online education

E-learning: What’s the actuality of this “digital” instructing?

Distance learning is an option worth considering. Where do we stand, which training courses are offered, what are the disadvantages? Questions and answers on this type of learning imposed at the time of the health crisis.

Distance learning, what are we talking about?

Correspondence or evening courses: old classics! The proof: The CNED, National Center for Distance Education, was founded in 1939 when the education system was rocked by World War II. This established public operator is still a benchmark in this area. Distance learning provides an opportunity to pursue an education and earn a degree without being in a school. Since the 2000s, online courses have taken precedence over other forms of “distance learning” thanks to the development of new technologies. We are talking about e-learning. It became massively popular at the time of the health crisis to ensure educational continuity. With more or less success…

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What developments?

The recent massive deployment of distance learning during the hiatus of “face-to-face” instruction has highlighted the level of schools’ unpreparedness. Positive point: E-learning experienced quite a boost at the time. We have witnessed the emergence of new solutions. This includes the affiliated campuses, notably in Carcassonne and Font-Romeu. Higher education in particular has caught up. Some universities were pioneers in the development of distance and online teaching with special services: they are united in the FIED – Inter-University Federation of Distance Education – founded in 1987. Digital tools allow going beyond the classroom, in PDF format to be sent back so that teachers can correct them… We are increasingly using email and chat, video, audio… Virtual classes are becoming a reality and some are already posing Courses given in the metaverse or the use of augmented reality. Maybe tomorrow.

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What training?

The offer is huge. Hundreds of training courses can be attended remotely, from CAP to bac + 5. To better find your way, you can find out more from the CNED, this organization under the supervision of the Ministry of Education, which itself offers … 250 training courses at a distance. You can also find out more from the FIED, which brings together around 30 universities: it represents 55,000 students and 500 courses. On the operator side, many private companies have specialized in this sector and join the public players (such as the CNED, but also the CNAM). It is important to find out about their offer and also about their seriousness. Especially since private training is often expensive! And once you’ve paid, it’s impossible to change your mind.

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What barriers?

The price in particular can be seen as a barrier. However, with universities, you should know that, like any student, they only charge enrollment fees. At CNED, the prices for a license are between 360 euros and over 1000 euros. Therefore, before starting, you must seriously question your motivation and ability to self-discipline. Distance learning isn’t for everyone. When you’re free from your time, you need to know how to use it. The induced isolation is also hard to endure. And then let’s start with the basics: the digital divide is obviously a brake. According to a May 2020 Ifop survey, 10% of households do not have access to a computer.

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