E-Learning has been thrust into mainstream conversation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But is it here to stay?
E-Learning has been thrust into mainstream conversation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But is it here to stay? A recent poll conducted by Leger on behalf of the Ontario Virtual School indicated that 64 percent of Canadians think that using e-Learning to deliver education to students will continue once life “returns to normal.” But what does this mean for students and parents?
Delivering thoughtful, quality e-Learning to students won’t happen overnight. Effective e-Learning requires consideration, training, and expertise — which take time. Canadian parents recognize this: the Leger survey noted that 29 percent of parents would consider paying for a private e-Learning specialist for their children.
Private providers, like the Ontario Virtual School (OVS), have spent years developing high-quality online programs that personalize the learning process by providing flexible options that support a diverse student population.
“When most people think of e-Learning, they think about the antiquated correspondence model where schools provide materials and place the onus on students to read and engage with the content in isolation,” says Gary Michael, Principal at OVS. “Today’s private e-Learning providers are much more sophisticated. Most create their courses with both parents and students in mind to ensure a motivating and well-supported environment for learning.”
Michael notes that the courses developed by OVS place an emphasis on interactive and flexible content to keep students engaged in their education. OVS currently offers over 75 courses that include a blend of video narration, interactive multimedia elements, varied assessment, and evaluations — all supported by Ontario College of Teachers-certified teachers who are available for individual student support.
Teachers who specialize in e-Learning, like Ottawa resident Alicia Cuzner, suggest that students benefit from the ability to progress at their own pace. “Rolling enrolments for courses and the flexibility to work on their own schedule help students who need extra time and attention get the support they need while offering students who progress more quickly the opportunity to expedite their coursework and credits,” she says.
Still, Cuzner notes that there are challenges that need to be addressed. “We know that not every student in Ontario has equal access to the internet, but we’re hopeful that, in the years to come, this will change as 5G increases internet accessibility across the country and technological advances make personal devices more affordable,” she says.
The jobs of the future will require digital and technological skills, and as the next generation of digital natives enter the workforce, e-Learning will play a more prominent role in their education.