With the growing demands of today’s students, the need for supplementary, flexible learning support is growing and has become centric to academic life. Apart from the flexibility and student life balance that virtual learning provides, it eliminates distance from the learning process so that students can gain access to learning support anytime.
One of the most significant advantages of online learning is creating customized learning paths for students based on their ability and individual requirements. Plus, parents enjoy that it’s often more cost-effective than traditional education since you don’t have to commute and can usually pay in installments.
Virtual learning and online tutoring became even more necessary throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, where most school systems were forced into online classrooms. But, with cases leveling off and things getting back to normal, what does that mean for the future of virtual learning and virtual tutoring?
Virtual Learning and the Pandemic
Before we can look ahead, we need to briefly reflect on the profound effect that the pandemic has had on the virtual learning space. It’s no debate that the pandemic has forever changed how students utilize virtual learning and tutoring services, with UNESCO estimating that a whopping 1.5 billion students have been affected since it began. But, beyond analyzing the numbers, what else did the pandemic show us about students and virtual learning?
For starters, and perhaps most obviously, the pandemic accelerated the inclusion and use of education technologies (EdTech) in methodological adaptation. In other words, students everywhere have become familiar with utilizing virtual learning and online tutoring platforms to reach educational benchmarks. Furthermore, the pandemic only emphasized the need for these EdTech systems as flexible, supplementary programs to traditional learning methods.
Secondly, recent research showed that, on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom. The study goes on to suggest that this is due to students being able to learn faster online since they can move through concepts at their own pace.
Beyond the flexibility, accessibility, and customization that online learning and virtual tutoring provide, it’s also a constructive and convenient option for students always on the go, such as athletes or musicians. So, what can we expect for the future of online learning and virtual tutoring?
Moving forward, it’s highly likely that many institutions will adopt a hybrid methodology when it comes to virtual learning and tutoring versus traditional classroom methods. But, beyond this, the growth of this technology and innovation has proved that there are new, diverse ways to facilitate online education, such as through immersive augmented reality, gamification, and opportunities for interactive learning in the Metaverse.
With exponential growth expected within the Metaverse and incredible resources being poured into the platform, Tutors on Demand wanted to provide early Metaverse adopters an opportunity to learn English in our Decentraland-based ESL center. We believe that the future of the internet (and the future of learning) lies in AR and VR technology, and the ESL concept provides us with an opportunity for specific proof of concept, but more importantly, we can seamlessly adapt to other languages, subjects, or special interests. In addition, the opportunity to connect students and educators in a virtual world will significantly impact the way classes are delivered and essentially create an academic world with no geographical limits.
Besides the ESL center in the Metaverse, Tutors on Demand has developed EDSY (for independent Tutors and tutor businesses), a streamlined, EdTech-focused alternative to Zoom and other generics. EDSY was created to help meet the needs of a wide range of instructors in order to simplify education delivery and establish open communication for progress reporting and goal setting. Plus, as a platform designed explicitly with EdTech systems in mind, it has all the ingredients to become the next must-have tool for teachers and tutors, right up there alongside traditional methods like cue cards and textbooks.
All in all, the future of virtual learning and virtual tutoring is bright, with many institutions already implementing certain online or hybrid measures, and tools like our Decentraland-based ESL center or our platform EDSY are poised to bring even further change to the EdTech space. Of course, with the pandemic finally slowing down and governments opening schools back up, the most likely outcome is that hybrid models of learning will prevail that are tailored to each student’s unique needs.
Ultimately, online learning will continue to empower students to become independent learners and to take control of their academic journey while having the support they need. This, in turn, allows them to reach a higher standard of education through increased comprehension and, more importantly, having an academic mentor that can identify learning gaps, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and support each student in a way that makes learning fun and engaging.