The last decade has seen an explosion of change across technology and education, and how the two interrelate. Technological advances now mean that the geographical barriers to learning are being lifted through the use of online learning. The ‘classroom’ can now exist outside of the physical space, with distance learning becoming an increasingly popular choice. This change has proved to be timely in the current uncertain times allowing the majority of universities to quickly transition learning online.
Is online learning effective?
Technology encourages students to learn in a more pro-active and engaging way. The teacher takes on more of a facilitator role and students are actively involved and collaborate with their learning. Online lessons, tutorials, assignments and marking, can all now be done remotely. The question we must ask is if this takes away from the unique interaction between student and teacher and if so, how can we measure the impact of this?
Recent research into online learning indicates that technology, and in particular, the use of video, improves student satisfaction and engagement by up to 70% within Higher Education. Reflecting on the wide variety of media that the ‘z’ generation typically consume, is now an essential element within the learning environment. Universities are investing heavily in their technological infrastructure in a bid to ‘future proof’ their courses and update their teaching strategies.
Video, presentations, apps and podcasts are used to improve the learning and engagement that students have with course material. Taking into account students’ attitudes towards how and when they consume information, is proving to be just as important as the content itself. The use of online learning through lesson capture and cloud compatible video platforms mean that lectures can be available to students remotely and on demand. Much like their life in a wider capacity.
Will Coronavirus increase the rate of change?
A recent survey by Nutanix showed that the education sector is set to host over 50% of its workload in the cloud this year and this will continue on an upward trajectory. Updating to cloud based systems allows universities to reduce costs, increase accessibility for its students and enable collaboration. The Coronavirus pandemic has expedited this transition to online learning. With new technologies being integrated into learning environments at a pace never seen before within the industry.
Technology is also becoming increasingly important in universities efforts to recruit new students. More students are using digital platforms to make their study choices with some powerful tools open to universities. One such example is unibuddy who have built a digital peer to peer platform. They provide, a student to student messaging application. Allowing prospective students to speak to current students, matched to the courses they are interested in. You can view a recent webinar we did with the unibuddy team here.
The very essence of higher education and its progressive nature, mean that online learning, technology and its ever evolving capabilities, will always have an impact on the sector as a whole. But it is the students and their need to consistently adapt within the digital landscape, which make these changes an inevitable part of the process.
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