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The Rise of Online Learning in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus (COVID-19), which has affected countries worldwide differently, has also forced us to rethink how students learn. The first case of the disease was first recorded in Wuhan, China, caused by SARS-COV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus – 2). The virus is highly infectious and can be spread in various ways:

Airborne transmission – The virus survives in the air for up to 3 hours and can be inhaled, leading to infection.

Coughs/ Droplets – When a person infected with COVID-19 talks, breaths, or coughs, he/she can leave aerosols in the air.

Surface contact – You can get infected by being in contact with surfaces an infected person has coughed or sneezed on.

COVID 19

The virus is highly contagious, exhibiting various symptoms in different people, which can lead to death.
Understandably, due to how the virus is spread, governments worldwide had to curb its spread by minimizing person-to-person contact. This included the closure of learning institutions until a solution to the global pandemic was found. As a result, most learning institutions resulted in online learning as a feasible alternative to in-class learning. This has resulted in an increased dependence on e-learning platforms whereby students learn remotely.

Studies have shown that these online learning platforms welcome change with students exhibiting better information retention while consuming fewer resources. Granted, there were some teething problems with the abrupt move to e-learning, but it seems the changes to the education environment, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, might be adopted permanently. Besides, an increased dependency on an essay writer online service whereby students can get written assignments at a fee.

The Facts of e-Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While countries worldwide have been affected by COVID-19 differently, it is evident that learning institutions have been negatively affected by the pandemic. However, there is growing debate of whether the changes to the education system will be present post-pandemic and how such changes have affected the learning process. Besides, there is a disparity between institutions that can adapt quickly to the changes because of pre-existing digitization strategies and those that could not make a move to e-learning, especially in developing African nations. Therefore, there has been a need to comprehend the impact that COVID-19 has on the learning process and bridge the gap. They include:

Use of various modes of delivery to achieve e-learning

With the increase of COVID-19 cases learning institutions have had to adapt fast. Most learning institutions have adopted e-learning, which has been made easier by combining with other delivery methods such as video conferencing, digital libraries, social media, etc.

Focus on accessibility across various devices

Students already have a host of devices, i.e., laptops, smartphones, etc., that institutions can use to deploy their e-learning platforms. As such, both learning institutions and students can save on the cost of developing a costly platform within a limited period.

Learning management systems that utilize low bandwidth

With the increased reliance on e-learning, there has been a significant increase in broadband internet use, i.e., 3G and 4G connections. As such, e-learning platforms should consume less bandwidth to ensure students benefit from the platforms.

Need for trained remote instructors

With the move to e-learning, there is a need for skilled educators who can take advantage of the change in the environment. As such, teachers already familiar with the traditional mode of learning can train specifically for remote teaching.

Reduced cost of tuition

Learning institutions have largely reduced their spending, a move that has translated to reduced tuition fees for students. This is evident with the reduced need to maintain institutional buildings for students. Also, institutions can take on considerably more students and spread out the cost of learning among them.

COVID-19 has negatively impacted the learning environment. However, with the near-global adoption of e-learning, there is a silver lining. E-learning has opened up a world of opportunities for both students and learning institutions to explore. Among the most significant change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is students’ ability to learn remotely. Alternatively, there is also an opportunity for other businesses to capitalize on the increased demand for e-learning, such as offering competitive market rates for bandwidth packages, video conferencing applications, among many others. Therefore, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, the acquisition of education has to go on with e-learning to be able to identify opportunities for a prosperous and successful future.

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