Many things changed after the arrival of the internet and globalization technologies, hasn’t it?
And many sectors of our society have been affected by it, especially education, with the explosive growth of online education in the last few years.
But what will the future of online education look like?
The classroom is no longer the same. Several innovations are emerging daily to revolutionize the way we absorb content.
Massive open online courses (MOOCs), a subsection of online education, give large scale accessibility to knowledge, courses and even qualifications by using the internet.
In 2019, this growing trend has reached 110 million students with over 900 universities launching their own MOOC programs.
Online education being employed in a corporate setting has also shown to be incredibly successful, with companies reporting up to a 30x return on investment through an increase in employee productivity. To get in touch with developments in Online Education and MOOCs, follow free online courses with certificates here.
Interested to know the future of online education?
Then make sure you read until the end!
In this article, we will present to you the main tools already used in online education and MOOCs as well as 3 trends that promise to transform online education.
Tools Already Used in Online Education
Before we present the innovations that promise to revolutionize the future of online education, we need to first list the tools that already provide an innovative and highly interactive learning environment for students. They are:
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
- It is the most used tool of ODL.
- VLE has several resources that we will cite below, as well as other fundamental materials to accompany the courses and complement the students’ studies such as links to articles, audios, videos, and PDF files.
- The Virtual Library includes the entire online collection of an educational institution, as well as bibliographic material cited by teachers during the course, such as books, handouts, and e-Books.
- They are spaces for discussion between students and teachers.
- Through forums, you can exchange experiences, knowledge, ask questions and share information relevant to the distance learning course.
- The tool is collaborative and promotes a lot of interaction between faculty and students.
Video Lessons and Video Conferences
- Video lessons and videoconferences are essential tools for online education.
- It is through them that recordings and online transmissions of classes take place.
- This audiovisual resource also favors interaction and communication between students and teachers, with classes and sessions sometimes being transmitted in real-time.
- They are enabled during videoconferences so that students can communicate instantly with teachers and their classmates, answering questions and actively participating in classes.
- Blogs are interesting channels for teachers to share audios, texts, and other content to promote a course.
- The platform may also serve to publish other course support materials.
3 Trends in Distance Learning
Online education and new technologies go hand in hand, profoundly changing the way we learn and explore different fields of knowledge.
But improvements and changes never stop.
After checking the main tools that enable the interactivity of online education, it is time to find out what’s coming in 2020 and beyond.
Here are 3 trends that promise to shape the future of distance education:
1. Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
It is a mistake to believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a completely new technology.
It has been around for decades, and because of the development of computing and informatics, new applications are being constantly developed in this segment.
And online educations hasn’t been left behind.
Truly immersive activities are now performed through a pattern of errors and hits. Using AI, it is possible for students to statically follow the evolution of their learning and help them with their next steps. Cool, isn’t it?
Chatbots perform a different function, but one that is closely related to Artificial Intelligence.
They take on the role of tutors who teach people through testing, games and even simulations.
They also provide specific training to help teachers and students with their tasks.
Have you heard of Microlearning?
It is a learning method generated aided by smartphone and tablet apps that let you learn in bite-sized sessions where you can quickly learn a piece of information.
Often using a combination of text, images, and quizzes, this trend is extremely practical, making any content quick to absorb (in about one to five minutes) and considerably facilitates students’ learning process.
It is fantastic for those that want to learn something in-between tasks. For example, doing one or two learning units while you’re on your 10-minute train ride to work.
Gamification has been widely used in the corporate environment and in the world of education.
It is a playful and differentiated tendency to use digital games to attract, engage, and motivate people to participate in the learning process.
In the field of online education, gamification can work on various skills, such as flexibility, creativity, and team spirit. It also assists students in decision making and problem-solving by putting them to the test all the time. It is common to see its use in courses in Engineering, Medicine, Computing, and Architecture, for example.