Empowering Learners: The Rise of Online and On-Demand Learning

Shreelekha Singh
October 28, 2020
5 min read

When you think of the inevitability of change, the field of education provides a prominent example. As technology continues to pave the way for our future, its impact is remarkably distinct in the education ecosystem. 

The rise of digital education has significantly altered the idea of a traditional classroom. By optimizing the learning process through automated tools and digital resources, online & on-demand learning has created new avenues for educators to augment their teaching.


Aligning Teaching with the Learners’ Needs

The modern-day learner differs starkly from that of the past. With shorter attention spans and longer screen times, their learning needs have also changed significantly over the years. The traditional chalk-and-talk teaching methodologies may not be enough to cater to these changing student requirements. 

This is where online and on-demand learning programs play a game-changing role. Teaching a class of digital natives necessitates the smart use of technology to enhance learning outcomes. The online and on-demand learning framework successfully accomplishes this goal by enabling educators to creatively remold their pedagogy and better orient it with the students' needs. 

What is Online & On-Demand Learning

Simply put, online learning connotes two things: learning takes place over the internet and does not involve a physical classroom. 

Recent years have witnessed a growing shift towards online learning in educational institutes of all levels. In schools, the implementation of blended learning has facilitated the assimilation of online learning tools in the pedagogy. 

Another aspect of digital education is on-demand learning. Powered by a rapid surge in internet access and use, the on-demand economy has been thriving across the world. Its advent into the education domain has created several merits for both teachers and learners.

On-demand means getting access whenever you want. The only criteria for demanding service is an internet connection. By giving maximum control to the students, on-demand learning facilitates personalization and self-paced learning.

on-demand learning

Rise of Online & On-Demand Learning

Digital learning has grown significantly in the last few decades.

Before the pandemic halted all classroom teaching, the online education market was forecasted to grow to a whopping $350 billion by 2025. In a post-COVID19 world, online and & on-demand learning has become even more centric in education.

On-demand learning platforms, including the likes of Udemy, Coursera, and Unacademy, cater to learners with different skills, from diverse fields. Some of the best universities like Harvard and Stanford also offer their courses online. Subscription-based learning modules on portals like Shaw Academy and Skillshare offer greater latitude for choosing what to study.

Besides these on-demand learning courses, educators can find an array of digital tools to refine their methods and augment their teaching. The massive growth of the LMS market is one of the many aspects that substantiate this shift towards online learning.

What explains this growth? 

  • One of the most crucial reasons for the increasing popularity of online and on-demand learning is the sophisticated technology that runs these platforms. Online tools empower teachers to automate their workflow and offer better accessibility to the learners. 
  • Besides, the convenience of time is another major factor for the rise of online & on-demand learning. Tech tools cut down the time spent on performing manual tasks like record keeping, giving assignments, taking attendance, and similar. 
  • Moreover, the cost differences between classroom and online learning have inevitably pivoted learners and teachers towards the latter.


How to integrate online & on-demand learning in teaching

Digital education has several merits for both teachers and students. Online teaching has imitated the idea of a physical classroom with considerable success. With tools for video conferencing and engagement, online teaching offers almost everything a teacher needs to establish a collaborative and meaningful learning environment like that in a real class. 

On-demand learning, on the other hand, plays a supplementary role in enabling students to learn several concepts and ideas on their own, without a live teaching aid. This way, learners get opportunities to expand their knowledge about a subject or a topic outside of their curriculum. 

Collectively, online and on-demand teaching ensures a collaborative learning environment alongside the resources for revision and assessment. Several newly founded schools like Prenda have used this approach to create an advanced learning framework. 

When it comes to teaching, educators can leverage online tools and resources in many ways.

  • Tools such as a learning management system can automate many tedious tasks like scheduling classes, assessments, assignment submissions, attendance, and more. By optimizing the teacher's work, an LMS maximizes their focus and efforts on teaching. In essence, LMS platforms also enable a more disciplined, convenient, and flexible teaching framework.
  • Online learning tools also help in making lectures more interactive and engaging. The use of multimedia and gamification apps, for instance, can capture the learners' attention and procure positive results. Besides, digital content is more appealing to learners growing up with access to multiple devices. 
  • Another great way to integrate technology in the classroom and get the benefits of digital education is in the form of differentiated instruction. Several software facilitate the distribution of students into similar learning zones. Teachers can then use domain maps to understand their instructional goals and create resources accordingly. 
  • In addition to classroom management and instruction, tech tools are great for garnering and providing student feedback as well. They help in creating a simplified and transparent channel of communication between the teacher, the learner, and even the parents. This way, online learning is being used progressively to create a more collaborative environment. 

Classcard, premised on the idea of automating workflows for teachers, offers all of these solutions in one place. The platform is designed as a lightweight student and class management tool to enable teachers and institutions to seamlessly integrate technology in their work and make the most of it. 


blended learning

Benefits Online & On-Demand Learning for Learners

The rigidity of classroom teaching fails to accommodate the diverse preferences of the learners at times. Moreover, it may not appeal to their sensibilities of a modern-age learner more inclined towards the use of gadgets than that of pen and paper.

This, along with several other reasons, has made online and on-demand learning a more preferred choice among learners of all groups and ages. 

For School Students

School students have been the largest group affected by the pandemic-induced shift to digital education. Regardless of the initial difficulties in adjusting to this new form of learning, this shift will undoubtedly have a great impact in the years to come.

A well-managed online learning program can provide lifelong benefits to children in school. In fact, research suggests that blended learning, which is a mix of online and offline teaching methods, procures better learning outcomes than traditional methods.

With an online learning program, classes can potentially become more fun and exciting. Teachers can make use of an array of resources at their disposal to create a more interactive academic culture. This way, online learning presents the promise of achieving a higher degree of engagement to keep students motivated.


For College Adults

Online and on-demand learning is particularly beneficial for more grown-up learners in college. With a greater experience of using technology, college-goers expect a higher infusion of technology in teaching. Digitizing the college lectures allows educators to teach college students in their language. Learning with technology is both convenient and flexible as opposed to conventional classroom teaching. 


For Employed Workforce

Learning is a journey rather than a destination. It does not stop after school, college, or even a doctorate. In a world driven by skilled individuals, upskilling is the best way to scale greater heights in your career. Moreover, the rampant changes ushered in the workplace by the COVID19 pandemic have made upskilling all the more crucial. 

A working adult may find it hard to make time to learn a new skill or even upgrade one that you already have. On-demand courses provide you with the ease to switch on your learning mode anytime you find the time. Besides, mobility is deeply rooted in the idea of online learning. So, you don’t have to be somewhere to learn something. The idea of learning on-the-go offers a greater degree of accessibility to complete the courses. 


Summing Up

There has been a significant rise in the use of online and on-demand learning and rightly so. With so many benefits for learners and teachers alike, this new form of digital education has had a game-changing effect on the education ecosystem.  

Online and on-demand learning opens the gateway to the best resources needed to adapt to this dynamic world we live in. Be it podcasting or mixology, Imagineering or biohacking, students can learn virtually anything they wish to bag jobs they love. So, if you are an aspiring magician waiting to get out of school to learn magic, then don’t wait, go online!

Shreelekha Singh

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