The future is clearly online. There will not be many activities involving reading stacks of physical papers, and focus will be on making online learning engaging, comprehensive and inclusive.
The internet is a revolution and is also responsible for bringing about a revolution in education.
Here we discuss some new and upcoming trends in online learning which will help stakeholders across the online school education system.
The physical schooling system has long been focussing on imbibing aspects involving the ideology – play & learn. Contrary to the desired outcomes, what is now practiced are old and worn-out systems of activities that are neither relevant nor useful.
Gamification is essentially the introduction of game design elements and gameful processes in the process of learning.
While gamification was developed as a concept to be used in higher level tasks, it is now being deployed in the education systems to achieve the desired learning objectives.
While the list is endless, gamification generally implies the usage of following game elements:
- Progress bars
- Leader boards
Gamification as a process includes proprietary approaches to inculcate collaboration, sportsmanship, leadership, self-guided study, completion of assignments & tasks and making assessments enjoyable and easier.
Gamification has a curiosity driven approach to it and helps in further bolstering a learner’s academic bases skills such as in-classroom creativity, self-motivation, retaining key concepts learnt and better focus
The perils of the physical education world were highly centric to the mass method of delivery, in lengths of time known as periods, with each period ranging from 30-40 minutes, as decided by the school.
Numerous studies have been shown that human attention spans are limited, and humans, especially children, are easily distracted. While initiatives such as the Pomodoro techniques have been introduced in school learning, they have been ineffective at best, given that the root of the problem is that humans are not designed for long-attention spans.
With the wide-ranging stimuli, we learn or absorb best in short bursts, and micro learning refers to all electronic learning material that one can consume, understand and absorb in short bursts of time. Given we are readily bombarded with on-screen elements, especially children, with external info, the short content structures help capture student attention and desired retention of material.
Moreover, the success of such a pedagogy is found in the fact that educational aspects such as flashcards, quizzes, and micro-lectures have been present in the education system for decades. Electronic learning acts as a further enabler by providing powerful tools to help design better micro-learning elements such as:
- Short videos
- Virtual labs
- Code simulations
- Role play games
- Short speaker series
c. Augmented reality or Virtual reality or AI based learning
Augmented reality implies bringing the virtual world into your physical world, while virtual reality is the means of inserting the physical world in the virtual world, both enabled by powerful algorithms and AI based learning.
The motive is to create a hyper-interactive world that helps reimagine the possibilities that can be achieved, especially in the learning context.
Simulating lessons and learnings digitally help related classroom learnings to actual outcomes. Experiments can be performed in a safe manner, even the dangerous ones, helping students observe from up close and personal what can be achieved via use of such technologies
There is ample use of graphics, visual effects, sounds, and multimedia to make the learning process much richer – students learn by seeing and fully immersing themselves in these simulations.
d. Interactive Video Interfaces
Smart video boards, or white boards became a mainstay of the classroom learning process much earlier than the entry of the online schooling process.
However, online schooling has moved away from only providing the traditional one-way video dissemination of lectures and content across the digital platform.
The result has been an effort towards mimicking real world aspects such as field trips, experiments, surgery, field trips over a digital platform.
Students can click on on-screen options, select various views, and take the path they wish to take inside a certain simulation. For eg: if on a field trip, they can follow the digitally recreated actual trek path and feel the real-world experience, which would mimic the actual real-world elements. All of this can be done safely, and the comfort of one’s home.
The best part is the ability to re-create experiences and correct pathways should they want to.
The Virtual Labs software is one such concept which has taken the online schooling world by storm and is a great enabler to carry out real world experiments in a digital form. Students get access to visualisations which closely resemble the actual world, and are unconstrained by physical limitations of safety, and limitation of equipment.
Tracking student performance has never been easier before than now. Platform software, collect, analyse, and insert a feedback loop into the learner’s journey bringing in aspects of time spent learning, performance on assessments, and learning through repetitive behaviours of the learner.
Analytics can capture data such as:
- How a learner learns
- When does he/she learn?
- Track eye movement to understand which content is engaging
- Progress vs. time taken
- Performance on assessment
All this data can then be fed into their learning plan and taken into account for the learner’s journey – the educator can use such platforms to better plan lesson plans and help students perform even better