COVID-19 fundamentally altered the higher education landscape. In the early days of the pandemic, colleges and universities had to call a halt to in-person classes quickly, leading to a haphazard transition to an eLearning model.
However, as time has passed, higher education institutions have been able to refine their approach. There’s been a rapid evolution in the eLearning landscape, and many of the changes will continue to be developed and refined over time.
If you are wondering how eLearning has adapted to the challenges of the times, what lessons have been learned along the way, and why eLearning will remain a primary learning mode in a post-COVID world, here’s what you need to know.
Remote Learning Challenges
eLearning isn’t without its challenges. First, many colleges and universities were ill-prepared for the initial rapid transition, leaving them scrambling when they quickly had to adapt in-person courses to remote ones.
Second, issues of connectivity existed both for professors and students. Along with needing robust tech solutions from the schools, many had to find ways to connect from home. Access to broadband, for example, was a problem for some.
Finally, engagement can be hard to manage with eLearning. If an online course doesn’t provide opportunities for active participation, some students struggle to remain focused. As a result, they may underperform in comparison to how they would be in a classroom environment, something that can be problematic.
The Evolution of eLearning Best Practices
In response to COVID-19, many higher education institutions had to embrace new best practices to assist remote students. For example, social and collaborative experiences were added by some to boost engagement, creating a way to participate more directly. In some cases, fully interactive online modules were developed, allowing students to play an active role in each lesson.
Greater emphasis has also been placed on flexibility. Integrating asynchronous approaches made it easier for students to fit learning into their lives, providing them much needed agility during uncertain times.
Why eLearning Will Remain Relevant
While many colleges and universities have reopened, at least to a degree, eLearning is going to remain a greater part of the educational paradigm. While one of the big drivers is going to be student interest, as many students continue to want the flexibility offered by remote learning, the justification goes well beyond that.
With eLearning, the option for synchronous and asynchronous learning both exist. Students can participate in live lectures and then, if they are recorded, listen again if they need additional clarification. Additionally, facilitating discussions can be easier, as students can all engage in message boards at any time, day or night.
Scalability is also something that’s easier to manage with eLearning modes, as the number of participants isn’t limited by the physical size of a classroom. Course consistency, cost reductions, and eco-friendliness are also part of the package.
Are You Ready for the Future of eLearning?
If you need support from L&D experts to fully embrace eLearning in 2021, Clarity Consultants wants to hear from you. Clarity has more than a quarter of a century of L&D experience, giving you access to experts that can make integrating eLearning into your program easier than ever before. Plus, the Clarity staff can become your candidate search ally, ensuring you can tap the talent you need quickly.
If you want to partner with L&D professionals who can help you create effective eLearning programs, Clarity Consultants is here. Contact us today.