Budgets these days are tight in both traditional classrooms and in corporate training. Teachers, professors and trainers are all seeing increases in class sizes, and reductions in budgets for staff and resources. In essence, educators of all sorts are being asked to teach more with less. "Scalability" almost seems like a dirty word in education and training, as no one who teaches wants to sacrifice quality of instruction for larger numbers of learners put through the system. The expectation is still there that a teacher will be able to engage, inspire, and help individuals in a meaningful way.
Can new education technology solve the problem of quantity over quality? Perhaps not entirely, but the right learning platforms and tools can help educators deal with increasing numbers and decreasing time and resources. Here's how:
- With the exception of very young learners, it's no longer necessary to have everyone in the classroom at the same time, or in the classroom at all. Mobile ed tech makes it possible to teach from the other side of the planet, and for learning to be at least somewhat self-directed.
- Teachers are often concerned that they won't be able to easily identify and help those who are struggling, or challenge those who are excelling. Real-time analytics can help them to see who is behind and who is ahead, even in larger classes.
- The just-in-time help provided by an effective learning platform can make it easier for students to reach out to instructors and to each other for assistance, even when they're part of a bigger group.
- The right platform can also accommodate a variety of media for a variety of learning styles. There may be a lot of students, but there can also be a lot of ways to learn.
- Learning platforms can make it easier to break learning larger activities into small tasks, and to design curriculum so that a student has to engage in each step. This entails creating lots of of little check-in points or assessments along the way, instead of waiting until the end of the course or semester to find that a student has become lost in the crowd.
- Effective learning platforms also an provide an opportunity to make learning a community affair, as learners are able to access materials remotely, and share them with family, co-workers, and clients.
- In the past, it's been tempting to counter increases in class sizes with lecture-based learning. Lecture material can still be a valuable part of a course, but with the right online learning platform, it becomes easier to flip a classroom and make it one of many teaching tools. In other words, there are options besides lectures when teaching larger numbers.
Can education be made scalable in the sense that large groups can be taught without the intervention/interaction with an actual educator? Certainly not, but the right learning platform can help an educator make strategic decisions about where and when to direct their limited time and resources, and can also help learners to avoid getting lost in the crowd.
Contact our education specialists to for a free consulation and learn how online learning is suitable for your learners' needs!