The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in schools shut all across the world. Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom. As a result, education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.
Virtual learning is a learning experience that is enhanced through utilizing computers and/or the internet both outside and inside the facilities of the educational organization. The instruction most commonly takes place in an online environment. The teaching activities are carried out online whereby the teacher and learners are physically separated (in terms of place, time, or both).They present resources, activities and interactions within a course structure and provide for the different stages of assessment. Specifically, virtual learning uses computer software, the Internet or both to deliver instruction to students. This minimizes or eliminates the need for teachers and students to share a classroom
Hybrid learning is where students learn through a mix of in-person and online activities. Students are encouraged to learn from one another in in-class instruction sessions whereas the multimedia shared online enhances and reinforces discussions in class. Hybrid learning is synonymous with blended learning. Hybrid learning is most effective when it occurs before, during and after class. Hybrid learning refers to web-based learning activities that are used to complement in-person instruction. Students spend less time seated in a classroom listening to lectures and are instead encouraged to explore online and learn from their peers. Hybrid learning comes with its pros, including increased interaction with peers and instructors, greater involvement in a course, more flexible scheduling and an interactive learning environment. It can also mean some students attend class in-person, while others join the class virtually from home.
There is evidence that learning online can be more effective in a number of ways. Some research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. This is mostly due to the students being able to learn faster online; e-learning requires 40-60% less time to learn than in a traditional classroom setting because students can learn at their own pace, going back and re-reading, skipping, or accelerating through concepts as they choose. There are, however, challenges to overcome. Some students without reliable internet access and/or technology struggle to participate in digital learning; this gap is seen across countries and between income brackets within countries.
With this sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, some are wondering whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic. Research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information, and take less time, meaning the changes coronavirus have caused might be here to stay.
Posts written by the Team ELM family!