The recent pandemic that affected the world has changed the way people learn. The rise of online learning has facilitated continued education despite natural disasters. A COVID-19 pandemic has induced an unprecedented shift in learning, from classroom to virtual. In early stages of the epidemic, the term ’emergency remote teaching’ was coined to describe the shift in instruction. With further increases in COVID-19 infection rates, the need for a more scalable and effective system of instruction has become critical.
A recent report by the Southern Education Foundation examines race and class-based disparities that accompanied the COVID-19 crisis in education. It reports that nearly one in five children in low-income households lack access to a computer at home. Several news outlets reported similar disparities in late March. As a result, governments should evaluate the main challenges associated with this type of massive online learning. In light of these challenges, many countries are turning to online education and remote learning materials to support students.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to create flexible curricula and realign teachers’ practices. Rapid adoption of technology helped both teachers and students develop new skills. According to Education Week’s December 2020 survey, 87% of teachers reported improving their technology skills during the pandemic. And the changes in education are not limited to postsecondary institutions; K-12 and university students alike are benefiting from online learning.
Students also welcomed the change in educational style. Online classes eliminated the need for overcrowding in classrooms, provided an alternative to complete the syllabus, and allowed students to develop soft skills early. However, some students said they found online classes difficult to handle because they were unaccustomed to learning through a computer and smartphone. This new learning style is not for everyone. But for those who are looking for a flexible learning experience, online learning may be the way to go.
Online learning has changed the way that educators assess students’ progress. Many educators are eliminating assignments and traditional methods of assessment and focusing on more personalized learning experiences and flexible deadlines. Online learning is also more engaging, and it allows students to get the most out of their education. It can even support team-based projects involving multiple creative tools, which can help foster collaboration. When you combine the advantages of online learning with a traditional approach, the results are positive.
In the years following COVID-19, teachers in universities began preparing for online teaching modes on their own. University ICT experts managed the transition process for stakeholders. While several pieces of research have been conducted on online education, no studies were conducted during the lockdown period. Despite this lack of research, many universities continued to use online teaching methods, and this trend is set to continue. That said, many stakeholders remain unaware of the benefits of online learning and are struggling to adapt.
Despite the recent Covid-19 pandemic that crippled the U.S. higher education sector, the crisis has forced many to transition their traditional learning methods to online learning. While it is difficult for students in low-income countries to access reliable internet, more people are relying on digital tools to learn. Even those with internet access are not exempt from these challenges. While many of them may not have access to reliable access, 95% of all college students in the world now have access to a computer for their schoolwork.
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