The rise of online learning
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning was increasing. Students face different challenges for accessibility to education nowadays, and online learning often helps bridge that gap. As Ilker Koksal wrote for Forbes, “Since the COVID-19 outbreak, online learning has become more centric in people's lives. The pandemic has forced schools, universities, and companies to remote working and this booms the usage of online learning.”
However, even before the pandemic, online learning was expected to grow into a $350 billion industry by 2025. Even when campuses fully reopen, online learning is here to stay, for all types of degrees and all types of learners.
Online and blended learning
One of the challenges facing educators is keeping students going through a blend of online and in-person instruction. The hybrid model, while not entirely new, went into use at a much faster pace than anticipated in the spring of 2020 due to the COVID outbreak. Technology became a critical piece of the puzzle for helping students find success in the virtual classroom. Rather than be feared, it’s vital that technology is embraced.
As The U.S. Department of Education writes, “Used to support both teaching and learning, technology infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and handheld devices; expands course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; supports learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; builds 21st century skills; increases student engagement and motivation; and accelerates learning.”
When done right, as it has been at many institutions, students have embraced online learning and become participants in their learning experience with online education. They have shared their learning through projects, presentations, and other forms of media, such as podcasts, blogs, and even moodboards.
There are great ways university students worldwide are sharing what they’ve learned, with brainteasers, games, interactive quizzes (for example Kahoot), and group work in breakout rooms to spark innovative thinking. Keeping things active for students helps them stay on task, and elicits class discussion. The great thing is all of these things can be done remotely through online platforms.
Sitting in front of a screen all day can be exhausting, leading to students checking out or disengaging, so students benefit most from the most engaging sessions. Since “The human brain will consciously choose to process information when it is meaningful,” it’s up to universities to create a learning experience that sticks with students.
Recognizing that there is often a gap between top-quality higher education and students’ ability to access it, Unicaf connects the two with, among other things, its innovative online learning platforms and its links with some of the best UK and US universities.
Through scholarship programs, Unicaf supports students in underserved areas in Africa who might otherwise be unable to access higher education. In partnership with campuses across the globe, as well as through their own online campuses, Unicaf has offered over $100 million worth of scholarships to more than 40,000 eligible applicants in 156 countries around the world.
Unicaf has embraced online education through the use of technology. It facilitates the global online delivery of study materials for bachelor's, master’s, and PhD degrees through its state-of-the-art digital platform, the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Through this platform, students can access an extensive library of academic information, tutorials, Discussion Forums, and networking with professors or other students, all through their desktop or mobile device, at any time.
Unicaf’s cutting-edge technology seeks to take the struggle out of online learning, “combining flexibility and ease of access with extensive personal support and interaction with tutors and fellow students.” Students are supported throughout their learning process, and receive a high-quality education. Understanding technology in the world’s future workplaces is important to Unicaf. As a result, students earn degrees that prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of technology-driven societies.
When students enroll in higher education, their worlds are expanded. For example, Unicaf University graduate Bernadette Masona of Zimbabwe, who graduated with a Master’s of Arts in Education last May, says Unicaf’s great support enabled her to obtain her degree.
“I want to urge anyone who might want to learn using distance education to try Unicaf,” she says. “Unicaf also enables you to work from the comfort of your home. You are your own boss; you do it in your own time. So try Unicaf and you won’t be disappointed.”
Online learning is here to stay for the long haul. However, with ingenuity, collaboration, and teamwork, it’s something that can be embraced to improve the lives of students around the world. While it can sometimes feel daunting, there are endless opportunities to utilize technology to help maximise online learning. Unicaf offers an excellent path for those who want to use the latest technology, wherever they are in the world, to obtain a top-quality global education.
Article written in association with Unicaf.