Online education became necessary worldwide as we saw the encroaching pandemic last year. A lot of classrooms and students alike were not ready or equipped for the change.
Remote Learning vs. Classroom Learning
This brought challenges that halted a lot of our plans when it comes to education. There was so much information surfacing how schools were desperately trying to keep up with students that were struggling with their classes or were--flat out--dropping out because of the switch to distance learning. There were reports of educators tracking down students on social media, knocking on doors, relaxing graduation requirements, and some schools had to hire extra staff to spend additional time with students to keep them up to date on assignments. Just check out this story:
While this information isn’t encouraging, it’s important to look at it as an opportunity at a global level for online education organizations to improve the way things are done to ensure that students receive the tools and resources, accountability, and accessibility that is needed to keep up with their education plan.
The dropout rates don’t lie. Something is wrong with online education and many schools are revising their programs and courses to reflect the changes that need to be made to ensure their students’ success.
Online classes are here to stay.
Remote education with certificates for adults.
For example, our team here at EMERGE saw an opportunity to create more accountability for students by incorporating one on one time with the students and the instructor within their courses. Blocking out this extra time within the course curriculum gives the students attention and helps them feel like their work is being seen and cared for.
Another example is that we--like many online learning organizations--have sent out surveys to gather and assess our students’ struggles. It was necessary for us to switch to a new learning platform that allowed us to create a better experience for our students. While these switches and changes aren’t easy for online schools, it is more beneficial to make these types of large changes for online schools to help alleviate high dropout rates.
As online education grows and becomes more part of our future, we are excited to see how things become better for online students and for online education as a whole. Were you a student whose education was greatly affected by the pandemic? We would love to hear some of your struggles or suggestions in the comments on how you think your school could have improved your experience. Share with us in the comments section!
Check out our online education features at Emerge Global
Jeremiah O’Brian is a faculty member at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. His exceptionally diverse background – from gritty nuts-and-bolts firefighting to film and theatre credits and accolades – is bolstered by his several graduate degrees.