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The culturally ingrained education models has been hugely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic – with a huge shift made to distance learning.

Though at present many university students are unhappy with the speed and quality of the changes, many experts believe that distance learning is here to stay.

But how is it likely to look and what will it mean for students, teachers and parents? This blog post explains.

Tailored learning is the future

Universities have been slowly been slowly moving their curriculums online for many years. 

However, many students believe they have fallen behind where they should be – Ian Dunn, Coventry University provost who spearheaded their online degree programme, believes the pandemic has provided them with serious incentive to catch up.

He believes that the major selling point of online learning is that it can be tailored to students’ needs.

That it was ever a great idea for one person to stand in lecture hall and transmit to 200-300 people and to expect them to receive and accept that information in one go was clearly ridiculous.

I’ve already said to my university that we shouldn’t go back to lectures.

Online learning benefits disadvantaged students

Allison Littlejohn, professor of learning technology at University College London, said that blended learning was likely to become the new normal. However, she believes fully online courses (like Open University) are likely to remain niche.

Online can be what we call blended learning – where sometimes you learn using technologies but other times you might actually meet face to face.

A distance learning set up could benefit disadvantaged students, says Mark Andrews, pedagogical evangelist at Adobe:

It could potentially benefit disadvantaged students who struggle to afford to live near campus for three years, as well as mature students thinking of returning to university to learn additional skills that will help them succeed in their careers.

Is enough being invested in digital learning?

Ian Dunn, however, says not enough is being done in terms of investment in digital learning.

We were very willing to build a new building at £100m but actually seeing a digital campus as an investment at a similar scale is something we ought to have been doing for a very long time and we really haven’t – and that’s a great weakness.

Predictions have also been made that collaborations between universities may also be more common in future.

Leah Belsky, Chief Enterprise Officer at Coursera, said:

Online courses could become more career-focused since online learning is a more transactional experience. Also every university doesn’t have to teach its own psychology 101 course; we can instead focus on what makes them distinctive.

Why EDClass is here to help

EDClass can help to support blended learning in your school, university or other organisation.

The EDClass system caters for a range of learning materials, assessments, quizzes and coursework which can be input by the school.

Safeguarding is number one priority – with a range of mechanisms available so students can work safely and securely at home.

Further, a sophisticated tracking system means organisations know exactly and instantly how students are performing.

For more information, call 01909 568 338.