By Kelly Smith. Kelly works at CourseFinder.com.au, an Australian online courses resource. She also provides career advice for students and job seekers and works as a freelance writer.
The benefits of online education are immense – there’s been a lot of talk lately about the next wave of online training that will completely revolutionize the education sector. Zachary Karabell of The Atlantic pointed out the huge future benefits of this radical change: “The costs of obtaining needed credentials will plummet, and the ability to create more tailored, vocational programs aligned with the skills employers need will increase exponentially.”
It goes without saying that there are several things traditional schooling institutions might learn from their online counterparts even today. Read on to see some of the most valuable aspects of online learning that should be adopted by stationary colleges.
The first and probably most important thing traditional colleges could learn from online universities is the realization that the world is constantly changing, as are job markets, cultures and societies. Curricula need to be constantly reviewed and updated to match the real requirements of varied professions. With the academic world filled with fixed programs and lectures that are repeated by professors every year with the exact same format and content, it’s no wonder that traditional schooling institutions aren’t able to follow the new trends and norms as efficiently as their digital counterparts.
In order to keep their curricula up-to-date, traditional colleges should develop strategies similar to those employed by online colleges, which focus on the reality of the job market and offer courses and degrees that provide skills necessary for developing competence and professional success. Adopting a good use of new technologies, traditional colleges could provide a more efficient teaching service at a lower cost, at the same time reducing the number of student debts.
Answering Students’ Needs
The main difference between traditional colleges and online universities is the amount of automation they involve. Clearly, certain aspects of schooling cannot be automatized, but there are plenty of procedures that require much less effort and human work once they are operated by specialized systems. Take the admission system for example – in an automatized environment, a small number of university staff can quickly handle large volumes of incoming students.
An automated registration process brings even better results – it’s virtually impossible for a student to enroll in a wrong course or be surprised at the end of the year by some missing credits or courses that contribute to their degree. This kind of efficiency is something traditional colleges should be aiming at – not only would it radically alter the student experience, but also provide the institutions with resources for concentrating on things that really matter, such as their curricula.
The Perks of Digitalized Education
In traditional colleges, the classroom is usually the professor’s sanctuary – there is a sense of freedom for university faculty. This is not a bad thing in itself, but can become truly inefficient in certain cases, when professors are not talented at teaching and have high failure rates on their courses. Clearly, the college should make sure that the professor’s methodology is reviewed and corrected, but this is often not the case.
Online colleges, on the other hand, have a distinctive focus on data analytics – no teaching failure can be hidden or overlooked as they strive to provide the best training possible by constantly surveying the performance of the faculty. Digitalized education permits a better control on teaching methodology, which can be fashioned according to the needs and requirements of the students – if a large number of them reports a certain course really difficult, the university will immediately take measures – an attitude that would clearly be beneficial at traditional colleges.