You may already be convinced that e-learning is an excellent option for learning and imparting knowledge. Or you may still have doubts about the effectiveness of this type of education and its scope.
What is certain is that e-learning continues to gain popularity. More than six million students currently take one or more courses online 50% of universities offer at least one program online. And these numbers will only continue to grow as new technologies continue to be incorporated into today’s world. In a few years, this educational model will be the rule throughout the world.
Main advantages of virtual education
If you haven’t taken an online course yourself, have you ever wondered what the experience of virtual learning is really like? While the online learning platforms used may differ slightly, virtual education offers many benefits over traditional teaching methods.
Expanding learning opportunities: One of the main benefits of virtual education is that it offers a variety of resources to the teacher, from virtual tours, online libraries with curated resources, interactive assessments, connections with experts around the world, etc. With new technologies, classes can be creative and participatory at all times.
Learn anywhere: you only need one electronic device (cell phone, tablet or laptop) to access study materials.
You can choose when to study: many students work; therefore, virtual education allows them to continue learning from any place and at any time.
Responsibility and autonomy: creating a routine and carrying out the corresponding activities is good advice for successfully completing the programs offered.
Tips for successfully meeting the challenge of e-learning
Just as virtual education has many benefits, we also face a number of challenges. Some universities are using innovative methods to foster an online educational experience that is more inclusive, engaging and responsive to student demand.
Consider the following tips:
1. Content created by teachers should be designed specifically for the virtual environment. Since virtual classrooms or online learning courses differ from face-to-face courses, the content should be different as well. It is recommended that it be shorter and more interactive. For example, it is important to provide additional reference materials in certain sections or even external links. This makes the content adaptable to the different needs of the learners.
2. Focus on active learning. Even the most fun and entertaining teachers cannot afford to create passive online lessons. The course should be interactive and include plenty of opportunities for student participation, for example combining discussions, collaboration, video and audio clips, and hands-on exercises with text and possibly short video lectures. No student will remain attentive and interested for long without interactivity.
3. Teacher presence” plays a vital role in building a sense of belonging to the learning community and keeping students actively interacting with the content. Much research has revealed that receiving constant feedback and communication from the teacher can make a big difference in the confidence, motivation and performance of these students in the course.
4. Students have different learning styles. In this sense, it is pertinent to identify how your students learn best and thus use different tools to adapt to the various styles. I recommend using a mix of different media, including text, video, audio, computer graphics, presentations, gamma-playing and others, – this has proven to be more effective than including only text and audio.
5. Segment the lessons. Long classes of 2-3 hours without any breaks are probably not the best way to teach a face-to-face course, and doing this online is even more inefficient. With this information, it is possible to improve the scope and results of virtual education at all levels