As we ring in the new year, I want to take a look at what 2021 will bring for virtual education platforms. It is an interesting time for the industry. The year 2020 saw institutions at all levels, from tertiary to preschool, use online learning platforms. With higher rates of adoption, we will see some big changes in how online education platforms are used.
In the past, we saw online learning function as a complement to classroom learning. Meaning, some of the methodologies used to teach in the classroom found their way into virtual education platforms.
While effective (these teaching methods have endured for a reason), it also means teachers have yet to make full use of this unique medium. In other words, we are yet to see online learning platforms be used to their full potential.
However, in 2021, we will see education institutions use virtual education platforms to their full potential. This means major changes to the way students learn.
Let us examine the major factors driving this change.
Key factors shaping how we use virtual education platforms
Microlearning is growing in popularity
How many of us have been able to pay attention in class? Chances are, there has been at least one time when our attention glazed over. However, as our understanding of the human mind deepened, we have come to realise that we can focus for only a few minutes at a time. In light of this understanding, we are seeing a growing trend called microlearning.
Microlearning breaks down course material into bite-sized chunks. This means smaller but more focused sessions for an optimal learning experience. Microlearning will come to dominate virtual education platforms in 2021 because online education platforms are ideal for this pattern of learning.
Most courses and programs are broken down into different components and students can pause learning when they want to. We are already seeing students and teachers using online learning in this fashion. But as online learning becomes more popular, we are going to see teachers design their courses around this flexibility.
Learning is becoming a more interactive experience
Virtual education platforms are transforming the learning experience into one that is more interactive. Virtual reality, augmented reality, gamification and cloud-based technology are changing the way we view education.
As an example, teachers can use gamification to take concepts and repackage them in a way that makes learning a more interactive experience. Game-based learning also develops soft skills, like problem-solving and adapting to new circumstances. Virtual education platforms are perfectly suited for this new type of learning due to its interactive medium. Furthermore, when it comes to new technology, online education platforms can be updated with new features (although in some cases, a significant overhaul maybe required).
Learning will become a more social experience
Online learning makes video learning more accessible than before. Several virtual education platforms, like Reelae, have incorporated video into their learning. As a result, learning through video has become more accessible, and at times, necessary.
In 2021, we will see video play a bigger role than before. Video-based learning will expand to include live streaming and peer-to-peer networking. Video learning is becoming popular because teachers can use it to complete different exercises. For example, students can work together on team projects, have one-on-one sessions, and use peer-to-peer learning. By using video, teachers can expand the learning experience to include a wider range of learning techniques.
Building on the idea of the social learning experience is the use of cloud-based learning. Virtual education platforms are already using cloud-based technology; but in 2021, we can expect the cloud to play a bigger part in learning. Social networks can play a huge role because it makes learning easier. Cloud-based learning makes it easier for students to exchange information with each other, furthering the interactive element of learning.
Shaping the future of education with online learning platforms
The new year is looking to be an interesting year for virtual education platforms. Throughout the previous year, we saw the proliferation of online learning platforms in response to the pandemic, and the coming year will see the platforms be used at their full potential. We will see teachers begin to make full use of this new medium of teaching, transforming the way we teach and learn.