Some learning institutions have long embraced edtech solutions or been in the process of transitioning to a learning management system (LMS) to facilitate education. On the other end of the spectrum, some schools were faced with a hasty and unplanned jump into eLearning when faced with lockdowns. A massive disruption in the learning process for billions of students this year has unsurfaced the need for being prepared to pivot from in-person education to remote learning.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, eLearning in Asia was starting to see swift growth. Global investments in edtech had reached $18.66 billion USD in 2019 with a future projection of $350 billion USD by 2025. In Asia-Pacific, many of the countries here are made up of young and tech-savvy populations who welcome digital solutions, which is what makes the perfect demographic for the implementation of eLearning here.
The evolution of the classroom
With school shutdowns happening rapidly, institutions that were caught off-guard ended up using applications designed more for video conferencing than education. Many learned the lesson the hard way – through trying to disseminate information to a jumble of thirty to forty screens, teachers, tutors and trainers started to realise that a good LMS can make a world of difference in more efficient and manageable eLearning environment, particularly, in our new normal.
An LMS can create a smooth-running education process through in-house material creation, by providing the foundation to develop learning materials that support the system. Opening up access to course materials allows teachers, specifically those who are facing issues with making the switch, a framework from which to develop lessons. This content, consisting of templates for assignments as well as rubrics, instructional briefs, and presentations, can bring a substantial amount of value to the classroom. Without the relevant tools to streamline this process, educators may struggle with content material to large cohorts, such as by means of screensharing a slideshow or email distribution, which would not be efficient in the long run.
Accessibility for all
Convenience is a determining factor of an efficient education system. The integration of an LMS in the learning process assures this for all parties involved. Unlike other platforms, LMS stores all its data in a cloud-based system. This, in turn, makes lessons and course materials accessible through any device and at any time. As the platform functions as a storage space for content, the eLearning platform takes away the hassle of students having to download large volumes of data into an individual device, which is something that could greatly affect the accessibility for people owning older devices and storage capacity.
Where it is proven that learners require constant simulation and reminders for better retention, online edtech tools can allow for gamification, an approach that has been shown to improve performance by 40%, in the learning process to boost interest and engagement. Game-style learning can also build up the learner’s focus by encouraging active learning. One of the cons of video-conferencing applications is the absence of incentives. Rewards for good performance can sometimes be crucial to boosting student morale and encouraging friendly competition among peers. Considering how smart devices have integrated throughout society, every learner stands to benefit from accessibility to LMS applications and its game elements.
The role of Artificial intelligence and automation
By blending content with evaluation, educators can leverage the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor student’s activities and progress more closely. Advances in AI over the past seven years have opened up opportunities for machines to analyse data through the use of algorithms to provide data-driven insights in education. With LMS providing the platform for smarter tools, instructors can now use this analysis to tailor their teaching methods to optimise learning.
Traditional computerised tutoring could only simulate real adaptation to the student’s choices, and with new dynamics and informative real-time data, the application can now happen immediately to cater to a student’s needs, often before the student even realises it. It has been evidenced in AI-based tutoring that students who studied under this approach managed to outperform their peers 92% of the time, and the difference in that performance was a substantial 78% of the time. That being said, AI and machine learning are not just trends put in the market to sell products and services, these tools have a real, proven effect on student performance, and integration into an LMS is quintessential to a more valuable education for tutors and learners alike.
A learning management system, such as D2L’s Brightspace, provides a valuable platform for educators that recognise the need to quickly pivot between in-person and remote learning today. Machine learning and AI being used in the education process means that instructors are given valuable insight through essential analytics. This can ensure that they know the next steps to aid in reaching a student’s potential by removing certain blocks that the previous generations have faced. The presence of a well-constructed LMS is also a sustainable solution for the post-pandemic world ahead. With structural support and helpful built-in applications, the platform aids in customisation and saves time for educators to expend their resources on creating even better experiences for the classroom. For high-quality education, it is the responsibility of the education provider to consider all these elements when picking a suitable LMS.
The pandemic has acted as the main driver for edtech in Asia, but this does not mean that the need for edtech will cease in the new normal. If anything, the shutdown of society has brought to light the sustainability and efficiency that disruptive solutions in edtech can bring to the table. For instance, learning management systems have provided immense support to institutions making the switch, and it can continue to be a scalable solution for quality education in the future. From workplace training to academic contexts, every learning environment needs a holistic solution in order to future-proof training, and this is where an LMS could be a valuable tool.
This article was first published in Tech Collective.