Online education is the innovative answer to all the challenges of quality education. Discover the advantages of educational apps in creating a favorable learning environment for any student.
Benefits of Online Education: How Educational Apps Improve Studying System for Students
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many trends, and while few of them are positive, one certainly is — the rise of online learning. Even before the lockdowns, the e-learning industry was steadily growing, and in 2019 it had reached an impressive $18.66 billion in investments.
The benefits of online learning abound. For example, according to the World Economic Forum, research suggests that online learning increases information retention rates. Online learning also democratizes education, offering access to it to an increasingly larger pool of interested people. According to Darren Shimkus, the president of Udemy, the biggest challenge most face today is determining what skill will be relevant in the future.
Abundance of apps and features
Educational apps come in all shapes and varieties that you can imagine. There is no, and cannot be, a single, rigid classification of e-learning apps. However, three are some basic characteristics you can evaluate them on:
What can a student learn on this platform? Some apps and online resources offer knowledge on certain subjects only, such as beekeeping courses (Honeybeesonline, Perfectbee) or language courses (Fluentu, Duolingo, Rosettastone). Others, such as Coursera or Edx, offer multiple subjects to choose from. It’s worth noting that language-learning resources are some of the best represented and in demand. They can choose to further focus on delivering the best experience for learners of a particular language or unite those who study different languages.
- Scale and authority
Not every app aspires to be the next Duolingo; some are perfectly fine catering to a more niche audience. That being said, more well-known apps tend to get more attention, which gives them more authority. Thus, if they offer some form of certification (as, for example, Coursera does), it will be more likely to hold value to prospective employers of the certificate holder. The highest authority belongs to universities that have the power to bestow degrees upon worthy learners if they choose a relevant program.
- Features and modes of learning
You can learn alone or with friends, with an instructor or without. The program can offer the same content to everyone or adapt to each user. Some apps give you a choice whether to learn from visual materials, audio files, or videos combining both. It should be said that many e-learning apps nowadays are gamified, meaning that the creators aspire to make the learning process feel like a game.
Online education opens a world of possibilities to those previously deprived of them. Billions of people, especially those living in poor, rural areas, do not have access to high-quality education. With e-learning, as long as a person has access to the Internet, they can start their educational process.
Many educational mobile apps and institutions offer free learning options to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. This improves social mobility and counteracts the problem of social stratification.
Moreover, educational apps are available 24/7, making it easier for people with unusual working schedules or high workloads to study.
Remote access to all the study materials is immensely beneficial to every student. Even when the learning process has a fixed schedule, sooner or later, it will inevitably happen that someone will miss their online class, whether due to an illness or for another reason. With e-learning, they can watch the video of the class, take tests, and review exercise materials online so that they do not lag behind.
Personalization and adaptivity
Registering in an e-learning app entails the creation of a personalised account, where a learner can check their progress. Via the personal account, students can receive access to materials that are relevant for them, which makes it easier to manage their learning process. Adaptivity is the continuation of personalization. Adaptive software can adjust to students’ needs and learning styles.
Diversido and many other e-learning mobile app developers have noticed an increase in demand for these features.
A simple example of adaptivity can be found in word-learning apps. If you learn a new language and have a predetermined set of cards with new words and their translations that you need to learn, an adaptive program will offer you cards that you didn’t answer correctly to again, until you learn the word.
Curiously, some tests use such features too. An example is GMAT, an examination required to be submitted to most MBA programs worldwide. To accurately determine the skill and knowledge level of a person, on a scale from 200 to 800, the program constantly adapts to the exam taker, offering a more difficult question after every correct answer and an easier question, if the previous one was not answered correctly.
Almost no limits
There are barely any limits to what you can learn online. Any knowledge can be obtained through the Internet. If we are talking about skills, only the one that requires close physical interaction between humans, like martial arts, or acquiring precise manual skills, such as those needed to perform surgery, cannot be learned in a fully remote environment.
For online education, the geographical location of a person is not a problem. Do you live in Cape Town and wish to learn Urdu? While in-person classes might be hard to find, online courses exist and will even enable you to communicate with native speakers.
To sum up, online learning has many benefits. For starters, it’s versatile and available to more people than regular learning. It can be accessed remotely from anywhere in the world, at any time, thus presenting opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds and representatives of vulnerable groups.
E-learning offers many opportunities for personalization, ranging from personalized accounts to fully adaptive programs that are designed to react to students’ pace and learning styles to deliver the best results possible.
Online education has almost no limits. When you are not constricted by your physical location, you can find courses that better correspond to your learning needs. You have access to all the knowledge that the whole planet has to offer.