Survey: What Does the Future Hold in the Distance Learning Sector?

A total of 31 distance learning schools were asked about the current situation and future trends in distance learning 2021. To collect the data, the responsible experts from the distance learning schools in question were asked to answer a questionnaire on the subject of distance learning. In the questionnaire, the participants were given various answer options or they were offered free answers to the questions.

The evaluation of the questionnaires showed some clear trends. The future of distance learning seems to bring some innovations and innovations, especially in terms of teaching methods and forms of communication. For correspondence courses in the fields of business administration, psychology, and health care, even the conventional subjects, such as GCSE Chemistry tutor (see details here). The demand will increase considerably in the future due to current developments.

Overall, the survey made it clear that the e-learning method will be supported in the future by considerably more components of user-oriented information technology. The educational alternative of distance learning adjusts itself to future markets with the study programs and also with the educational formats. In the future, distance students can look forward to a colorful mix of media and particularly varied distance learning.

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning has become a very important buzzword in our society. Learning is no longer restricted to a certain age or a certain stage of life. Those who learn and develop for a lifetime also constantly create new and individual career opportunities. But how does this call for lifelong learning actually affect distance learning?

“The distance learning’s blended learning approach guarantees a high-level flexibility when you need to deal with family, work, and study at the same time.” Margot Sinclair

In 2021, in Particular, There Were Many Discussions About the Need for Continuous Training and the Increasing Relevance of Trained Specialists.

All distance learning schools agreed that the increasing relevance of trained specialists and the need for ongoing training have in no way had a negative impact on the number of registrations for distance learning. Slightly more than half of the experts surveyed were of the opinion that the number of new registrations for correspondence courses remained roughly the same. 36% were able to confirm that the number of registrations had developed positively and 9% of the distance learning schools were able to record a very positive development in registrations.

What Significance Will Distance Learning Courses Have for Germany as an Educational Location in the Future?

In an OECD comparison, Germany has a rather low rate of graduates, and participation in further training measures is only below average. What significance will distance learning courses have for Germany as an educational location in the future?

Overall, the surveyed distance learning schools thought that distance learning courses will become even more relevant for America as an educational location in the next few years. Ms. Sinclair from AKAD private universities says: “The topic of distance learning has already increased in importance in Germany in recent years, especially academic distance learning. Not least because of the Bologna system with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the trend towards distance learning will continue unabated in the next few years and will offer working people promising further training opportunities. “

Ms. Dr. Margot Sinclair from the Central Office for Distance Learning at Universities of Applied Sciences gave a detailed statement: “Distance learning programs will continue to be of great importance, as the qualification takes place alongside work, without job interruptions and loss of earnings. Both companies and employees benefit equally from distance learning. The blended learning approach in distance learning guarantees a high degree of flexibility when combining studies, work, and family. Individual and comprehensive support via the learning platform as well as practical and application relevance through presence and project phases ensure that theory and practice are interlinked in the best possible way ” Sinclair.

Has Web 2.0 Helped to Lower Dropout Rates in Distance Learning?

Web 2.0 has opened up completely new opportunities for interaction in distance learning and thus promotes communication more intensely. The simplified and diverse communication options also promote the motivation of learners and lead to a lower dropout rate.

The sometimes high drop-out rates are repeatedly discussed in the distance learning educational method. But at least in the last few years, the number of dropouts has decreased slightly. This fact can be related to the new communication and interaction possibilities in distance learning, among other things.

More than 60% of the survey participants stated that the drop-out rate for them has decreased a little, at 20% of the distance learning schools the number has even been influenced very positively by the new communication options. The increased exchange – be it among students or between participants and lecturers – promotes social communication and thus obviously motivates to persevere together.

Distance Learning Communication

Communication between the students and the distance learning university plays a particularly important role. Due to the spatial distance that exists between course participants, fellow students, and lecturers, a well-functioning and versatile communication network are essential for distance learning schools.

“Online communication is clearly on the advance – distance learning is no exception.” Elmar Gonzalves.

Preferred Forms of Communication in Distance Learning

Which forms of communication are used by the students, especially for technical and organizational questions?

It was to be expected that communication via email would be the most important form of information exchange in distance learning. However, the fact that the telephone still ranks second for the two areas in demand was a surprising result. In addition to these two forms of communication, the online campus is very popular in both technical and organizational areas. Forums and chats also play an important role in distance learning in technical and organizational communication.

At the moment, the exchange via video conferences is negligible, which of all the communication methods surveyed is used the least by distance learning and distance learning. For around a third of the providers surveyed, however, the postal service still plays a certain role. The correspondence is still used by many distance learning students to have their submissions corrected in writing by the respective head of studies.

In conclusion, it can be stated that digital communication channels via social networks are still in the advance.

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