Due to the introduction of online classes following the Coronavirus outbreak, higher education has faced an incredible transformation. Many schools, colleges, and numerous other educational institutions have transitioned to online teaching, but teachers still have difficulty engaging students in the online environment. As a result, they must make tough decisions every day, whether between asynchronous and synchronous learning or educational tools they need among hundreds of options. However, many online platforms have started offering online-only courses, especially educational websites, that offer free certificate course programs.
Globally, the pandemic has caused schools to close, which has resulted in over 1.2 billion children being out of school. Consequently, education has changed dramatically, with the rise of online certification courses like AWS certification and e-learning, in which instructors teach remotely and use digital platforms.
According to research, online learning has proven to increase retention of information and take less time, meaning the changes caused by the Coronavirus may not be reversible. Traditionally, people perceive online education as an excellent alternative to traditional higher education, particularly for work-hardened adults looking for higher education opportunities. Nevertheless, the emergence of the pandemic has forced educators and students across all educational levels to adjust quickly to virtual courses. During the early stages of COVID-19, the term ’emergency remote teaching’ was coined to describe a quick transition.
When the pandemic first surged, nobody expected it to become this widespread and long-lasting. Hence, people did not seek online teaching methods immediately. Instead, offline classes got suspended till further notice as people expected it to be a delay of only a month or two at best. However, with time, the masses realized that the Covid-19 pandemic was not vanishing any time soon. Moreover, that prolonged delaying of learning was affecting children’s future; hence the educational sector desperately switched to online mediums of education.
Due to further rises in infection rates, some courses have shifted from offline to online instruction, back to the classroom, and finally to online education. There have also been instances where instruction is delivered online and in-person: students can attend online or in-person (the HyFlex model). To create learning experiences that are feasible and effective, instructors needed to consider the affordances and constraints of the specific learning environment.
Technology in education was already experiencing rapid growth and adoption before COVID-19. However, since the pandemic, there has been an increase in demand for online learning software, language apps, virtual tutoring, and video conferencing tools. With the sudden shift away from classrooms in many parts of the world, some ask whether online learning will survive the post-pandemic era and how such a change would affect the global education market.
It has been possible to maintain continuity in education through online and distance learning in the past, such as after earthquakes, but the current crisis is unprecedented in its scale. Therefore, the pandemic has forced everyone worldwide to engage in virtual learning. Speculations have also begun about the long-term effects of the COVID era and how education might change. For some, it’s imperative to return immediately to concepts taught in the physical classroom. However, others see this shift as the opportunity to reimagine how one delivers education in the future.