The modern workforce today is evolving in the way it hires recruits. There is an increasing shift towards hiring for skills, not degrees. Recruiters seek a mix of domain, cognitive and interpersonal skills in a potential hire. Unfortunately, the higher education framework is yet to catch up with the needs of the evolving workplace.
With the growth of virtual education, some higher education providers are looking to upgrade their virtual education modules. Attempts are being made worldwide to raise the standard of virtual education with a mix of technology and creativity. Yet, many challenges to online learning remain unaddressed.
This is where the principles of elearning can revolutionize online education, and this shift is already happening. In 2020, the global eLearning market was valued at $197 billion. Moreover, it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.5% to reach an estimated market size of $840.11 billion by 2030.
In this blog, we look at the biggest challenges facing online education today and how elearning is emerging as a solution to address them.
The Six Key Challenges and Solutions
A study by Learning House Inc. indicated that 37% of students who enrolled in both onsite and online courses felt their online experience was superior. Additionally, 87% felt it was either as good or better.
Going from there, let’s understand the challenges to online education and the eLearning solutions that can transform the learning experience.
Too Many Communication Channels
When most universities in higher education institutes went online in 2020, one of the biggest challenges they faced was that educators were using multiple communication channels.
This included messaging apps and email and video conferences to host live sessions, send notifications, and share resources. In addition, they faced multiple challenges, such as limited bandwidth, the inability to communicate with a larger number of learners effectively at one time, and the inability to store resources in one place.
A solution to this problem is that higher education providers can now leverage a single unified platform, which makes it easy to store, categorize, and share sources. In addition, it offers a seamless, superior experience to all stakeholders, such as learners, parents, guest lecturers, and educators, who can be easily onboarded on one platform.
Understanding Tough Concepts is a Challenge
Learners need to master the fundamentals of each subject. Sometimes there is a need for enhanced interactive resources to supplement instructor-led lectures.
By leveraging mediums such as animated videos, 3D learning, augmented reality, and virtual reality, higher education experts can build an immersive experience for learners. This approach makes for a better understanding and retention of concepts.
Lack of Hands-On Understanding
Textbooks offer conceptual knowledge, theories, and information across all subjects. However, there is a need for learners also to invite skills and a deeper understanding.
E-learning enables them to get hands-on experience with simulated live projects. They can also work on the project as teams and build collaborative skills. A mix of domain, interpersonal, and communication skills is tested together.
For instance, students may be given a project where they need to apply a mathematics formula to solve a problem. They may need first to identify which mathematics formula to apply. They also need to use more than one formula at a time, thus making the experience both challenging and rewarding.
Lack of Revision
Learners need to continue practicing and revising to excel in their field. Many learners do invest enough time and effort in revisions. Hence, they end up getting what they have already learned. However, eLearning applies gamification to the learning process.
This approach makes revision extremely addictive and nudges learners to revise regularly. They will receive notifications reminding them to practice daily. As they practice more and more, they also receive rewards, which adds incentive to the journey.
The unaffordability of Physical Textbooks
The price of physical textbooks is continually going up. As a result, learners often end up buying second-hand books or accessing pirated copies. These books are extremely heavy to transport and difficult to store.
However, in the last two or three years, more learners are adopting interactive eBooks, which deliver high value. In addition, learners can “listen” to the content of the books, thus reducing screen time.
They can highlight important pages, communicate with educators and fellow learners through comments, and instantly leverage the search function to locate information.
New-age eBooks come with interactive content in videos, audio presentations, and infographics. They also hyperlink to content outside of the eBook to enhance learning.
Lack of Data on Learner Engagement
Access to data offers educators insight into the habits of learners. Right from the early days, learning has always depended upon data insights as a guide to enhance the learning process.
Data enables educators to understand which learning resources are most useful, how they respond to gamification, which resources are least visited and need to be upgraded, what times of the day learners are logging in, and from which geography.
Educators can search from relevant data with customizable dashboards and receive insights within minutes.
Interactivity vs. Effectiveness
Too often, education providers cram a lot of interactive modules to help enhance the quality of learning. However, an excess of interactivity does not translate to effective learning.
At times it can be distracting, confusing, and time-consuming. But it may not translate into the learning outcomes that an education provider is looking to drive.
The impact of eLearning ultimately lies in the ability of learners to absorb and retain knowledge and build ski
lls. Hence, a thorough understanding of learning needs and outcomes must dictate the shift toward e-learning.
The sooner higher education providers address key challenges to online learning, the sooner they can offer a superior experience to learners that will give them a competitive edge in the world of work.
However, this shift requires a strong understanding of the eLearning space and how to make learning effective. This is where partnering with a digital software development specialist can empower higher education providers to transform their learning outcomes.
A digital partner brings innovation to the table while it frees up the bandwidth of educators to focus on aspects such as pedagogy, delivery, and the progress of learners.
If you are a higher education provider struggling with challenges to online learning, Hurix Digital offers customized services to help you deliver a superior educational experience to learners. Connect with us to start a conversation.