What is the Role of Online Education During the Current Health Situation?
Covid-19 has, without doubt, changed the way we have come to perceive the world, the way we live, and how to do things. Life after Covid-19 has not retained its former face yet. It’s not only health but also business, education and all fields related to life have taken another shape because of the current health situation.
Online education has worked as one measure to fight the pandemic:
Education seems one of those fields that witnessed radical changes under these conditions. Because of Covid-19, schools, colleges and the like have been closed to reduce contact among people and consequently to reduce the spread of the virus. If schools and colleges were left open, the world would have lost control over the virus. Traditional classes offer a good environment for the spread of the virus. They are closed places where people from different parts of the country would come into contact with each other. One student carrying the virus would transmit it to tens of students who would, in their turn, transmit it to others including their families. Thus, the closure of educational institutions has come as one of the earliest measures to be taken to fight the spreading pandemic. Under such strict health measures, new ways and techniques have been devised to keep education going. As a result, online education has taken the lead during the current health situation and proved to provide an efficient substitute for going to classes. It’s true that technology was being developed to provide education online, but the pandemic provided a real ground for those technologies to be tested.
Online Learning platforms have offered a global learning environment:
Online learning platforms have become so popular and well known almost to everyone, and they are one prominent manifestation of online learning. These online platforms have witnessed a remarkable rise in the number of enrolled students. The subjects of courses selected vary that it’s difficult to count them. People are taking courses related to technology, business, painting, dancing, cooking, etc. The development in technology has given these platforms a new face that they resemble or simulate traditional classes. The teacher is there communicating with the students in an encouraging learning environment. Quizzes, tests, and assignments are used to measure students’ progress. India is not new to online education. In fact, India is second to America when it comes to the number of students enrolled in Coursera, which is one of the biggest education platforms around the world. This stands for the importance of online education during these times.
Online education offers flexibility for learners, which helps them greatly during the pandemic:
One of the great benefits of online education is the flexibility in time and place. Education in traditional classes is limited to one class that takes place according to a fixed time schedule and where students and teachers have to be at class at a specific time. If students cannot travel the way to be there in the class, they find it difficult to enroll. If they have another class or course to attend, they also find it difficult to take the class they want. However, online education has changed that. It gives students the flexibility in time and place for students to learn. Students’ education is no longer hindered by their inability to travel long distances. They can attend any course wherever they are using their computer or even their phone. During the pandemic, millions of students attend their classes from home where they are safe from catching the virus or transmitting it to others. Also, they do not attend classes alone. Thanks to global learning platforms, they can connect to teachers and students around the world while they are sitting at their homes. The factor of time no longer hinders students from taking more than one course as they have the ability to control the time of each class they take. They don’t have to miss one class because they are attending another as they have the flexibility to set the time and date.
Online Education adapts to the pace of students:
Other factors contribute to the importance of online education during the pandemic. Online courses adapt to the pace of each student. Some students have the ability to finish the course on time, while others might take more time doing the course. Thus, if students’ pace is slow, online education won’t let them lag behind, miss or fail the course. Online classes are easier to monitor as students don’t have to worry about taking notes during the class. Classes are recorded either as video or written scripts, so during the class students focus on the information rather than taking notes or worrying about missing anything. This enhances the quality of education and helps the process of education keep going while students are at home.
Online Education has of course its own limitations and shortcomings. However, we should look at it now under the lens of the current health condition. Online education is the thing that saved education and learning from at least a year’s standstill which would have had a drastic impact on the educational process around the world and which will have required years to be recovered. People around the world are adapting to online education, and its shortcomings are being resolved gradually. A safe educational environment is the best credit for online education.