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How has Covid-19 influenced online learning?

Daughter and father learning on laptop from home

Covid-19 – a watershed for the online learning industry.

The entire world of training and education was forced to evolve over the past year without any warning and with little, to no time at all. But how exactly did Covid-19 influence online learning?

The impact

With the severity of Covid-19, it meant workers and students needed to move from offices and classroom settings to make-shift home offices. Whilst many became comfortable with the idea of remote working, learning from home came with its fair share of challenges. Face-to-face learning quickly became a thing of the past and it was time to think of new ways to learn fast, and efficiently.

Technology gave us hope

Technology is a huge part of our everyday lives, something we don’t even think twice about. But what happened when we had to work and learn from home? Everything stopped. It seemed there wasn’t enough technology to support this new way of life.

But, that wasn’t the case. There was plenty of technology that was readily available for us to use. Very quickly, we became accustomed to software that helped us communicate remotely such as Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams.

Then came the home classroom…

The readily available software turned our homes into remote learning environments to host classes, share presentations and take exams. Learning this way required more planning and thought from trainers but it provided a more efficient way of learning. Time and costs were reduced without the need for travel and classrooms. Whilst this seemed like an adequate resolution, it was lacking the engagement you could achieve from face-to-face sessions.

Creating virtual learning environments

The latest Technology Futures report from Ofcom shows that in educational settings students remember approximately 30% of what they hear and 20% of what they see. Whereas, they remembered 90% of the materials taught using virtual environment technology.

To fully engage learners remote learning needed to be enhanced with more interactive, immersive learning. There were many online tools to support this movement. Plus, more common software advanced their features to resolve these issues. With technology being second nature to most of us, most of the software and technologies available required very little specialist skills or knowledge to create learning at a much deeper level.

Efficient online learning

Creating more immersive and interactive learning has more benefits than just better engagement. It allows trainers to easily adapt learning and to scale up training programmes in more than one location, at a lower cost.

The one benefit that really changed the online learning world, is that practical learning environments could now be made virtual. The tools available made it easy to mimic scenarios that once required in-person training. Near-Life™ CREATOR VR makes it easy for trainers to create realistic environments online as well as providing learners access to these scenarios from their mobile phones.

Learning evolution

Covid-19 has pushed boundaries within the learning industry. It led the industry to become more innovative to create more impactful, efficient learning. Whilst we see virtual technologies leading the way of future learning, we predict other trends will allow us to accelerate online learning even more.

Need to find out more? Get in touch with our team.

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