Ryan Koontz, a research analyst from New York, said in his interview with cigionline.org, “A whole new generation of business and schooling behavior is adjusting here.” 

Since the emergence of COVID-19, schools have been forced to halt their operations. Currently, there are more than 1.2 billion children from different levels in 186 countries affected by school closures caused by the pandemic. As a result, teaching is offered remotely and on digital platforms via eLearning.

Most professors and students found themselves forced to use technology for both teaching and learning. Although there are online platforms like Zoom and Google Classroom, coping with such a large and sudden change is challenging. Many are hopeful about resuming at least some classes in school, but others are already preparing for their online education.

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What Is eLearning and How Did It Start?

eLearning is an education system delivered through the use of the internet and online platforms via electronic devices. It is also known as distance learning, online learning, or online education. 

Distance learning was first practiced around the 1840s by Issac Pitman. He was a British qualified teacher and founder of a private school in Wotton-under-Edge. Pitman, via correspondence, taught his students the shorthand, a symbolic writing method to improve speed in writing. Pitman would send assignments to his student through the mail. Once the students completed the homework, they would send it back the same way. 

In 1924, the first testing machine was invented that lets students test themselves. In 1954, BF Skinner, a Harvard Professor, invented the “teaching machine” that allowed schools to give programmed instruction to their students. However, it wasn’t until 1960 that the first computer-based training program was introduced to the world. This computer-based training program (CBT program) was known as PLATO-Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations. Originally, it was created for students of the University of Illinois but ended up being used in schools throughout the area.

The introduction of the computer and internet in the late 20th century expanded eLearning tools and delivery methods. In the 1980s, the first MAC enabled individuals to have computers in their homes. This made it easier for them to learn about particular subjects and develop certain skill sets. Then, virtual learning environments began to thrive in the following decade as people gained access to online information and additional eLearning opportunities.

Later on, businesses began using eLearning to train their employees in the 2000s. Workers now had the opportunity to improve their industry expertise and expand their skill sets. Individuals were granted access to earn online degrees and enrich their lives while at home. Today, eLearning is more popular than ever, with countless people receiving the benefits that online learning can offer.

The Coronavirus Made eLearning Go Viral

Primary and secondary schools and even most colleges will need to prepare for a future where classes can be quickly modified to online learning. This mass shift will be a testing ground for online education. While the university experience has steadily adapted to online deliverability quite steadily over the years, it has been at a snail’s pace. According to the Online Learning Consortium, student enrollment in online education has increased for the fourteenth straight year

James N. Bradley, chief information officer at Trinity University in Texas said “Every faculty member is going to be delivering education online. Every student is going to be receiving education online. And the resistance to online education is going to go away as a practical matter.” Some analysts predicted that this period could change the landscape long term for online education. The pandemic will speed up the adoption and embrace of online and other forms of technology-enabled learning. Though challenging, it is going to be a period of forced experimentation for universities worldwide.

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Will eLearning Last Even After the Outbreak?

There are expectations that schools and corporations will continue to use online platforms to train and educate even after the dust has settled. Online education is bringing more potential to students in terms of accessibility and availability. They might be comfortable with it, too, soon. Also, schools are assumed to re-evaluate their strategies for future crises in working harder to develop remote working programs. There will be a big demand now to ensure that teachers can teach online. 

Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the adoption of eLearning at all education levels. Adjustments will be required of both the teachers and students. In addition, there are debates everywhere on whether eLearning is worth the risk and effort. Nonetheless, Melissa Venable, Ph. D., an online education advisor for BestColleges, reminded us that, “The focus is not about experimenting with technology, but an emergency response. This underscores the importance of “supporting students in a wide range of ways, academic and non-academic, at a distance.”

If you are a school or organization looking for a partner in online education, SuperStaff is here for you! We have several elearning solutions available that could ease the burden and fill in the gap in your system. To know more about SuperStaff, visit superstaff.com, and book your consultation.

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