Learn How COVID Has Shifted The Education Landscape With Virtual Learning

Learn How COVID Has Shifted The Education Landscape With Virtual Learning
via women.com and Mansureh Kebritchi

Stay up to date by knowing how virtual learning will continue to be essential in 2022!

Since 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted the education landscape causing virtual learning models to become accelerated.

Women.com received the opportunity to speak with Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi, Ph.D. - University Research Chair. She is an educational leader at the University of Phoenix. Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi continuously studies innovative ways to improve education as a whole.

If you are interested in learning how technology and virtual learning will continue to be essential in 2022, keep scrolling!

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In your opinion, how has Covid shifted the education landscape?

Covid-19 has disrupted educational systems and impacted the way that educators teach, and learners learn in all levels from K-12 to higher education. It accelerated the acceptance and adoption of online education.

Because of 2021, what educational trends do you expect to see in 2022?

I expect to see more serious attention to adoption of online education. As the Covid-19 pandemic endures, educational institutions realize the need for paying closer attention to online education. However, there are still many institutions that resist and prefer face-to face education over online education.

Will virtual education negatively affect the social development of our youth?

Not necessarily, it really depends on how well online education is designed and offered. The two modes of online learning are synchronous and asynchronous. In synchronous online learning, students attend online classes at the same time with their instructors and classmates. For example, they may attend online classes twice per week on specific set time. Alternately, in asynchronous online learning, materials and instructions are available online and students may access them at any time. If online education facilitates meaningful interactions and incorporates both synchronous and asynchronous communication, it can enhance social interactions of our youth.

Also, it depends on our youth’s personality and preferences. Some youth with introverted personalities may prefer to communicate via online settings and online education may further enhance their social development. Alternately, extroverted youth may prefer face-to-face interactions and therefore online education may hinder their social development.

How will these virtual educational trends impact single parents or two income households?

Single parents or two income households have to leave their kids unsupervised at home for online education. Of course, this complicates the situation for parents who need to go to work. Particularly, this issue gets more difficult with younger kids. To address this challenge, local libraries or community centers may supervise youths while their parents are at work. Also, educational systems may design online courses in a way that young students can participate without additional help from their parents or guardians. Additionally, teachers or teacher assistants may interact more frequently with students to reduce their feeling of being alone.

If students consistently participate in distance learning, how will this impact 1:1 tutoring sessions with their teachers?

It is notable that the quality of distance learning can be significantly enhanced by using synchronous communication. Particularly, synchronous verbal communication along with video is very similar to face-to-face interaction. To keep up the quality of one-to-one tutoring sessions, they can be offered through synchronous sessions via video conferencing platforms.

What is your insight on class participation for virtual classes in 2022?

I think online courses need to be properly designed to engage students in classes. If courses are poorly designed, students will not participate and lose their interest in classes. Additionally, teachers need to get trained about how to engage with their students in online settings. Unfortunately, there are many poorly designed online courses that disengage students, and many teachers who are not well trained.

Will these trends make it harder for teachers to keep positive engagement with their students?

Yes, if online courses continue with poor design, it makes it harder for teachers to keep students engaged in their education.

Technology has been and will continue to be essential in 2022 but how will this trend impact students that don’t have the same access to technology?

Of course, if online education continues students who do not have access to technology and Internet will be in a disadvantage. One of the main issues that educational systems need to address for better adoption of online education is enhancing technology accessibility for all students.

In your opinion, will accelerated virtual learning models shift our future in a positive or negative direction?

I think online education shifts our future to a positive direction. Online education has some advantages such as making education more accessible for working students, allowing students to attend courses in various school zones with better quality, or saving time and effort for commuting to attend face-to face courses.

Of course, online education should remain as an option next to face-to-face education, not a replacement of face-to-face. We should offer both online and face-to-face education and allow learners to select the modality that works best for their personality and conditions.

What currently is working well in our education system that you believe will continue into 2022?

I think accelerated use of synchronous video conferencing such as Zoom for online class discussion, one-to-one tutoring, or meeting is working well in our educational system and will continue into 2022.

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