Can remote learning ensure quality education and value for money in graduate programs?
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all industries drastically and the education sector is no exception. Educational institutions across the world have been thrown into the deep end of an unprecedented digital era. Though most universities already had some online elements integrated into their systems, the events of 2020 have made end-to-end remote learning absolutely essential for safe and seamless education.
The questions that arise now for graduates are about the quality of education and value for money offered by the new norm. And that’s what we will explore here.
Quality of Education
When educational institutions shifted their courses online, there was much debate around the quality of a learning system without classroom interaction. However, the sector has seen several examples of successful transitions since then and remote learning facilitates uninterrupted and quality education at the click of a mouse.
Enhanced student engagement and retention
Research indicates that remote learning can enhance student engagement and participation, while also boosting retention rates up to 60%. This is why some universities added virtual segments to their traditional modules even before the arrival of COVID-19. The value of video content in higher education has been undeniable for some time now, and the current situation has only highlighted its advantages.
Improved digital literacy
With or without the pandemic, the world is going digital on a much larger scale and our futures include a wealth of technology. Digital literacy is thus a necessity for day-to-day life, and online classes equip graduate students with the skills required to thrive in a tech-enabled workforce and become digital citizens of tomorrow.
Online learning and virtual lessons can be accessed by a student from anywhere and at any time. It also allows concepts to be revisited at the hour most conducive for the student, which results in better comprehension and retention of the lesson. This makes education accessible to a larger demographic and to learners at all levels.
Lock downs across countries have changed the lives of up to 60% of student populations, and have forced educational institutions to scramble for a fresh system that works both efficiently and economically. The quality of a well-structured remote education provides value for money, as well as a more cost-effective alternative for educational institutions and students alike.
For educational institutions
The upkeep of large campuses and staff offices is minimized when an educational institution moves classes online. Remote learning has resulted in a significant reduction in management costs, staff costs, and miscellaneous expenses. This allows universities and other educational institutions to utilize their monetary resources for mentorship and financial aid.
The economic advantage for universities benefits students as well — tuition rates have reduced, online materials are now easily accessible and affordable, and funding opportunities have increased. Moreover, remote learning allows a student to save on living and transportation expenses.
The last six months have demonstrated the permanency of remote learning in education as well as highlighted its positive impacts on student success. Many experts believe that a hybrid education system will continue to provide the best of both worlds even after the pandemic has passed.
COVID-19 has uncovered the potential remote learning has in today’s world, and we cannot and should not unlearn everything it has taught us in these troubling times. It is certain now that the education sector can use remote learning to empower students, teachers, and institutions by facilitating a modern system that brings quality and value for money to the virtual table.