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The evolution of online learning

From writing on a chalkboard to learning from behind a screen, the face of education has rapidly evolved. With technology quickly becoming heavily involved in our everyday activities such as when making payments or checking the weather, its use in learning has slowly been implemented into traditional education and has revolutionised the way that students are being taught. In fact, it is now possible to gain and study for an entire university degree online.

How has learning changed?

It could be argued that traditional education has always been presented in a concrete form whereby a teacher is likely to stand and recite information that the student is expected to understand and remember. However, with the development of technology and the internet, education is now being offered in a more appealing and digestible form. Below are a few of the ways in which online learning has changed and helped to evolve education.

  • E-learning caters to all learning styles. Through using virtual tools, whether that is showing a video in a classroom to explain a concept or participating in an online quiz, students are more likely to remember information and engage with the things that they are being taught. E-learning allows schools to accommodate different learning styles through its various teaching methods, leading to students producing better results whilst also retaining information once they have completed the course. When everyone learns in different ways, courses need to be tailored for students which is something that traditional education has not previously allowed.
  • Appeals to a wider audience.With the job market becoming more competitive, there is more pressure on employees to remain focused on self-development. However, they are not able to commit to attending a university class whilst working a full-time job, therefore online learning presents them with the opportunity to learn without it impacting them in the workplace. E-learning makes education accessible to everyone whether that is a mother with children or people that are in circumstances that do not allow them to attend classes every day.
  • Offers flexibility. Traditional education has always consisted of having to be present in class everyday with the risk of falling behind if unable to attend. However, e-learning makes it possible to both learn in your own space whilst co-ordinating your own schedule. This can often be revolutionary for many people that may be balancing several commitments as discussed above. However, it also means that individuals can be more productive by learning from anywhere, whether that is on their commute to work or when travelling to another country.

It is not only teaching through an online platform that has enhanced education, but also the learning process and experience which has become a more appealing way of gaining a qualification. When society is already so accustomed to relying on technological devices to look up information, e-learning acts as the next step and therefore opens up the pathway to a more educated and well-informed society. The internet is a pool of resources and with a majority of books now available in electronic form, it has vastly improved the accessibility of information. This again contributes to e-learning and allows students to read and seek relevant material without having to leave their home.

Future of online learning

Online learning degree makes education accessible whilst also presenting it as something that is achievable by individuals that may have found that they do not work best in a classroom setting. It also makes information and courses more readily available with things such as MOOCs increasing in popularity.

With the e-learning market continuing to grow in worth, things such as virtual technologies and mobile learning are gaining precedence and will vastly be incorporated into traditional education. As institutions are already utilising virtual platforms and finding them to be a more cost-effective route, it is evident that education will quickly become digitalised. Through changing the way that people are gaining an education, it not only ensures that everyone has access to education but also impacts the economy whereby people will continue to self-develop and therefore gain more skills.

Overall, with the quick implementation of technology into learning, the future of education is online.