The change to online or E-learning came suddenly and quickly. Many professors and teachers had to switch their curriculum to fit an online learning style. Some may think it is as simple as setting up the course, opening up a Zoom account and expecting your students to show up to the online lecture. However, to get the most out of online teaching, it must go both ways – the professor willing to create a thoughtful approach to instruction and the student willing to learn.
Many schools are currently operating through online classes or distance learning. So, let’s take a look at how online learning is extremely important, especially right now and ultimately the benefits of it all.
Firstly, for those who don’t know online learning is education that takes place over the internet. Due to COVID-19, almost all schools, colleges and universities have switched over to e-learning to ensure the safety of their students, instructors and professors.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost one-third of students in the United States at postsecondary institutions take at least one online course. Before this pandemic, many colleges and universities offered online programs for their post-secondary education. Depending on your school or program, distance learning will look different for all. Some may use online video conferencing software or provide out-of-class assignments. Whatever the case may be, students will find some benefit from all of this once they get the hang of it!
The main problem that arose from coronavirus was the disease spreading from person to person. However, one of the benefits that come from online learning is the reduction of interaction between students and instructors, taking public transportation to class, sitting in a classroom together and much more.
Another benefit of online learning is being time-efficient. With the help of a virtual classroom, any documents such as homework, syllabi and assignments can be uploaded immediately – all while reducing paper and saving trees! Students and instructors also have the ability to save time by not having to commute as much and cutting down travel time. This time can be put towards focusing on lectures and other class assignments.
Some students may have experienced taking an online class before or some sort of distance learning. However, for many, this could be completely new and a total change of pace – especially since the whole curriculum is online now. What we need to remember is that many people have transferred to online learning simply to protect one another. Although it may not be ideal – it is necessary.
Since it may be hard for some to get used to learning and even teaching online, the best thing is to be patient and focus on the end goal. Another positive aspect of e-learning is the fact that you can improve upon many soft skills including writing skills, organization, time management, attention to detail and more. By building upon skills you have, you may find that learning on the internet isn’t actually all that bad.
Many students are trying to find ways to navigate their studies and life during this pandemic. Students find e-learning easy to use as it works with their current work and life responsibilities. Along with your everyday routine, you can easily add on online learning to the list.
One of the main problems that came from the switch to online learning was people not having access to a computer or WI-FI at home. In most cases though, schools provide their students and faculty with a laptop or Chromebook for school-related work, similar to how Brookline College has done. The faculty at Brookline received Chromebooks to help facilitate online learning as best as they could for the students and others.
It’s not easy going from what we know to be normal to everything suddenly turning around. However, how we handle the situation is what matters the most. Whether it is practicing social distancing or continuing your education online, the job can and will get done.