Over the past two decades, the ways in which we teach and learn have been significantly impacted by technology and the internet. Access to courses and content online has exploded. Institutions of every size and type are now experimenting with various ways to teach and learn online.
According to a recent survey, enrollments in distance education courses have increased for the 14th straight year. Thirty-two percent of all students now take at least one distance education course, with two-thirds of students undertaking distance learning enrolled in public institutions and the majority studying for their undergraduate degree.
The last nearly two decades have proven to colleges and universities that online learning is not a fad or trend. It is a legitimate means of doing high-quality business. As students’ expectations around technology-enabled learning rise and students seek flexible alternatives to traditional on-campus learning models, demand for online learning will continue to increase.
So what innovations and trends can we expect to see in the field of online education in the coming few years? Here are five to consider:
- Virtual reality (VR) – With VR technology becoming more accessible and affordable, innovative post-secondary institutions are now turning to VR, integrated with mobile learning to create digital learning scenes for immersive learning opportunities and to enhance students’ understanding of complex subject matter.
- Online tutoring – The global tutoring market is growing at 13.7% CAGR. Advancements in technologies, including the incorporation of artificial intelligence, are now making it increasingly possible for students to seek and receive virtual tutoring assistance at the point of need.
- Mobile learning – Online learning is increasingly being accessed by students on mobile devices. Increasing computing power and rich features on these devices make for a dynamic and holistic learning experience. Broad availability of mobile devices globally also facilitates the delivery of learning experiences to nations and individuals that typically would be denied the benefit of post-secondary education.
- Gamification – Games empower learners, enrich learning experiences and boost learner engagement in course material.
- Video-based learning – Instructors can now deliver video-based lectures and content. Students find video-based learning more engaging, and can learn at their own pace. Video analytics help instructors better understand how students are interacting with the content.