Online education is gaining popularity exhilaratingly. More people than before are turning to online education but the real boom us yet to come. In the coming years, education is likely to turn technological where physical interaction between the tutor and the learner is likely to diminish. Online education is being preferred due to the mobility that it comes with. Many people are also finding it possible to combine online learning with work and blending the two perfectly. Online education has evolved to increase various trends such as virtual learning environments, the emergence of flipped classroom and collaborative learning.
The virtual learning environment is a trend for online education which has come to replace office buildings, file cabinets, and paperwork among others. The online education has created a virtual learning environment that is characterized by the usage of elements such as Blackboard, Renweb, and Canvas (Snyder, 2011). The Blackboard handles duties such as updating class lists, notifying students of upcoming tasks, tracking payroll and sending emails to students automatically (Lin, 2012). By using Blackboard, learners and trainers are able to interact fairly. Besides, teachers can keep track of the learners who attend to assignments and those who do not in a very easy manner.
The flipped classroom is another trend for online education. The idea of the flipped classroom discourages learners from carrying tasks to do them at home (Mitchell, 2010). Instead, they are encouraged to complete their task in class where the teacher can help them solve the tasks. Santiago, Diez, and Andia (2018). Stated that when students are at home, the teacher can follow up on them through video lectures and on-screen tutorials (Kail & Trimbur, 2000). This makes it possible for the learner to consult his or her teacher while at home through use of video lectures. This saves the time that the learner would have spent waiting to see the teacher the following day.
The third trend for online learning is collaborative learning. The collaborative learning is also known as cooperative learning. It is a form of learning that advocates for students to learn together in groups (Hmelo-Silver, 2013). In online education, collaborative learning is enhanced by various social media technologies such as email, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, as well as the usage of popular workflow programs such as Slack and Trello. These applications are very essential in condensing the learning space and making the world a smaller place for learners (Trentin & Safari, 2010). Thus, learners from different parts of the world are able to work together as a group without having to meet physically. Due to the increased adoption of collaborative learning, it is necessary for learners to learn how to use various online applications such as Trello, Skype and Slack among others.
In conclusion, online education is going to dominate the education sector in the near future. The system has evolved to several trends such as virtual learning environments, emergence of flipped classroom and collaborative learning. These trends make learning easier as students do not have to attend the class physically. They can do tasks from the comfort of their home and submit the tasks for marking. Additionally, the learners receive the results for the tasks online. Working students are also finding it easy to concentrate on their studies without necessarily having to resign from their work. With the current state of education, it is expected that more people will turn to online education in the near future.
Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2013). The international handbook of collaborative learning. New York: Routledge.
Kail, H., & Trimbur, J. (2000). Collaborative learning. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
Lin, Q. (2012). Advancement in online education: Exploring the best practices. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
Mitchell, R. L. G. (2010). Online education. San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.
Santiago, R., Diez, A., & Andia, L. A. (2018). Flipped Classroom. Barcelona: Editorial UOC.
Snyder, L. G. (2011). Online business education. Reston, VA: National Business Education Association.
Trentin, G., & Safari, S. (2010). Networked Collaborative Learning. Calif: Chandos Publishing
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