Research Project – English 1102
Name: – Pranav Chandiramani
Professor: – Dr. Rebecca Weaver
Date: – April 27, 2021
The world has become an epitome of new inventions and change. When the worst ever Coronavirus pandemic hit the planet, a series of sudden changes had to be adopted by the whole world. The major change that affected the educational environment all over the world was the shift to the online mode of learning. This online learning method had begun to exist since this decade, but it was not in great use compared to attending classes in person. The main argument of this essay is to discuss the future of the online mode of learning. With the whole world implementing this method at present, the online mode of learning has some major advancements upcoming in the near future which may question the preexisting in-person or face-to-face method of learning. The Article “Pivot to Online: A Student Guide” by Sean Michael Morris relates to my area of discussion as it tells us more information about how the change from in-person to online learning happened and tries to prepare the students and teachers to adapt to the online method of learning for the years to come.
When we talk about the future of digital education, the first thing that comes into the limelight is the word digital. The advancement in technology has been the greatest and the fastest in the history of humanity, the majority of students have access to devices such as laptops and smartphones to make their learning advanced. With this being stated, digital learning involves almost negligible in-person interaction among teachers and students. Digital systems have been already implemented into the whole educational ecosystem since computers have come into the affordable technology bracket. Every instant a wide variety of software enhancements are being implemented on computers all around the world and if we use it to form different techniques of approaching digital learning, then the future of digital learning is very radiant and compelling. George Veletsianos is Canada Research Chair of Innovative Learning and Technology and Associate Professor at Royal Roads University. George has also been developing online learning platforms since 2004. George in his book ‘Learning Online: The Student Experience’ states that “Recent researchers have identified artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and high-fidelity simulations as the technologies that seem most likely to have a future impact on online learning, which I imagine will soon be joined by a variety of other technologies that have not yet been developed.” (George Veletsianos. Learning Online: The Student Experience). This tells us that the future will be improved by inculcating these advanced technological achievements into digital learning which would have a great potential to engage students to opt for the online learning medium.
Another aspect of advancement in the future of digital learning is MOOCs known as Massive Online Open Courses. The MOOCs were introduced around the year 2008 and gained high momentum by 2012, these are free open courses accessible to anyone in the world with a computer and an internet connection and provided excellent classes taught by professors of highly credited universities like Harvard and Stanford. Since the concept of MOOCs, many individuals have taken classes on the platform and obtained certification which has helped them to advance their knowledge and career. The authors Patel and Fay of the book ‘Online Learning: An Educational Development Perspective’ encourage the ideology of implying that some technological advancement is beneficial to be put to use for teaching and learning. The authors mention that “Over the next decade, the shape of higher education globally will change irrevocably. A range of contemporary and innovative learning environments will mostly be superseded by the type of industrialized, online model of mass education imagined, especially at the undergraduate level.” (Patel, Fay. Online Learning: An Educational Development Perspective). The following statement provided by the author tells us that the MOOCs which are the online model of the mass educational environment have changed the way online learning was and has shaped a better future for it. The Major plus points which the online mode of learning has is that it reduces the cost for getting knowledge by a very high percentage and that it can be accessed by anyone in the world who wants to do it. Another advantage is that it may end up saving a lot of travel time for the students and teachers.
The flexibility provided by online learning makes it way more convenient to pursue than the traditional way of conducting classes. Students get to learn how to manage their time more efficiently with the flexible schedule of the digital learning method. For a person who is working part-time or full time, flexible schedules of online learning make it possible for them to learn and gain knowledge and help them to get advanced positions at their jobs or better jobs overall. The authors of this article ‘The future of online teaching and learning in higher education’ have research interests in online learning, MOOC’s and E-Learning and provide useful information in their article. Their article mentions “In addition, as bandwidth increases with the next-generation Internet technologies and capabilities, simulation and gaming tasks that online students engage in will be more realistic and authentic.” (Kim, Kyong-Jee, and Curtis J. Bonk. The future of online teaching and learning in higher education). The authors put forward the ideas of gamification and interactive learning, which can be a great boon in the future of online learning if these strategies are implemented. Gamification will be the ideology in which the students will be enabled to learn the content by playing interactive games developed by the new generation programming algorithms. With such strategies put in use, the future of online learning holds something very great for the time to come.
One can conclude from this research that there is a luminous future for digital learning and that it may change the education system for the good. This research also stated how advanced technology and software would play a major role in uplifting digital learning and the way it will be beneficial for the student’s personalized learning experience.
Work Cited: –
George Veletsianos. Learning Online : The Student Experience. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020.
Patel, Fay. Online Learning: An Educational Development Perspective. Nova Science Publishers, Inc, 2014.
Kim, Kyong-Jee, and Curtis J. Bonk. “The future of online teaching and learning in higher education.” Educause quarterly 29.4 (2006): 22-30.