Virtual learning has great potential to transform traditional education structures for the better. Rather than seeing online education as an inconvenience, teachers can utilize its potential so that not only is it beneficial to students, but at times preferable to in-class education.
Here are six ways that online and hybrid education can positively impact students:
Making accommodations for students with disabilities. While virtual learning has been a struggle for some students with learning disabilities, others believe that online education is more beneficial for them. For instance, students with social anxiety feel more comfortable with taking online classes. There are also students with physical disabilities who see virtual education as an opportunity for increasing accessibility, because of how they benefit from the lack of physical barriers that can prevent them from participating in programs.
Eliminate distractions. Some students with ADHD have benefitted from being in an environment that isn’t surrounded by constant distraction. For online lectures that include frequent quizzes and tests, students pay more attention, take more notes, and retain more of the material. These tests also serve as incentives for students to focus and break up long lectures into manageable chunks.
No transportation is needed. For students who are facing barriers because they need to commute, online classes are a good way to circumvent this issue. Eliminating transportation can also benefit students by cutting the cost, the wait time, and the general inconvenience that happens when people travel from one location to the other.
Allowing students to get involved in competitive sports. Students who are committed to doing sports professionally need flexibility, especially if they must dedicate time to practice or compete. With online and hybrid schooling, there is an opportunity for them to stay committed to their academic success while pursuing their passion.
Offering the flexibility needed to personalize education. For online classes that include learning modules, students can also benefit from taking their classes whenever they want and at their own pace. Students can go as fast or as slow as they need, complete assignments based on their preferred time, and work anywhere they want. Rather than having their education control their schedule, students are empowered by completing their education according to their capacity.
Access to multimedia content. Some students learn five times more material in online courses that use multimedia content, which can also increase student retention from 25% to 60%. Having greater freedom in learning explorations means students not only have greater control over their learning, but they can gravitate towards the medium (reading articles, watching videos, looking at visuals, etc.) that suits them best.