It’s amazing how technology and the pandemic have changed education. Today, the future of education lies in online courses, online learning and online education.
The digital world has introduced a lot of innovation and disrupted a number of businesses. Modern education in India is one of those business areas that the digital world has disrupted significantly and will continue to impact.
An article in Forbes notes that traditional educational institutions will struggle in the coming years as roughly half of the subject knowledge acquired during the first year of a four-year technical degree will likely be outdated by the time students graduate.
This will not only create challenges for students to get jobs, but it also raises questions about whether the traditional 4-year degree programs will survive. More importantly, will degrees even matter?
Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen, predicts that half of all traditional colleges won’t exist in 10 years because online education will undermine their business models to such a degree that many won’t survive.
Watch this video from Patrick Bet-David in which he lists six reasons why Google, Apple and many other companies may be every University’s worst nightmare.
Although distance education, distance learning courses, and open university courses have been around since much before the internet age, the future of education lies in institutions embracing online learning and online courses.
7 Reasons Why Online Courses Are The Future of Education
Here are seven reasons why online education is the future of education and will soon become the preferred mode of instruction even overtaking traditional learning systems altogether.
1. Online learning extends from preschool to college
Online education has brought a lot to the table for all levels of learning, starting from preschool all the way up to higher-level institutions. Today, you can even do online MBA courses from top business schools and online marketing schools in India and abroad.
Online education has completely replaced some homeschooling systems. Parents can now relax and let the online education websites in India teach their home-schooled children.
Even more importantly, if a child is slow at learning a certain subject, say math or reading, there are a lot of excellent and engaging online resources to help them catch up at their own pace.
There exist online courses for all levels of education. Online supplementary learning materials have also been developed for all levels of education, including online higher education.
In this regard, you can join courses on the top online learning platforms that meet your needs depending on the skills you want to acquire and the time you’re willing to spend.
Some of the options available include online correspondence courses, online certificate programs, online degree programs and online certificate courses in India and abroad.
2. Online education brings flexibility to the table
Many students today prefer screen learning to live tutors. To enrol in any online school anywhere in the world, you don’t need to travel or endure the process of acquiring visas and other travel documents.
Indeed, when you start lessons, you can learn from wherever you are, as long as you have a Smartphone. Regardless of your family commitments, you can learn as and when you want simply by scheduling lessons around your free time.
The system works well for everyone, whether you’re a working professional, busy entrepreneur, or a devoted parent who has to juggle work and school.
In a live class, you have to sit through the entire lesson until the teacher is through with the class. With ecourses, working people can work at their own pace and at a convenient time, taking breaks as is fitting.
Research suggests that learning online can be more effective and on average, students retain 25 to 60% more material when learning online compared to only 8 to 10% in a classroom.
Online learning also requires 40 to 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.
In addition to their online lesson, students can refer to many other resources available online, giving them access to a vast knowledge base as compared to live classroom learning.
Online course providers like Coursera, Daphne Koller and co-founder Andrew Ng are bringing courses from top colleges online, free, for anyone who wants to take them.
These top online learning platforms will revolutionise online education in India and other developing countries by making overseas education from the best universities available to anyone with an internet connection.
It will also be a great leveller, making quality education in India available equally to students from urban and rural areas. No child will have to feel deprived of quality education as long as they have access to the internet.
Many girls don’t even have access to basic education in India because of family and cultural restrictions. Free online education in India will empower women and make female education in India available to girls who are deprived of educational opportunities.
3. You can choose an online course with a live tutor
It’s worth noting that some online college courses have a live teacher, so students can still learn difficult subjects and be guided by the teacher.
There are a lot of live online language courses involving one-on-one online tutoring with a teacher and students who are both online.
The benefit is that both the teacher and student can operate from any location in the world that has a decent internet connection.
The online tutor is also able to provide lessons to students who are located all over the globe without having to acquire a visa and make expensive travel arrangements.
4. Online education is much cheaper
Thanks to free open learning courses, the overall cost of online education is much cheaper than live classroom teaching. Besides not having to travel, many lessons can be automated eliminating the need for live instruction.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which are free online courses, provide an affordable and flexible way for anyone to enrol, learn new skills, advance their career and deliver quality educational experiences at scale.
You can even find specialized and free online courses with certificates such as these free online digital marketing courses. That way, you can find out if you have an aptitude for a subject before actually spending any money on learning it.
5. Online education is easy to scale
Thanks to online learning platforms like Teachable and Udemy, hundreds of students can now be enrolled in an online class without affecting the quality of education.
As most of these lessons are automated allowing students to self-learn at their own pace, the instructor’s work is reduced to preparing the lesson plans, placing them online, and marking and checking the progress of the students.
One of the disadvantages of online education is that the completion rate of online courses is dismally low. Studies show that completion rates vary from 0.7% to 52.1%, with a median value of 12.6%.
6. Students can learn at their own pace without shame or bullying
One of the biggest downsides of the traditional education system is its lack of inclusiveness. The current Indian education system punishes special-needs students and those with learning difficulties, or conditions like autism and ADD/ADHD, that make it difficult for young children to focus in the classroom environment.
As a result, children and their parents are often shamed for what is seen as a failure on their part, when it is actually a failure of a flawed education system that doesn’t customize learning to children with different aptitudes and talents.
The epidemic of bullying also makes it difficult for sensitive children to cope with the school system, causing many of them to drop out and feel like failures.
Online education offers a welcome alternative to kids who do not fit into the school system and are in need of inclusive education in India because they can learn at their own pace and in the privacy and safety of their own homes.
7. Advanced technology will vastly improve the learning experience
The application of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and gamification in the education system will vastly improve the learning experience for students and tutors alike.
These advanced technologies will make it much easier to help students understand complex ideas and to integrate them using games and advanced educational aids. As innovation in education in India grows, we will see even more educational aids to enhance the quality of online education.
These online education advantages threaten to make traditional classroom education redundant for all but a few disciplines that will still require a live classroom set-up, even if it is only for a part of the course.
In areas like medicine, emotional intelligence is required in dealing with live patients, so practical learning will continue to be an essential part of the curriculum, although artificial intelligence and robotic surgery may change that.
Online technical colleges that offer courses like mechanical engineering and piloting still require the live experience of operating machinery and online study may not be entirely automated for a while yet in these areas.
The impact of online college courses on the education system will involve a shift from live teaching to the tutor developing online content for students.
Therefore, the role of a teacher or educator will always exist and can never be replaced, whether it is an online tutoring session or a live classroom. In addition, all the lesson plans are still prepared by a live teacher and downloaded online.
So, what personal qualities make an online tutor successful? And are there any courses available to improve one’s tutoring skills?
According to Vidhu Goyal, Co-Founder of WONK, India’s largest certified tutor booking app which provides a complimentary course to tutors to improve their skills and effectiveness,
For those eager to embrace the future of education, registering on online tutoring websites can be the best way to get a work-from-home job and becoming an online tutor could well turn out to be one of the best jobs for work-from-home parents in the future.
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About the author:
Priya Florence Shah is the Group Editor at SHEROES and author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women.