Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Did you know that you can turn your bedroom into an Ivy League school? Currently, schools and institutions of higher learning have moved classes online as a survival measure due to COVID-19.
Some are adopting Virtual Reality capabilities to continue through this unprecedented event. After the pandemic is over, the world could emerge with a new trajectory in digital learning.
Education might never be the same again.
Lowers cost of education
The high cost of education has for long locked many from advanced opportunities. Experts estimate that since 1985, the cost of education has risen by approximately 538%.
The sad reality is that many people cannot afford to go to college today. However, if variables such as accommodation, commute, and cost of books are removed (or even lowered) from the equation, the story could change.
E-learning achieves these goals in several ways. Students can earn their certifications without ever having to relocate from their cities or take the bus every day.
They can purchase digital books that are often several times cheaper.
In addition, the shared nature of online learning materials also means that candidates can buy a variety of learning resources as a group and save an insane amount of money.
Scores big on safety
Social distancing is the new vocab that probably isn’t going down well with everybody at this point. But, attending online classes stops students from being bullied or physically harmed by others.
Digital methods ensures that the students will be around to enjoy the future that they are preparing for.
Now obviously, we can’t talk about safety without discussing wellness and the role of digital learning. Reduced face-to-face interactions minimize the risk of infectious diseases. COVID 19 is one such example.
But, even more critical is the fact that other infectious diseases may be on the horizon and a simulated learning environment could be our best bet for long-term safety.
Good for the environment
Greta Thunberg would be happy about digital learning for one thing; it puts less stress on the environment.
And, if the world holds onto the new modes of life post-COVID-19, perhaps global warming would be a solved problem.
Think about this for a minute. There is no unnecessary travelling involved in e-learning because you can access all content without leaving the house.
No paper books will be required because the content served will be in a downloadable format. Both these things mean a lower amount of carbon emissions and a slower rate of deforestation.
(A win-win situation in our humble view).
An equalizer for quality and opportunity
In the race for professional proficiency, many employees enroll in learning institutions for their masters, doctorates, and professional certification qualifications.
The disparity in the quality of these programs puts some at a disadvantage.
A digital environment levels the playing field. One way is through unlimited access to the content being learned. Students can access all types of coaching and learning materials.
They can study at their own pace and track their progress.
Here, an equal outcome is achieved for both the student that saves money with digital self-learning and the one that pays thousands of dollars to attend an Ivy League school.
As mentioned before, digital learning methods may help students to study at their best time and pace. Everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone has different responsibilities to attend to.
That afternoon classroom session might not be convenient if you have to take care of your ailing child or elderly mother.
But, a recorded digital classroom session means that you don’t end up missing your lesson that day (or any day). You can playback the video. You can revisit it many times during your exam preparation.
You can also leverage audio-books that you could listen to at the gym or on a hiking trail.
Better retention rates
Online learning breathes new life into education through a combination of various learning tools. Experimentation with video, audio, and Virtual Reality could prove highly useful for better learning outcomes.
Some students understand and remember things better by hearing. These are auditory learners. It wouldn’t be fair to bundle them up with visual learners who, on the other hand, learn better by what they see.
And another group of learners called tactile learners do understand better by practice.
A digital learning environment can cater to all these groups of students through the customizable learning tools mentioned before.
A laser-like focus on the student
In the classroom, the teacher is always the one in the driver’s seat. In digital learning environments, students take back control of their learning. They can form digital or real-life discussion groups that fit their goals.
They can use supplementary study materials that enhance their understanding of the subject matter.
There is also room to use practice questions and mock tests several to sharpen exam preparedness. These techniques initiated and directed by the students help to achieve a better learning outcome.
Education ceases to be about passing exams
What happens when students take charge of their own learning? By interacting with digital learning materials, they improve their research skills.
Self-learning also compels them to engage and sharpen their abilities in understanding concepts.
Digital methods can potentially therefore create problem solvers. Students don’t wait around for teachers to tell them what to do.
They create study schedules and focalize on the syllabus and course objectives.
In the workforce, such students become natural leaders that can successfully steer companies out of risk and into a profitable future.
Constant experimentation that builds practical skills
Human Resource experts talk about the glaring skills mismatch currently existing among fresh graduates. There is a big disconnect between their training and job demands in the real world.
Digital learning models can help to transform the narrative.
Most digital platforms use simulations that put the learner in life-like environments with different challenges. They then learn how to apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios to solve these problems.
This kind of learning not only helps to achieve a higher retention rate but also ensures that graduates get what it takes to add value to organizations.
Highly interactive kind of learning
There are more opportunities for collaboration in digital platforms than in classroom sessions. In the cloud, these educational sharing platforms are not constrained by time or space.
Students can continue to interact with not only each other but the course materials long after the session has ended.
Technology makes learning easier. It opens doors for broader participation, adding new meaning to school ‘work’.
And, because they have better access to the learning materials, students get drawn deeper into the contents.
Adapting to different environments
The online learning environment itself is a relatively new landscape of education. Students that successfully navigate it eventually develop the potential for adaptability in various work scenarios.
This aptitude could be quintessential in the ever-changing risk and regulatory landscape in the financial world and across all industries.
It takes self-discipline and patience to master self-learning on digital platforms. The students have to be good time managers and self-motivated at all times.
They have to be self-driven and keep their own deadlines. These are highly sought-after traits in the job market.
Having a familiar learning environment
With the digital methodologies, the student can study in the comfort of their homes, even in their pajamas. There is no pressure to fit in, wear makeup, or put on some beautiful clothes.
That not only saves time but also frees the mind of its distractive and obsessively competing nature.
It’s just you in the room, and perhaps your family. I’s just your classwork that matters and not how the popular girl is dressed.
Achieving a balanced life
Let’s face it. Career advancement courses can be highly stressful when you have to attend physical classes after work. You waste a lot of time on the road.
You arrive home late in the evening when all you want to do next is collapse on the bed until the alarm rings the next day.
And the cycle continues.
Conventional classroom learning creates distance between family members. It pays little attention to a person’s psychological and social well-being.
The story is different with e-learning where the student has enough time to kick butt at work, strengthen their social bonds, and even pursue a hobby.
A chance to implement knowledge at work
It’s a good thing that online learning methods save students a lot of time.
The flexibility of this type of education means that students don’t have to hit the pause button on work as they pursue a higher level of professional certification.
Studying while at work gives the students a rare chance to practice their newly acquired knowledge and skills.
The learner can start to see the benefit of their program even before graduation. They can leverage their new knowledge to achieve professional efficiency and add value to the organization.
What happens then is that their journey up the career ladder gets accelerated. That doesn’t happen to students that take a study leave.
Digital methods achieve a comfortable and intellectually enriching environment for students.
The trend towards fully online education could significantly reduce costs, achieve equality, and solve other social and environmental problems.
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Stay safe and Never stop learning,
The QuestionBank Family