With the blazing fast speed of iPhone 5, a new record-breaking youth population is harnessing knowledge and learning on their fingertips. A $35.6 billion market until last year, Ambient Insight Research found the US Market for self-paced eLearning products and services: 2010-2015 forecast and analysis, is set to a five-year compound annual growth rate of 7.6% with a decline of over 22% per annum in students attending classrooms exclusively. Rather than wake up and trudge bleary-eyed to the classroom, students now have the option to watch the recorded or live stream on the iPad, join the discussion, ask questions, all while enjoying breakfast in their pajamas in the comfort of their home.
Traditional face-to-face learning still serves as a common ground for a cultural identity, but technology is erasing these cultural boundaries and forging new guideposts. My lessons for Bachelors Degree in Public Administration were completely delivered face to face When I did not understand certain concepts, I had to wait until the end of class or for the next class to seek clarification with the tutor. Stark contrast to that is my current Information Systems Management Master’s program where pedagogy is delivered both in class and online. Conducted in real time, we get feedback and assistance from the tutors and peers. The online learning helps me better understand the class lectures.
I studied Organizational Behavior during my graduation, which is also a requirement for my Master’s program. With the mixture of both online and in person learning I am better able to understand the subject. With real-life experiences during discussion as well as the constant interface with both the lecturer and peers, there is a greater level of understanding. Both online and face-to-face learning are a richer and more fulfilling experience.
Unless I had an assignment or was going to class, there was no need to constantly studying. With online lessons, the lecturer posts questions on the discussion forum, and it is mandatory that each student answers two questions daily. The answers are worth two marks, impelling us to think and keep up-to-date with the lessons. Followed for all class under the Master’s program, this has resulted in my better understanding of the various concepts being taught.
Simulation offers the best of both worlds. Educators can use the simulation for a setting fit for their students’ individual learning needs. Whether it is in class, in group session or practical project work. For example, if you are studying Operations in class, you can try out different scenarios using stimulation to mimic real-life problems encountered by a business. The students can utilize real-life stimuli so that when they come across a similar situation in the real world, they have the required skills and competences to deal with the problems that arise. Simulation is the right step in preparing for the journey ahead.