Did you know that online training takes 40-60% less time to complete a course than traditional classroom training, and it can increase employee engagement in the workplace by over 18%? While some companies and educational establishments stick to old school, more than 50% of North American establishments have already adopted e-learning in one or the other form.
Gone are the days when simple training sessions required physical presence from both the learners and the tutors at common ground. Step into the future where all the involved parties are actively participating in online classrooms, events and courses regardless of their physical location. It is the era of e-learning and online teaching platforms.
E-learning with virtual communication has unbounded the traditional mode from countless dependencies and constraints. By eliminating the inefficiencies of traditional classrooms, online teaching platforms are offering the accessory tech that allows unlimited learning with proper interaction and efficiency. Be it corporate training, private tuitions, academic learning, or MOOCs (massive open online course), you can discover the online mode for teaching and learning in the entire sphere today.
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You can consider it as an everyday classroom setting, but with additional comforts of flexibility in choice location and time, and without the required logistics that go along with physical learning environments. Online teaching volunteers a vast array of advantages; we have listed some of the prominent ones below.
Advantages of online teaching platforms in comparison with traditional classroom
1. Flexibility of time and location for learning
The conventional teaching depends on specific time-periods and physical locations to facilitate an organized way of synchronous learning practices. Online learning, however, has changed this norm by making learning and teaching flexible in terms of availability and geographical location of the involved parties. It allows both learners and tutors to manage their time well, offering a flexible timetable to anyone who has an unstable working schedule.
2. Support for synchronous and asynchronous learning
Synchronous learning represents live sessions where both parties (learner and tutor) are available at the same time. This mode of learning is generally available in classroom sessions. E-learning tools, with sophisticated live streaming solutions, have made such sessions possible in the online environment as well. Nowadays, online learning has been well equipped with possibilities for brainstorming on any concept and developing individual opinions on the same. This is very similar to the traditional mode of learning.
On the other hand, asynchronous learning, which is a forte of e-learning, provides a discussion-medium in an asymmetric environment. The learners and tutors log into their individual user accounts and comment on the topics. The tutors provide feedback once they are available. By applying this approach, online training platforms offer a flexibility of submitting the opinions even in a busy life.
3. Utilization of teaching aid
Some tutors in classroom teaching do follow the unorthodox modes and utilize teaching aids to explain the concepts better. However, the physical aids are not as easy to obtain. They demand a substantial amount of time and money to become available in actual teaching sessions. Moreover, they are mostly available throughout the real-time sessions and not accessible to the learners once they are done with a particular period.
Comparatively, online learning allows an unlimited access to the virtual teaching aids even past the real-time session. For example, a PowerPoint presentation can be made available to learners and they can keep the copies with them. Even the video lectures are intangible. Once created, they are available to the learners for eternity. Intangible teaching aids in virtual classrooms are comparatively easier to implement and offer unlimited access irrespective of the location and time.
4. Interaction and learning progress tracking
Despite much encouragement, hardly a few interactions are made with the students in the old-school mode of learning. Though classroom training is accompanied by periodic exams to access the learning progress, they cannot do so in real-time. Can you, as a tutor, keep a track on each student during the teaching sessions itself? No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to equally track every student in the class.
Progress assessment in conventional learning mainly depends on facial expression and body language of the learners. Whereas, assessment in online learning is purely a figure-based approach, coming through the data recorded by a Learning Management System. The LMS tracks and analyzes the activities like sessions attended, assignments completed, time taken to complete an assignment and scores secured in quizzes, etc. A tutor or a learner can always view his or her graph in real-time and proceed accordingly without waiting for final exam or test.
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Breaking the barriers of education with e-learning
After going through the comparative advantages, we can now easily point out some crucial barriers that e-learning can break in contrast to the traditional learning. So, let us summarize and point out each of the barriers divided into three major categories: social, administrative and method barriers.
1. Breaking the social barriers
Geography is not a constraint anymore
Learning has found its home beyond the fortified walls of schools and colleges. Not just that, one does not need to move to a new place to attend the classes anymore. With online virtual classrooms, a tutor in the USA can take classes for the students in the UK.
Building a global community of learners and tutors
As online learning breaks the geographical barriers, it also gives a platform to the leaners for connecting with peer learners and tutors globally. Online teaching platforms provide forum boards, which can be used for mutual clarification of queries independently without a tutor as well.
Encouraging sharing of resources
By connecting with each other, learners are encouraged to share their knowledge with each other. They can distribute the learning materials and other corresponding resources among them in a convenient and instant manner.
2. Breaking the administrative barriers
Synchronous and asynchronous learning
Unlike traditional modes, learning is no more dependent on strict timings of schools and colleges. Leaners today are exposed to educational resources for 24x7, and they can attend live classes or pre-corded lectures based on their availability for the same.
Learning beyond the set methods
Writing notes and reading giant textbooks is not the only way to gain education. Tutors on online teaching platforms have been seen utilizing unorthodox methods to impart education in every possible way. They provide directions in multiple ways, such as through email and live chat features on the learning platforms.
Real-time tracking of progress
Now tutors need not wait for the seasonal exams and unit tests to assess the learning progress. With e-learning tech, they can conduct regular online quizzes and give assignments to assess the progress past completion of each module. It is faster and more effective as compared to traditional pen and paper-based tests and assignments.
3. Breaking the method barriers
Create courses in digestible chunks | Micro-learning
Digestible chunks mean breaking down the courses into smaller modules that are easier for the brain to grasp. These small modules are accumulated to form a bigger course overall. As a result, the micromodules, which are conceptually related information, are grouped together making a more meaningful and engaging material for the learners.
Set reminders to keep learners on track
E-learning offers the options to populate calendar-based courses with assigned deadlines. The automatic reminders make sure that involved parties stay on track and proceed accordingly. If a student falls behind, the tutor may speak with him or her and come up with plans to get back on track. This feature on online teaching platforms also helps students to provide feedback on the process so that they know how much they have to complete and when.
Go beyond text-based learning | Multimedia
A course in general on-boards different learners with dissimilar abilities and grasping strength. A pure text-based learning is not sufficient to teach everyone in the course. To cater to all the kinds of learners, using a variety of content-delivery methods makes sure that learners are engaged and trying to understand things. Online teaching breaks this barrier by including images, graphs, and videos to clarify the concepts.
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Online and traditional learning practices have their own benefits as well as disadvantages. Traditional learning offers a formal enhancement through face-to-face interactions and gives exposure to the school and college life. This article does not aim to prove that online education is superior to classroom learning. In fact, digital learning has become a crucial supplement in classroom learning these days, and even the conventional educational system is improving with it. We just aim at promoting online learning as an alternative where a desired classroom session is not accessible, practical or economical.
This is a guest post by Katie Taylor. Katie is a professional blogger, guest writer and Influencer. Currently associated with Pinlearn, an online teaching platform, as a content marketing strategist.