Future of Learning - beyond 2022
This blog looks at the Australian post pandemic experience of schools, higher education providers, and businesses and predicts a logical solution to the challenges faced.
by Shirin Bahremand
February 23, 2022
The benefits of online learning became apparent when COVID 19 forced educational institutions and businesses to study and work from home. Most educational institutions simply took their training online, using Zoom or other communication software.
According to IBIS World, the online education industry grew by 5% per year from 2016 to 2021 and it is expected to see growths of over 8% by 2026.
The Post Pandemic Online Learning Experience
COVID 19 made it clear that the new normal is expectations of flexible or remote work and study arrangements, including online learning. Let’s have a look at the online experience of schools, higher education providers, and business.
For teachers, the transition to online education meant a rapid learning curve. Despite this, in a Dec 2020, Monash University survey, 41.6% of teachers perceived their work had improved as a direct result of COVID-19. Two years on, Australia is experiencing one of its worst teacher shortages. COVID related teacher shortages, lack of a strategic approach to recruitment and retainment of teachers, combined with growing class sizes have created a perfect storm that will only get worse if steps are not taken to address teacher shortfalls. An optimal solution to address this issue is adopting a blended learning that offers quality interactive eLearning, together with access to a teacher – in workshop settings.
According to a TEQSA report (2020), the pandemic created a rapid shift towards online learning for Higher Education providers. Most lecturers simply recorded their lectures and posted them on their university’s Learning Management System (LMS). They also provided opportunities for discussion through Zoom or similar software. For some disciplines which had a highly practical component, the move to online hampered student learning and satisfaction. Some of the other common complaints included:
- Staff expertise with using software
- Assessment changes
- Isolation, lack of engagement and reduced motivation
- Reduced interaction with academic staff and peers
Businesses that prior to the pandemic had relied on scheduled face to face training days, moved towards procuring Learning Management Systems (LMS), and developing eLearning courses. The success of this transition was proportional to the quality of the LMS and the expertise of the Learning and Development specialist at each organisation.
Once again, blended learning that incorporates high quality eLearning and access to a qualified trainer in a workshop setting needs to be a part of the solution. High quality eLearning increases retention of concepts and the chance to discuss or practice concepts in a synchronous setting, increases engagement and motivation to apply learnings.
Towards Blended Learning
A blend of high quality eLearning and synchronous
interaction, seems to be the obvious solution for schools, higher educational
organisations, and businesses. Among other benefits it combines higher retention
and performance rates offered by high quality eLearning with social
motivational factors offered by traditional learning settings.
Great eLearning solutions offer participants:
- the chance to interact with their learning;
- the chance to personalise their learning;
- explore topics at their own pace, in small segments (micro learning);
- the chance to revisit the course/lesson as many times as needed, to review or retake assessments;
- the chance to problem solve, through case studies and interactive scenarios;
- the chance to experience the problem through simulations;
- significantly better retention and performance outcomes;
- increase accessibility from mobile phones or laptops; and
- to have access to the same quality education as other students/participants.
For teachers and trainers great eLearning solutions offer:
- time saving;
- access to automated completion and assessment data; and
- the chance to interact with students/participants in a more meaningful way, through for example workshops that offer students the chance to interact with each other and the teacher/trainer while exploring practical aspects of a course.
If quality eLearning solutions are combined with interactive face to face experiences, students can benefit from the best of both synchronous and asynchronous learning.
Do you have a vision for your staff development and need help to make it reality? We will work closely with you to understand your needs, and design and plan a solution.