Increasingly, institutions of higher education and many prestigious colleges are embracing online education and offering traditional courses online. As the number of students that are enrolling in distance learning base programs are rapidly rising, the future for online education is looking up. More and more curriculum are being developed to cater to this demand of online courses. However, as a new sector of education is growing, how will this affect methods of teaching, how students learn and digest information, and advanced teaching technologies? Read on to find out our future projections and the direction online education will take us.
Online education has created some turbulence in the world of education when some myths, misconceptions, and challenges must be dealt with. When anything major changes, some struggles will have to be overcome. With the increasing higher implementation of online degrees made available online, we are confronted with different methods of teaching online; new technologies must be available to support an online platform of learning, and the needs of e-learning students and teachers. In addition to these challenges, continued budget restrictions affect online learning experiences too.
In the long term, future projections indicate that online education is not only becoming, but will be a permanent component to long term educational curriculum. It will be an important incorporation for many post secondary institutions. As more and more programs are introduced, the legitimacy of online courses will be more developed and polished. The quality of online programs can only improve from here on out as we learn which strategies work – and eliminate those which don’t.
Faculty and online teacher training must also be improved since online education operates on a totally different teaching framework. To ensure the same effectiveness as traditional classrooms, there must be specialized faculty training and support to ensure teaching transitions to online teaching has been familiarized with. Another issue that needs to extensively be explored is technology. Instructional technology must be designed to encourage e-learning while also promoting independence and create an environment that broadens the online learning experience. This means technology must adapt to encourage a learning framework that pushes the student to take a hands-on approach to their own learning and intellectual inquiry. The use of online tools and teaching software are emerging and in the future, will be highly effective and adapted for online education.
As we envision where the field of online higher education is heading, we ask whether schools, teachers, software designers, and students are ready to meet the growing demands of a new sector of educational development. The significance of learning should be focused on maximizing student collaboration with each other and with online instructors, as well as developing accurate evaluation and grading. The potential of the web is so great that the future of online education is certainly promising, if we can just create an engaging and inspiring framework for online education. The best colleges online will feature everything that a traditional college provides, but with the instant access to information, digital libraries, forums, at our fingertips. The revolution of online learning is yet to come.