There has been a lot of talk lately about Moocs and the future of online education. It was imagined that schools and physical universities would soon be out of business in the face of the success and explosive diffusion of the Moocs and free certifications. With a few years of hindsight today, we can see that the upheaval was not so radical and that online training seems to be struggling to dethrone pedagogy face-to-face.
When I read a book or listen to an interesting lecture, I usually take notes. The notebooks pile up, keeping track of things I’ve learned. These notebooks serve me as a physical anchor to my learning. My memory needs this support to organize and fix the memories. Several days after having noted an interesting idea, I remember it by visualizing the sentence that I wrote: I see again the words, the color of the ink, their arrangement in the notebook where I noted them, and the place specify where this notebook is in my shelf. The physical layout of my notebooks finally becomes the geographical map of my knowledge. That’s how I learn and memorize.
In general, the sensory and emotional experiences that accompany learning are an excellent aid to acquire new knowledge and know-how. Space, encounters, the way things are around me, and my relationship to the environment as I learn become solid anchors of my learning, a map of knowledge in three dimensions. The greater the learning environment that accompanies learning, the more effective it will be, especially if a significant experience is directly related to the skill acquired. That’s why some free certifications really help! The certifications are proven to improve skills, and they (students) don’t need a lot of resources to have them.
Thus, any scenario that involves the real participation of the student in the flesh allows a spatial and sensory anchoring of learning and ensures greater efficiency than the same experience seen on a screen or described in a book. Online training, along with free online certifications, really changes everything. For your info, anyone in need of free certifications can contact BitDegree.
In addition to the mnemonic benefit of a concrete situation, the dynamics of the group and especially the peer sanction represent another undeniable asset of face-to-face learning. The community of learners is an excellent source of motivation for each member, because the eyes of others are a thousand times more effective than any automatic correction, even if the first may be more biased than the second.
The specificity of the online training process, the link between memory and sensory experience, and finally, the importance of community in our motivation, all this explains the difficulties faced by purely online learning.
The first experiments in online courses faced a rapid decline in the motivation of learners. After having recently breathed new life into e-learning, the Moocs are now running out of steam. Despite a significant improvement through the creation of a virtual student community via dynamic online forums and real-time interactions, the Moocs fail to sustain motivation over time or to provide enough sensory anchors for facilitating the retention of new information by learners.
Some attribute the difficulties of MOOCs to a lack of certification. These online courses followed by thousands of people would struggle to be recognized by recruiters. Mooc certification solutions exist; however; it is enough to pay in most cases a few tens of dollars. With or without a certificate, online courses arouse the mistrust of recruiters precisely because of the fragility of the knowledge acquired. With or without free certifications, pure online education can never be a complete and autonomous educational solution. It will always be lacking something, and acquired knowledge will tend to fade more quickly.
So, how to take advantage of digital learning solutions without losing the benefits of face-to-face teaching?
In recent years, we have seen the emergence of a new movement: free certifications, blended learning, or hybrid pedagogy. It is about using the best technological tools while preserving a real framework of learning. Very promising, this new trend has already conquered many actors in search of the ideal combination: the physical schools are equipped with technological tools and digital spaces online, while, for their part, the actors 100% online develop partnerships with the field and seek to anchor themselves physically.
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