The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and self-isolation regime have led to a real boom in e-learning and distance education.
Many students around the world have had to move from classrooms to online conferences. A large number of assignments and essays were also transformed into an online format, which was a stressful moment for some students. Special services, such as StudyEssay writing company, can help with the endless number of assignments. Nowadays, there are also special proofreading tools that can help students during their online classes. Among them are Grammarly, ProWritingAid, Paperrater, Typely, etc.
Let’s try to figure out together what this is about, and at the same time try to answer the main question: is e-learning a tribute to fashion or is it our progressive future?
5 Current Trends of E-Learning
The following trends in e-learning have become popular over the past few years and are becoming more widespread every year:
Adaptive or personalized learning – a model whose main idea is to adjust to each learner’s abilities, knowledge, skills, and even mood.
- Microlearning, which is based on the following principles: duration of each unit of content from 1 to 15 minutes; focus on the result of training; ability to broadcast the content on any platforms and devices. With such training the brain of the learner is not overloaded, and the learning material is absorbed better.
- Development of flexible skills such as leadership, creativity, responsibility, critical thinking, discipline, teamwork, and others. Every year more and more tasks are being automated. That is why according to the estimates of the World Economic Forum 54% of all employees will need retraining by 2024. Professional skills are receding into the background, and in the future, it will be flexible skills that will play a key role in the hiring process.
- Virtual reality is a tech-generated world that interacts with humans through sensations such as seeing, hearing, touching, and others. The main advantage of VR is the immersive effect, which consists in the fact that the student ceases to feel like an external observer and begins to perceive the virtual world as a real one.
- Augmented reality is the technology of adding imaginary objects to the sensations coming from the real world in order to supplement the information received and improve the perception of information. The use of augmented reality systems in educational activities makes it possible to recreate incredible processes and phenomena that are physically impossible to realize in real life.
- Artificial intelligence is the property of artificially created systems and programs to perform creative functions that are traditionally considered the prerogative of humans. The most common use of artificial intelligence is in chatbots, programs that find out users’ needs and then help meet them.
A prime example of a chatbot is Siri, the smart assistant for Apple device owners. Joe Ganci, president of eLearningJoe, a U.S. eLearning consulting and training company, notes: “Chatbots can bring tremendous benefits to learning. For example, you can augment a dialog simulator with artificial intelligence. Imagine how much more complex and realistic the task of working through the objections of virtual customers would become.”
Also, e-learning 2.0 (e-learning based on Web 2.0 technology, where users create content themselves using blogs, wikis, podcasts, and social networks) and m-learning (learning with mobile devices) have been increasingly used recently.
Top 3 E-learning Solutions For Students
To better understand the definition of e-learning, let us consider the solutions that are most commonly used today by educational institutions when training schoolchildren and students.
- The first place in this rating is e-learning courses. They are thematically completed with structured training material. These courses include learning objectives, corresponding educational content, and final control tools. The popularity of the courses is due to their low cost, ease of development, and high learning efficiency. Most of them do not even require a good computer or Internet connection.
- Then video conferencing and video lessons go. This is telecommunication between a group of people. In the case of videoconferencing, all participants see and hear each other, while in a video class participants see and hear only one lecturer. Video broadcasting classes are used by lots of universities today.
- The third place in the ranking of e-learning solutions is occupied by simulators. Thanks to them, students and experts all over the world can practice practical skills. An important aspect is that when studying on simulators, students are practically stress-free because they are not afraid to break expensive equipment when rolling metal, blow up a factory when pumping oil products, or kill people when flying an airplane.
E-learning in The World
Today, the greatest number of consumers of e-learning solutions is concentrated in the United States and Canada, and among European countries – in Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain, and France.
More than two hundred universities and thousands of colleges in the U.S. offer distance learning. And the number of online courses is increasing annually by about 40%. According to some American experts, by 2025 “half of today’s colleges will close, merge with their competitors or fundamentally change their mission”. Moreover, “half of all US university programs will soon be available online“.
It is no longer enough for Americans to have one degree issued 10-15 years ago. That is why many students at private and public institutions of higher learning are over 25 years old. Increased competition for high-paying jobs, combined with the shift to telecommuting and the rapid development of technology, is forcing them to learn constantly.
For many Americans, the traditional form of presenting information in the form of lectures is becoming unacceptable. They prefer interactive forms of learning and are more responsible for independent work. Their aim is to get and develop specific knowledge that will help them in their future work. Instead of a diploma many of them prefer to get a certificate confirming their knowledge of specific disciplines and methods. In this regard, the world is now paying special attention to the credibility and quality of knowledge that some e-learning solutions offer.