Remote and Hybrid e-Learning May Be a Permanent Strategy
Contributed by Tali Haim
28 June, 2021
The global pandemic that hit the world in 2020 displaced up to 1.2 billion students from their classrooms. The COVID-19 virus caught a lot of instructors and schools by surprise. As a result, several institutions did not have enough time and resources to make the transition from brick-and-mortar classes to virtual classes.
This does not mean that online learning is a new phenomenon in schools. However, many schools were forced to switch to fully remote learning. There is also an increase in the number of online platforms offering digital learning solutions. Others even offer students with a college email address discounts on certain courses.
What Is Remote Learning?
Remote learning refers to a learning environment where the student, the tutor, or information resources are not physically present in a typical classroom setting. Instead, information is delivered through technologies such as videoconferencing, discussion boards, and online assessments.
Remote learning can happen synchronously with real-time interaction and collaboration. Alternatively, it can also happen asynchronously with tailored learning activities that happen without the instructor's intervention.
It is a popular form of learning, especially among college goers with sites like Preply offering discounts to students post pandemic. Initiatives like this allow students to take advantage of discounts available on online learning platforms to learn different subjects.
During the pandemic, individuals that thought online learning was not practical had time to reflect. Studies reveal that a majority have since changed their minds about online learning and have appreciated it more.
What Is Hybrid Learning?
Hybrid learning entails combining the typical classroom experiences, experiential learning objectives, and digital course delivery, emphasizing using the most appropriate option for each learning objective.
Therefore, unlike blended learning models that aim to balance face-to-face and online aspects within a course, hybrid classrooms differ based on the subject matter being taught and learners' specific needs.
Designing a hybrid course is a delicate process that needs the input of several professionals for its potential to be realized. The courses are supposed to be designed based on the best practices established in previous course designs and learner's specific needs.
Hybrid learning course design also takes into account many other factors. For instance, they must take into account that geographical limitations might stop students from lab sessions. Thanks to innovations such as Learning Management Systems, learners can get the best of hybrid learning.
What Is The Difference Between Remote Learning And Hybrid Learning?
Remote learning occurs in an environment where the tutor and the learner are separated by time and distance, meaning that it does not happen in a typical classroom setting.
On the other hand, hybrid learning integrates traditional classroom learning with online or remote activities.
Do Students Need The Four-Year Residential Experience?
To answer this question, you must understand the parts of the four-year model that can be substituted, those that can be supplemented, and which ones can be complemented by digital technologies.
Theoretically, some lectures don't need personalization or a lecturer's intervention. Such lectures can be recorded as multimedia presentations which students can watch at their own pace and place.
This means that commoditized parts of the curriculum can be delivered easily by a non-university instructor on an online learning platform. For example, teaching a language like English is nearly the same all over the world. which means that students can learn English online at a discounted rate.
It will take a few years to implement the hybrid classroom model to ascertain which courses can be taught remotely while those require some face-to-face time.
What Is The Future Of Learning?
The future of learning at the moment is still clouded with a lot of uncertainty. Some schools are expecting that their classrooms will be full once the world gets past the pandemic. But, the big question is what happens to remote and hybrid learning? What will become of the significant investments that schools have made in IT infrastructure to transform their learning models?
The choice of new teaching models will be critical when schools realize that they must move from the traditional system. Experts argue that schools must implement more flexible teaching and learning systems that incorporate in-person learning, remote and hybrid learning.
A school that has the infrastructure to run the three systems will be better prepared for any eventualities. Therefore, no school will want to ignore the investments they have made in reaction to the effects of the pandemic. This means that remote and hybrid learning will gradually become prevalent in the global education system as time goes by.
Parents and students have already tasted the benefits of remote learning. For example, online learning can allow you to discover yourself in a new language or take advantage of student discounts on certain courses. Besides, the flexibility that comes with online learning models is also something many would want to continue.
In this regard, it will take the collaboration of all the stakeholders to develop a system that does not claw back on the gains made during the pandemic while maintaining the strengths of the traditional systems.
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