Online Education and its Present- Day Trends

Online Education and its Present- Day TrendsThe landscape of modern education has been drastically changed because of online education. Students nowadays learn in a new environment to get ready for every type of opportunity.

Currently, various trends are there in online education. Demonstration of these trends has led to the development of a new set of strategies in order to enhance involvement, retention, and mastery.

Below is a list of some of the current trends in online education:

  1. Virtual Learning Environment
  2. Mastery Learning
  3. Flipped Classroom
  4. Collective Learning
  5. Learning Based on Projects
  6. Hybrid Learning
  7. Unschooling

Check out the brief description of all these trends.

Virtual Learning Environment

A set of teaching and tools of learning which are designed to enrich the learning experience of students refers to a virtual learning environment. This learning process includes computer and the internet. The package of virtual learning environment includes the following components

  • Electronic communication- includes chat, web publishing, emails, and threaded discussions
  • Student tracking
  • Curriculum mapping- includes breaking down the curriculum into sections which are to be assessed and assigned in future
  • Internet links to outside curriculum resources

The users of the virtual learning environment are generally assigned a student ID or a teacher ID. Whatever is seen by a student is also seen by the teacher. However, the teachers possess some additional user rights with which they can create and modify the curriculum content. They can also track the performance of students.

The various types of commercial virtual learning experience software packages include Blackboard, Lotus Learning Space, Web CT, and COSE.

 Mastery Learning

Mastery learning is utilized heavily in numerous schools and colleges. In mastery learning, all the students are required to master a skill or concept before they can move ahead. Every student is expected to establish mastery in a particular topic by giving all the answers correctly rather than treating a 50 or 60 as a passing score.

Though this standard sounds hard, by giving it a thought, it makes good sense.

For instance, if a cardiologist is only 95% competent to perform a heart surgery, no one would settle for it.

Similarly, in mastery learning, students are required to master the topic or subject with 100% proficiency. If mastery learning is utilized by a school or college, then a lot of retesting is expected. Students often need to attain someone’s assistance or make use of online tutorials. They are required to grasp material fully otherwise; your progress will be regarded as slow.

Flipped Classroom

The aim of the flipped classroom is to sort out the problems faced by students in traditional classrooms like getting stuck on one problem, frustration of not being able to finish the homework, etc.

Everything is being turned around with flipped classroom as it switches the time devoted to class lectures and homework. Students are required to complete the assignments in the classroom rather than at home. This way, whenever a student gets stuck on a particular problem, help can be immediately taken by the teacher. On the other hand, with the help of on-screen tutorials and video lectures, students can do the classwork at home.

Collective Learning

An educational method for teaching and learning, collaborative learning includes a group of students who work together to sort out their problems, complete an assignment or task.

Gerlach says, “Collaborative learning is based on the idea that learning is a naturally social act in which the participants talk among themselves. It is through the talk that learning occurs.”

  • In collective learning, students tend to learn by being active. The main focus of collective learning is on active participation which involves moving around, performing, etc.
  • Instead of content- focused, the whole process of learning is students- focused. It means that while planning the whole process, it is to be examined that how students learn and what methods can be utilized to improve their learning experience.
  • To find solutions to certain problems, working with other students helps in solving problems more effectively. It also helps them to learn social interaction skills like listening to others, cooperation, framing opinions, and compromising.

Learning Based on Projects

Many online colleges are experts at project-based learning. In project-based learning, rather than reading chapters, giving answers to the questions, and giving tests, students are required to work on educational projects related to specific subjects like building a greenhouse, debating about French Revolution or designing a website.

As one cannot build an exact greenhouse online, students have to make 3D models of buildings, design web pages, etc.

Often the projects are assigned by making groups. Often the project-based learning programs include all the primary outcomes of learning which are expected for a particular subject area. It also includes providing training to the students to share the responsibilities, give peer reviews, break down projects into small parts, work in teams, and sort out complex and tricky problems. As an online student, it is imperative to remain plugged in the learning process. Every student needs to have skills like effective communication, cooperation and working in teams. To be successful in project-based learning programs, it is very important to be able to work with other students through the online medium.

Hybrid Learning

Hybrid learning is also known as blended learning. In this type of learning, a mix of online and on-campus resources are utilized.

The advantage of hybrid learning

Leaner benefits

  • A higher level of engagement and involvement in the course
  • Higher quality of interaction with peers
  • Course schedule becomes more flexible
  • Interaction with the teacher increases

Instructor benefits

  • Ability to reach the maximum number of learners
  • The teaching and learning environment is very interactive

Training organization benefits

  • It is an economical way to increase the reach of learning and training
  • Reduced cancellations
  • Reduced cost of travelling

Unschooling

Unschooling refers to a life without school. It means not sending the children to school and not even establishing a school environment at home. It is a process of complete rejection of traditional schooling.

There is no use of curriculum in the concept of unschooling. Education is not regarded as a step by step process. Children are free to learn whatever they want to. If they have no interest in a particular thing, they are free to not learn it.

Children themselves are given a charge of their education. It is believed that it is the right of every child to choose the things which interest them and the ways to learn it. There is no forced learning. It is considered as consensual.

It is believed that children can start learning whenever they feel they are ready and interested too. Children who are unschooled are given the control of their own lives with the support and supervision of their parents.

New opportunities are created for learning through these trends in online education. These trends help the students to learn in a better and effective way and to climb up the ladder of success. These trends have created a new wave of opportunities for the students which helps them in achieving the career goals.

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