Why Remote Learning is an Avenue That is Worth Exploring
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As the power of technology continues to increase, so does its almost seemingly limitless communication capabilities. Rapid growth brought us Web 2.0, which fundamentally changed the way people communicated online and made the entire experience more user-driven and interactive. Tools that were once considered cutting edge are now commonplace and have new competitors hot on their heels.
One of the most fundamental changes brought about in the last decade is the rise of remote learning. There are numerous definitions of remote learning, most of which contain technology of some sort. However, the practice is implemented differently depending on the institution or platform you use. Generally, technology is used to facilitate one and two-way interaction over a platform that delivers educational content. The concept has been around since the 90s. However, only relatively recently have we got to a place where technology is being implemented with great success.
The Distance Education Enrollment Report eluded to the potential of remote learning, with nearly 30 per cent of postsecondary learners, or more than six million students, having taken at least one course online. Add to that the growth potential of an industry which is set to be worth $252 billion by the end of 2020, and you can see why eLearning is an avenue that is worth exploring.
Moreover, with the global climate crisis and health pandemics, remote learning has become even more relevant today. Schools, universities and corporates can continue imparting education and training by leveraging technology in the time of social distancing due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The rise of learning management systems
While online learning has existed in some capacity for decades, the underlying technology that it relied on did not provide an adequate learning platform. Learning management systems offer a holistic educational approach and allow educators to take a more focused approach when delivering content. Overall, there are a few core reasons to opt for a learning management system:
Learn Anywhere, Anytime
With more than 2.8 billion people using mobile devices in Asia alone, the desire to be mobile-ready is more significant than ever. Learning online removes the constraints of a typical education environment. Gone is the need to be on campus at a specific time of day and remain there for the duration of numerous classes. It gives people the flexibility to be able to learn at home, anytime they want. The advancement in mobile technology has precipitated this, allowing developers to create a suitable learning platform that can fit into the palm of your hand.
More importantly, it has also made learning a viable choice for many rural communities who are unable to travel the vast distances to school every day and to remote teams working for companies located afar. Now face-to-face training can be supplemented with online learning to provide the learner with a more balanced approach that utilises a wider variety of learning styles.
For students, the availability of high-quality teachers is often a serious issue in remote areas, as educators tend to work at the best schools which are located in the cities. eLearning seamlessly connects excellent teachers with deserving students.
On the other hand, companies around the world — startups, SMEs and MNCs alike — are experiencing a stronger need for upgrading the skills of their staff to stay ahead of the competition and cope with volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous circumstances in light of the coronavirus pandemic and its repercussions on world economy. Businesses are experiencing sharp declines in volume and revenue; and according to Gallup, they are rapidly expanding training opportunities to make the best of the situation. With working from home and handling remote teams becoming the new normal, the way companies engage and collectively train their workforce would have to change. We need to move from face-to-face training to online to consistently and effectively train remote workers who are based everywhere, anytime.
Personalised Learning Experience
When it comes to learning, one size doesn't fit all. People have varied learning styles that change depending on the nature of the content they are trying to absorb. eLearning allows learners to personalise their education, focusing on areas that need greater attention in more detail. Also, rather than being a one-way path where the learner listens and takes in information, online training means that learners can pursue areas that interest them in more detail.
In a world where attention spans have shrunk by four seconds - from 12 seconds to 8.25 seconds- in just 15 years, holding focus is harder than ever. Keeping learners engaged throughout the training is one of the key struggles.
One of the strengths of eLearning is the diverse nature in which the course content is delivered. Learners are now used to and expect interactivity. Brightspace allows trainers to provide multimedia recordings to make training more engaging. With the game engine, they also have the option to gamify content and include rewards once sections are completed for young employees and fresh graduates who might have just passed out from school and are still transitioning to the corporate world. Quizzes, polls, and discussion boards also mean trainees get to discuss content and interact with one another.