Advanced computer models enter the market. The speed of Internet connection grows. New multimedia tools emerge. Smartphones and other portable gadgets, mobile networks make knowledge accessible at any time, in any place, open new opportunities for telecommuting. Also, social media ceases to be a purely entertaining industry, attracts educators’ and researchers’ attention.
In the view of all these tendencies, e-learning seems to be quite a promising area. It is here to stay, evolve and transform the traditional educational system. What changes will we see in the near future? Experts from Pro-Papers.com have described the most remarkable trends below.
Massive open online courses
36,000 students participated in one of the first Harvard’s open remote courses. The number seems astronomic, but technology makes it quite real. Online lectures allow universities to save resources, hire fewer educators, attract lecturers from all over the world, while students can have flexible learning schedules and review videos whenever they want.
Some online courses are free, while others are paid today. It is believed that e-learning centers will stop providing free services soon because advanced technologies are used and a salary should be paid to instructors. At the same time, remote lectures are going to become more organized, be enriched with online wikis, discussions, close interaction between educators and students.
The traditional educational system is rather bureaucratic and boring. Learners come to dull classrooms, read textbooks and write formulas on a blackboard. Everyone uses the same learning tools and cannot choose something to one’s liking. E-learning compensates for this drawback. Social media provide the plethora of accessible learning materials. It is enough to make several mouse clicks to find blogs, podcasts, videos, webinars on the topic of interest.
Learners not only absorb information but also shape a curriculum, which makes the educational process more engaging, democratic and student-centric. Young people realize that they are the main figures in a class, can share personal ideas and experience, influence the way how lectures and seminars are held, choose the most interesting and efficient assignments. Such feedback saves educators’ time, helps to improve teaching techniques and tailor academic activities to students’ needs.
Thanks to learners’ participation in knowledge building, outdated materials are quickly replaced by relevant, practically applicable knowledge. Young people become more enthusiastic, responsible and autonomous, enjoy their important role, strive to stand out as creators of advanced educational approaches, gain professors’ and peers’ respect. An educator acts as a coordinator and a supporter rather than a strict supervisor.
While much is said about using high-tech robots in a classroom, artificial intelligence also enters e-learning space. Bots can instruct learners on different educational stages: provide course materials, show how assignments should be performed, give tips and hints, answer frequently asked questions, highlight mistakes and explain how they may be eliminated. Learning acquires an individualized character without forcing professors to spend much one-on-one time with each student.
Most online educators use slides to impart knowledge to learners. Electronic presentations have a horizontal layout and unchangeable objects fixed on pages. Modern specialists believe that course materials should look like websites with vertical strolling layout and responsive buttons, fill in a page with personalized content depending on user’s preferences.
Big data processing tools make it possible to increase the scale of learning, determine each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, provide timely support and motivation, eliminate knowledge gaps, test the effectiveness of different teaching approaches and theories.
Modern students do not leave home without their smartphones, use these gadgets for communication and entertainment. It seems quite logical to transmit knowledge via young people’s favorite devices and use environment they like for educational purposes. That is why m-learning gains popularity.
There are many mobile apps helping users to organize learning routine, manage time, acquire and test knowledge. Intuitive programs can memorize person’s actions and use this information for building learning algorithms.
Students do not have to make enormous volitional efforts to sit at the table, take a textbook in hands and do homework. Educational tools turn into faithful companions accessible wherever a person goes, staying in front of one’s eyes even in non-learning time. Academic apps with convenient interface and pleasant design may become a worthy substitute for instant messengers and video games distracting learners’ attention and preventing them from focusing on studies.
Learning is not always tedious and boring. It quite may be bright and fun, which is especially important for younger students memorizing visual content and vivid images better than abstract concepts. By and large, gamification does not have age limitations. Both little kids and Ph.D. holders may take advantage of it, improve problem-solving skills and creative thinking. The most important thing is to choose suitable software tailored for certain educational goals.