Online education was on the rise long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the global crisis has forced the world to quickly adapt to online learning and the new trends in online education. Thanks to the technology that has been created to aid in online interactions, the transition from in-person to online learning has been relatively smooth and has facilitated access to education for everyone.
The trends in online education being implemented in 2022 seek to benefit both online students and educators. In this article, we discuss the current trends in online education and shine a light on what some future trends in online education will be. Continue reading to find out what the top trends in online education are and what you can do to benefit students.
What Is Online Education?
Online education is education done remotely and electronically by both the teachers and students with the use of the Internet. Further, both the teaching of classes and distribution of class materials is done through online education platforms where students can interact with their teachers.
What Is the Current State in Online Education?
As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact society, online learning continues to be the most conducive way to keep the educational programs of schools, universities, and other educational centers around the world going. Thanks to advanced technologies, there are many platforms to facilitate this learning.
We don’t know when traditional education will return, so the education sector has opted for online alternatives that allow an educational experience based on interactive content through video learning.
This trend does come with some drawbacks. According to Statista, 25 percent of online students worry about balancing school with home responsibilities, and 15 percent are concerned about the quality of instruction and academic support.
Impact of Remote Work on Online Education
Remote work has benefited greatly from online education, as more and more workers choose to take online courses that will help them improve their skills. In recent times, adult learners have been able to work from home and study at the same time, with an organized schedule that accommodates everything.
Remote learners have also benefited from the closure of schools by being able to enroll in online programs that previously they could only attend in person. A formal program that is delivered online offers similar benefits to a face-to-face program.
Top Challenges in Online Education
Although online education has many advantages for most people, it faces some significant challenges. Some of these challenges facing the education industry today relate to the advantages of a physical classroom that cannot be replaced by an online classroom.
- Motivation. Students often feel a lack of motivation because online classes lack interpersonal contact. This is why it is necessary to make classes interactive and to obtain a learning methodology that keeps students engaged.
- Interaction. The lack of interaction in online classes causes students to feel disconnected from the class. They often turn off their camera and do other things while attending the class. This contributes to the lack of attention from teachers to students and their needs.
- Technical issues. It is common to experience technical problems when connecting to online classes. These problems can prevent students or teachers from getting the most out of the class and affects the flow of learning.
- Distractions. Distractions are a common problem, as students at home are surrounded by a lot of distractions. That is why good time management with the use of scheduling is of great importance.
- Social aspects. Although efforts are made to achieve social interaction in online classes, such as the implementation of social classrooms, they do not replace physical relationships. The bonds formed in person cannot be replaced, which is a difficult challenge to address.
What Are Some Future Trends in Online Education?
A new approach to education has been formed, whereby instructors provide the learning tools, materials, and content online, and deliver lessons through digital formats using software and technology. Due to this new approach, there are now new trends in online education, some of which are outlined in the section below.
Experts Share Their Knowledge
Since online education is now widely available, many experts from different fields have used this opportunity of online education to provide courses on the Internet. It is now easier than ever for experts to join the elearning market to share their knowledge and expertise on niche subjects to a large number of people.
Why Is This Trend Important?
The knowledge provided by experts, with some courses providing certification upon course completion, provides online students with relevant knowledge for their industry. Many adult learners use these courses as a way to reskill during the pandemic and obtain their dream jobs.
Online learning has created a more flexible learning environment. Students can access course content and study from wherever best suits them, and live classes are a less stressful way to clarify doubts by asking questions in the chat. This type of education is also adaptive to student schedules.
Why Is This Trend Important?
Having a more flexible environment allows students to use their free or allocated school time for learning while being able to access the class whenever they need it. Many teachers may even choose to record the class for students to review later.
Artificial Intelligence in Online Education
Artificial intelligence has been integrated into the education system, making educational programs increasingly personalized. Modern learners will be able to benefit from personalized learning, receiving content and course recommendations based on their profile, performance, and behavior.
Why Is This Trend Important?
Machine learning has enabled online education to be tailored to the needs of learners, as it relies on cognitive technologies. Thanks to AI, personalized tutoring can provide real-time feedback and content based on student performance.
Games in Education
Including game-based strategies in online learning has become a more fun way to learn. Some of these strategies that are used are badges for participation in activities, scorecards, and leaderboards. There are tools that teachers can use to turn classroom topics into games.
Why Is This Trend Important?
Game-based learning works to motivate and encourage students to learn, as it makes learning look fun. It also serves to increase students’ engagement with the topics covered in class and can improve behavioral and cognitive abilities, according to an article from the Educational Technology Journal.
Online communities are a way for learners to interact with students and instructors from all over the world. This is a way for students to reinforce knowledge with peers who are at the same level, or those at a more advanced level who can help them understand advanced concepts. They serve as a virtual campus for people looking to develop in the same field.
Why Is This Trend Important?
These communities foster relationships between students and motivate them to continue learning together. Through private groups, instructors can organize their community and ensure that their knowledge reaches everyone, while also fostering professional relationships. Online education trends like this can also provide a wider variety of resources than those available in a traditional classroom.
Essential Online Education Skills for Today’s Professionals
Today’s professionals acquire skills by studying online. These skills play an important role in their professional lives and help them perform better in their jobs. The following are some of these in-demand skills.
- Computer skills. Students learn to use many digital tools, since both classes and educational resources are handled on the computer. Mobile learning has made many students develop basic computer skills that are of great help in their professional lives.
- Critical thinking. Online teaching encourages critical thinking, as students must learn to discern, understand, and analyze the issues addressed from different points of view. For this, online programs use a variety of tools including games, among other activities.
- Teaching methods. Both teachers and students learn to work under different teaching methods for online classes. Since this is still a very new way of teaching, students have had to adapt to new learning techniques.
- Productivity. According to a paper from the ERIC Institute of Education Sciences, Productivity is key to student success and online programs can help students be more productive when taught correctly. Students must make the most of their time and adapt to not being in person in order to fulfill their educational duties.
- Research skills. Research skills are developed in online education, which will prove beneficial in the workplace. Students learn to search for information successfully and to identify and present their ideas effectively.
Current Trends in Online Education: Take the Next Step in Your Career
The trends in online education that are being implemented today will affect the future of education, as they involve lifelong learning. These trends are being implemented by schools and higher education institutions that intend to provide educational content through instructional videos directed to a wide learning community.
School administrators have made many efforts to make content accessible to everyone. They’ve accomplished this, providing innovative training content and student learning techniques that involve the essential skills that today’s professionals must have. Take advantage of an online program and gain the education you need for the career path you hope to succeed in.
Trends in Online Education FAQ
Some of the current trends in online education include classes and courses taught by experts in specific areas, the flexibility of classes, artificial intelligence in education, educational games, and online communities. The active learning educational experience includes numerous benefits to students for their professional life.
Online education is currently facing challenges such as lack of motivation and interaction, technical issues, distractions, and inequity in access to educational resources.
Online education offers a work and study-life balance that adapts to both student and teacher schedules. Thanks to the flexibility that this type of education offers, the pace of learning can be defined by the student, improving student performance.
Online virtual learning involves the interaction between students and teachers through the Internet and computer programs in which classes are taught. Different platforms and strategies are involved, such as video classes, the use of email, and online forums.
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