Distance learning has a long history in higher education. It refers to learning that is mediated by technology devices when there is a physical distance between the learner and the educator. Distance learning is not a new phenomenon; tracing its history, it began in the earlier 18th century in the form of correspondence study to allow desirous learners outside the city without a command to be on-site. It has since gone through a series of advancements and gained popularity, particularly with the rapid development of technological innovation. Other modules in distance education have evolved concurrently, such as blended learning (or hybrid-learning), which describes a combination of face-to-face and technology-mediated instructions, providing a resilient, accessible learning experience.
The pandemic of COVID-19 has disrupted education in over 150 countries, affecting 1.6 billion students. Many countries responded by implementing some form of distance learning. During the early stages of COVID-19, the education response focused on implementing distance learning modalities as an emergency response. Teachers created online academic material, while parents taught their children the exercises and lessons provided by teachers at home. Given that the use of digital tools in education has increased dramatically during this crisis and is expected to continue, there is an urgent need to understand the impact of distance learning. The use of an essaywriter can also help students to get their essays done quickly.
Although this rapid transition provided continuity to the learning process, it also exacerbated education disparities among students, particularly those living in rural areas or low-income countries, those in poor economic standing, and those lacking basic information technology skills. Such characteristics can make it challenging to access modern technology resources that can help the distance learning movement. Considering that the current situation has persisted for a more extended time, a shift to online learning might occur indefinitely. This situation will necessitate educational institutions to prepare and equip themselves with the necessary tools to facilitate the adoption of such a trend.
EFFECTIVENESS OF DISTANCE LEARNING DURING THE PANDEMIC
With the increased use of online modalities during COVID-19, various stakeholders must assess their effectiveness in terms of teaching and learning.
According to the findings of a Pakistani study on the effectiveness of distance learning, online learning helped ensure remote education was manageable and students could easily access teachers and teaching materials. It also reduced the use of travel resources and other costs. It simplified administrative tasks like recording lectures and tracking attendance. During the lockdown, both students and teachers felt that online learning modalities encouraged student-centeredness. answers.vray.us is an online platform that can be integrated into a learning website where you can create a question and answer community that enhances learning among students. The students had evolved into self-directed learners, learning asynchronously at any time of day.
Some other advantages of distance learning during the pandemic (apart from the prevention of a widespread disease) are:
Online learning allows teachers to deliver lessons to students more efficiently. Online learning includes various tools such as videos, PDFs, and podcasts, which teachers can incorporate into their lesson plans. Teachers can become more efficient educators by expanding the lesson plan beyond traditional textbooks to include online resources.
Another advantage of online learning is that it saves money. Online education is significantly less expensive than traditional education. This is because online learning eliminates student transportation costs, meals, and, most importantly, real estate. Furthermore, all course or study materials are available online, resulting in a paperless learning environment that is both more affordable and environmentally friendly.
Adapts to a Wide Range of Learning Styles
Every student has a unique learning journey and learning style. Some students prefer to learn visually, while others prefer to learn through audio. Similarly, some students thrive in the classroom, while others prefer to learn alone and are easily distracted by large groups.
With its variety of options and resources, the online learning system can be personalized in various ways. It is the most effective method for creating a perfect learning environment tailored to the needs of each student. Students might need the services of an essaywriter for their essays.
Anything that has an advantage also has a disadvantage. Although distance learning can be very effective, it was reported by many educators, parents and students to have a few setbacks.
Inability to Concentrate on Screens
One of the most challenging aspects of online learning for many students is the inability to focus on a screen for extended periods. Online learning makes students more likely to be easily distracted by social media or other sites. As a result, teachers must keep their online classes crisp, engaging, and interactive to keep students focused on the lesson.
Feelings of Isolation
Being in the company of their peers can teach students a lot. However, there are few physical interactions between students and teachers in an online class. This frequently leads to students feeling isolated. In this case, the school must allow for alternative communication between students, peers, and teachers. This includes online messages, emails, and video conferencing, enabling face-to-face interaction and reducing feelings of isolation.