Students are one of the most widely affected groups by the COVID-19 crisis. Any lost education to a student slows their progress and reduces their success.School used to be a consistent, reliable feature in the lives of parents, students, and instructors until COVID added uncertainty and took away the ability to meet in person.Students at all levels of education are struggling to cope with the changes. Households are fighting for bandwidth on the Internet as students learn online and parents work remotely. Community college students are more adversely affected than their private or state-run colleges. COVID-19 is putting up roadblocks at all levels of education. While there are many negative effects on the education industry, COVID-19 is paving the way to give students more learning options. These obstacles provide educators with the opportunity to find creative solutions.
Students Are Looking for Alternatives to Four-Year Universities
Technology is upending industries, and education is no exception. Both traditional and non-traditional students are looking for faster ways to learn skills than spending time and money at colleges in their region. COVID-19 is accelerating the search for college alternatives. The lack of certainty around campus life and in-person classes is making students look for sure things. Taking online college courses is more reliable since students don’t have to worry about getting sick or flip-flopping between online and in-person.
Emphasis on Self-paced Learning
Even beforeCOVID-19, our world emphasized taking the initiative for your personal development.The Internet has long been a tool for sharing resources and learning new things. Education companies are capitalizing on the trend by offering online courses for in-demand skills. Through pre-published modules and peer grading systems, companies like Coursera and Udemy allow ambitious learners to upskill.
College students are using these tools to get their foot in the door with technical skills. Computer science is one of the fastest-growing industries, and four-year schools can’t meet the industry’s demands.Just like startups, students are looking for the fastest way to get on the market. A four-year degree often includes humanities classes and other topics not central to a student’s focus area. While humanities and other knowledge-building classes are great resources for learners, some view them as a waste of time and money. Students would rather focus on the skills that will get them hired. Technical schools and coding boot camps are gaining popularity as students focus on quickly learning skills rather than taking humanities classes that won’t further their career. These options allow students to increase the tools at their disposal and gain the skills for entry level employment.
Online Degrees Will Mimic Remote Working Situations
Workplaces, just like schools, transitioned to remote work. Online education is incorporating collaborating with peers and instructors to prepare students for the remote workplace.While self-paced courses are a good tool for learning, the best online degrees will involve opportunities to collaborate with peers.Education isn’t all about reading facts and taking a test. Students learn the material best when they get to engage with the content in unique and challenging ways.
Colleges Are Emphasizing Soft Skills
Standardized tests across the world were cancelled, making it difficult to assess the knowledge a student obtains before heading to college. While concrete skills like English, math, and science are important, soft skills are often an indication of a student’s success in college. GPA is a better indicator of college success than SAT or ACT scores. GPA gives colleges admission counselors more insight into the habits of applicants. SAT and ACT scores can be high for gifted students with a poor work ethic. A poor work ethic won’t get students through college, even if they are skilled test-takers.
Remote Learning Is Practice for Remote Work
At the end of the day, we pursue education to increase the ceiling of careers. Many of the communication tools used for online learners directly translate to the workplace. Messaging services, video calls, and time management are all needed to succeed in today’s office environment. Even though younger students might be well versed in how to use messaging apps, the practice of professional use during school helps students to present themselves in a better light to employers.It’s important that teachers of K‑12 students, and even some first-year college students, get directly taught or corrected when communicating. It’s not a guarantee that students have experience using certain apps or know proper communication tools.
Students are central to the education industry. The education industry will continue to adapt to their needs to improve outcomes. COVID-19 is the catalyst to bring the education industry to the 21st century.