5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of education forever
While digital technology has been gradually playing a role in influencing education over the last several years, the pandemic has cemented its place in a connected world. Universities worldwide have accelerated their investment in superior digital interfaces to help deliver quality education via online platforms.
This global shift has led to several new trends that have literally changed the face of education forever. Here’s a look at some of these developments and how they impact the quality and equity of online degrees.
1. Rising equity of online degrees
While eLearning has been around for a decade or more, education was always perceived as a classroom activity that took place in a physical location, such as a school or college. But the blanket shift to remote education has proved that it’s possible to get a comprehensive, high-quality education online from top universities. For example, one can pursue an online MCA or MBA at a reputed university and earn a recognised degree that is valued by recruiters.
2. Byte-sized learning
Some universities such as Manipal University Jaipur have been investing in online programmes for some time now, and have cracked the code for its delivery. The university’s multi-device-based learning interface offers byte-sized education, which can be accessed from your smartphone on the go. Learning modules are also interactive, gamified and easy to access – at the click of a button. A mix of self-learning, engagements, cohorts as well as online lectures is a winning combination that is seamlessly blended through technology.
3. Flexibility creates access
Online programmes today facilitate flexibility on many levels. For instance, one can apply to the top universities from anywhere as geography is not a constraint. Another unique feature is that one can pursue a part-time job, internships and other opportunities alongside their academic journey. This helps students develop skills along with the theoretical knowledge imparted by their online programmes.
4. Reduced tuition fees
The online mode of education has led to a drastic reduction in the cost of education with the key expense being tuition fees. Hostel, food, transportation and other living expenses have come down or have been completely eliminated as more students are pursuing online programmes from the comfort of their hometowns.
When online degrees are offered by a reputed university, the equity of the degree is high. For example, an online MBA by Manipal University Jaipur, an A+ NAAC-accredited university. The prospect of earning a degree from a pedigree university at an affordable cost is an attractive proposition.
5. Additional resources
Technology is enabling a comprehensive ecosystem that goes far beyond the delivery of education. Universities are able to offer practical sessions, host job fairs and placement processes online. They can now train students in various aspects such as job interviews, resume-building, communication skills, and other soft skills remotely.
Students are also able to stay connected to batchmates, professors and alumni networks via communities or forums, video conferencing, and other online tools. The regular webinars which host industry leaders and experts in order to enhance the bridge between corporate and academia and hence, ensure the students to interact and get to know about trends and industry-demanded skills. That will help them to polish their knowledge and skills prior to kick starting a professional career.
As the cost of data and devices comes down further and further, students in smaller towns and rural hinterlands will be able to access top-quality education from anywhere. This trend will create more opportunities for a wider range of students, and give them an opportunity to compete with their peers in urban spaces on equal footing.
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