it’s growth, as learning is now taking place from home through the digital domain. To give you an idea, around 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom due to schools being shut across the world. This sudden shift away from schools has forced teachers to use the digital domain for classes. There are speculations that the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic as well.
There are many online tutoring sites like Etutorworld that offer a wide range of courses to prospective students. Some of these platforms offer university courses while others offer creative courses on photography, animation, or lifestyle. A lot of top-tier universities have also put their standard curriculum courses in the public domain. Harvard and Stanford universities have provided free access to online courses related to engineering, mathematics, art, business, and other such domains.
There is a huge demand from people to learn online and it’s evident from current trends. During these tough times people are also focusing on upgrading their skills. Hence, there is high demand for courses related to emerging skills. The world is changing so rapidly that people, companies, and educational institutions are adopting this rapid change by going digital.
Advantages of e-learning
Online learning has numerous benefits that make it easy for people to adopt in their daily routine. Since the courses are relevant, self-paced, and personalized, people can derive a fulfilling learning experience from them. Some advantages of online learning that have made it a lucrative business model are:
- The digital domain has revolutionized content accessibility. Online courses can be completed in a self-paced manner. Once you have the freedom of completing the course as per your comfort, you will feel less stressed. Moreover, your learning efficiency and effectiveness will improve.
- The online courses are student-centered and designed on the lines of modern learning methods. There is more focus on student-to-student interaction through the incorporation of discussion boards and peer grading systems.
- Due to simplified logistics, the training costs drop by 50 to 70 percent. There isn’t a need for a traditional classroom or physical lecture halls to teach a course. The time that a professor spends in creating the course lectures is a one-time effort. For students, the cost-benefit comes with a reduction in commute, textbook expenses, and course fees.
- A major portion of the population taking online courses are those who are interested in pivoting mid-career to access better employment opportunities. Going back to school or college isn’t a feasible option for them. Diversifying their skillset, however, is easy with online learning.
These powerful advantages make online learning essential for the modern student. Thus, it is driving more interest from people of all age groups.
The future of online learning
Some people believe that this rapid transition to online learning will result in a poor user experience that will hinder its growth, while others believe that a hybrid model of education where both traditional and online learning methods coexist will prove beneficial. There have been successful transitions by many universities. The Imperial College London, for example, is offering a course on the science of coronavirus, which has become the highest enrolled class among those launched on Coursera in 2020.
However, there are certain challenges to overcome. A large number of students across the globe don’t have a reliable internet connection. Based on OECD data, 95 percent of the children in Switzerland, Norway, and Austria have a computer to do their coursework. But this number drops to 34 percent in Asian countries like Indonesia. Until these gaps are addressed, online learning’s reach will remain limited.
Major world events are an inflection point for innovation in some industries. COVID-19 has led to a drastic change in the way we work and learn. The online learning sector is seeing a lot of investments even during this unfortunate pandemic. Let’s focus on exploring its full potential so that we all can benefit from e-learning.