Will online learning be a permanent feature of schools and universities?
It’s now almost a year since the pandemic began. Due to the serious nature of the crisis which lead to lockdown of schools and colleges, there was no option left for schools and universities but to start teaching online. Now, most educational institutions have transitioned to some form of teaching online. Thus, online learning has now become a permanent part of the daily routines of students all over the world. Will this trend continue? Will it become a permanent part of schools and universities?
There are two ways of predicting this. One requires a certainty with regards to the pandemic. Till now, this certainty has been elusive. If there is an approved vaccine by next year, it may take an additional year for things to become normal again. This means, that online learning is bound to continue for another year in some form or the other.
The other way of predicting is by understanding whether online learning has really grown to be an effective way of learning. If it is merely patch work, it will soon be dumped in favor of traditional teaching. But, if there has been distinct advantages that online learning has offered compared to traditional learning in the classrooms, then it is bound to stay.
From the surveys taken in many institutions, there has been some advantages to online learning in terms of savings in time and effort due to the possibility of taking classes from home without travel or stay in a campus. Apart from this, the use of tools that make online learning effective, have been appreciated by students and teachers. There is bound to be tremendous growth in this area, as the pandemic continues into its second year.
So, if one were to look into the crystal ball, a major technological shift is underway, which may lead to permanent changes in educational structures and online teaching and learning may become an inevitable part of the life of a student.