Studying online has been in practice for many years now, especially for those taking up courses in foreign universities or pursuing distance education. But it was not considered part of the mainstream education system and often looked down upon condescendingly by various stakeholders including educators. However, a pandemic seems to have turned the entire ecosystem and its associated thought process upside down. With COVID-19 disrupting normal lifestyle of people worldwide, many people have moved to the virtual world to conduct their lives or earn livelihoods. As educational institutions remain shut to stop the spread of the contagion, online education has become the new normal of learning – from pre-primary to the university. In fact, the market for online education is projected to touch $350 billion by 2025 (Source: Research and Markets.)
No sooner the lockdown was announced that the educational institutions rushed to embrace the online mode of learning – arguably with little preparation, no training, and insufficient bandwidth. This quick transition, however, had led to a lot of unanswered questions. For example, was everyone prepared for this transition? Was the quality of education similar to the one imparted inside physical classrooms? Or how to conduct evaluation and examination online? The sudden transition had left a large number of faculties and students grappling with the new reality. In fact, many of them found it difficult to access and navigate the eLearning portals or prepare curricula for the same.
Many students, especially the ones from socially marginalized backgrounds, are finding it difficult to adapt to this new mode of learning. The poor quality of eLearning software (alongwith other requisites like insufficient bandwidth, poor quality device etc) seems to have turned their experience of online learning a nightmare. It appears that many educational institutions, in order to join the online league in a hurry, did not carry out proper due diligence of the type of eLearning software to be used. In many cases, the ‘online mode of learning’ was a poorly made video containing instructions, which were difficult to listen to let alone be interpreted and internalized. The result – unhappy lots on either side of the spectrum (educators and students/parents).
Since the pandemic is not going away in a hurry and online education is going to be the norm, at least in the foreseeable future, educational institutions or coaching centres should consider adapting to a robust Learning Management System. When it is about maintaining the credibility of the whole online learning process and ensuring better learning outcomes, embracing a dynamic eLearning solution is the way to go. Let us understand the features that a robust LMS should have, which would help everyone – the admin, teacher/trainer, and the students.
It is only by embracing a dynamic LMS that educational institutions or coaching centres can create an effective virtual classroom environment for everyone’s benefit. The essential features of such an LMS are:
With the world moving online rapidly (pandemic or no pandemic,) the education sector cannot remain stuck in time but move along. The popularity of virtual classrooms in these days of the pandemic notwithstanding, the role of a robust learning management system in delivering great learning experiences to the students cannot be ignored. Should you be running an educational institution or coaching centre, it is time you analyze the features of a robust LMS developed by an experienced website development company. Further, as a corporate enterprise too you can consider adopting an eLearning management system to help your business’s training needs.
Soumi Bhattacharya is an experienced content developer & keen observer of all things digital. Analyzing the latest trends in technology is her forte.