August 10, 2016
Learning is a lifelong process. Embracing this idea is key to running a successful and enduring startup in increasingly knowledge-based industries. Your business must adapt alongside the ever-changing landscape and economy.
Online education has always had clear advantages for business owners and employees alike. Participants can undertake further training and professional development, earning qualifications along the way, in their own time and in the comfort of their own home.
Today, a growing number of tech-based systems and learning techniques have combined to strengthen the appeal of online education, making it easier than ever to learn new skills and, ultimately, improve your business.
Tech-Based Distance Learning
Technological advances have ensured previous perceptions of distance learning have been turned on their heads – gone are the days of impatiently waiting for mail correspondence, and tuning in to TV and radio tuition programs.
Flexibility and accessibility have always been the biggest selling points of distance learning. Communications technology has only increased the ability of online providers of education to establish a credible platform for continuing education and developing skills.
By means of VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments), providers like Anglia Ruskin University offer various distance learning courses in subjects like business, computing and management. Students use a centralized hub to submit coursework, receive feedback and marks, and participate in discussion forums with mentors and peers.
Synchronized teaching, through web conferences, for example, allow students and teachers to connect and communicate in real-time from various locations. Programs like Microsoft OneNote have helped to facilitate this by allowing multi-user collaboration and an easy exchange of ideas and information.
The Rise of MOOCs
First launched in 2008, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been around for a few years now. Simply put, they are free modules that are available online to anyone with an interest in participating, MOOCs incorporate various elements such as forums, social networks, blogs, videos and written materials to deliver their information.
Whilst they have been critiqued as offering only mere introductions to subjects and courses, major educational institutions are beginning to sit up and take note. In the UK, some universities are now beginning to formally accredit such online courses, with participation from students counting towards their final degrees.
Continuing advancements in communication technologies means that the way MOOCs work is open to change, making them an exciting form of online education to keep an eye on over the next few years.
The Future of Online Education
Technology has already done wonders for online education, although recent study has focused on the concept of MiRTLEs: Mixed Reality Teaching and Learning Environments.
The goal here is to enable students to virtually join a lecture through webcam or digital avatars, and experts are exploring the practicalities and technology necessary to facilitate such interaction. With continued research, the possibilities are endless, and as education becomes more accessible and flexible it’s easier than ever to keep learning and growing your business.
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