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The Rise Of Distant Studying In 2021

4 reasons remote learning is on the rise in 2021

Last year, COVID-19 made sudden, dramatic changes in the way we live, work, and study. A year later, we are still feeling the effects of the pandemic in our daily lives. Some of the changes that were rushed to stay home are still in some form in our workplaces and schools – and are likely to be for a long time to come. Not all of these changes have been positive, but in the case of distance learning opportunities, more enthusiastic adoption, technological advances, improved user experience, and better visibility and appreciation of the power of this form of learning and training have been achieved. Here’s why you can expect distance learning to increase in 2021 and beyond.

Distance learning has moved from being an often overlooked and even unrecognized option in the learning and training community to the norm for many learners around the world. Here are 4 of the top reasons remote learning is poised for growth in 2021 and beyond.

1. It’s going mainstream

Distance learning opportunities have increased over the past decade, but it has not always been considered that an online degree is the same or as good as a traditional classroom degree. This perception has changed significantly in recent years. Data shows that students who study online do, on average, slightly better than students who study the same material through face-to-face teaching.

The benefits of distance learning have been documented as the option becomes increasingly popular with students from around the world. In 2016, well before the pandemic, nearly 6 million students, about a third of college learners, were studying remotely [1]2.8 million of these students learn exclusively online.

A majority of K-12 educators anticipate the importance of online learning [2] and the digital curriculum is expected to grow over the next three years through distance learning, virtual learning, and the use of online content and resources. Historically, the biggest barriers to distance learning have been lack of access to technology and student engagement, but in this survey [3]Respondents responded positively to the use of technology to motivate students: “The greatest benefit of educational technology is that it mirrors student learning outside of school.”

2. It’s accessible and expandable

The idea (and for some the fear) that technology could replace human instructors in education is not unique to our lives – as early as 1923, Thomas Edison argued that video clips would completely replace teachers and books! The truth is that learners are looking for quality information and a learning experience in a more accessible format. That year, during the pandemic, we saw that distance learning was a key component in allowing so many students to continue studying despite orders at home and later due to school closings or hybrid learning environments. In fact, distance learning has been a crucial component in enabling so many people to stay home and support efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the early days of the pandemic, students were able to harness the power of mobile devices like phones and tablets to move to a remote learning environment and access content from anywhere. In addition to providing accessibility, remote learning solves the problem of classroom size. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are free, easily accessible online courses offered by top universities around the world that allow for unlimited class sizes. In 2020 alone, MOOC participation increased by 60 million learners. The combination of technology and flexible class sizes makes distance learning more convenient and comprehensive for learners and improves access to high quality learning material.

3. It is interactive and promotes communication

The misconception that remote learning has no interactivity is out of date. A well-designed course enables communication and interactivity both between the learner and the instructor and between the learner themselves. Learners are used to using mobile devices for communication and interaction. Remote learning enables you to use a wide range of resources and technology to engage learners, most of whom are already familiar and familiar. For example, mobile learning offers course authors the ability to incorporate features such as gamification and social learning to improve interaction with their learners and enhance the sense of community in remote learning environments.

Remote learning also offers adaptability and enables instant interaction and communication in a rapidly changing situation like the pandemic. By being able to communicate changes clearly and efficiently, students can feel confident that their learning experience will not be interrupted or delayed by external events such as school closings.

While classroom training can be more difficult to measure and improve, distance learning enables course authors to consistently improve their offerings, maximizing the quality of their courses for their learners by collecting and analyzing data in real time. Using features such as surveys, course authors can quickly and efficiently identify, track, and resolve problems, thereby maximizing the student’s experience.

4. The learners enjoy it

Last but not least, many learners prefer the distance learning experience to a traditional classroom experience. In addition to the reasons listed above, it’s a cheaper option for many, with lower tuition fees and no commuting, room and board costs, and it also enables a lower-stakes classroom experience. Remote learners are given the opportunity not to have to study “on site” in front of their teachers and colleagues. Features such as simulation training, which allow learners to virtually “experience” a skill before having to demonstrate it in real life, allow learners to practice and improve skills and knowledge in a low risk atmosphere through distance learning.

The future of distance learning is here

The world recognizes the power of distance learning to provide high quality, accessible and adaptable experiences to learners, many of whom prefer distance learning to a traditional classroom. Remote learning provides learners with a focused experience that allows them to focus on their own work in a flexible, adaptable environment without additional external pressure. This dynamic form of learning and training combines the flexibility and adaptability of technology with convenience and accessibility to provide an inclusive learning experience. With advances in technology and the increased demand for virtual learning and training opportunities, the sky is really the limit for distance learning.


[1] What employers really think of your online degree

[2] Remote learning will continue to grow over the next three years

[3] The state of the art in education 2020

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