online education

How will on-line training develop? Coursera provides some hints

How will online education develop?  Coursera gives some hints

The education sector quickly turned to online tools as the lockdown spread to different countries. But what students are experiencing today is just the beginning of the digital transformation of this ecosystem. We caught up with Leah Belsky, CEO of Coursera, to discuss current and future trends in online education. Here are some excerpts from our video conference.

The Covid-19 crisis has led to a surge in online learning

According to Leah Belsky, some takeaways from what have surfaced during the pandemic. First, users flocked to the platforms. The quality of the courses offered on the platforms has also increased, for example courses on machine learning and programming. And on the university side, Coursera helped them transition to online classes when campuses shut down.

Has the time come for massive online learning? (nope)

“I really think it’s a game changer,” says Leah Belsky. “But I wouldn’t say the time is right. If you talk to a lot of universities, and we brought a lot of universities together at a world conference a week ago, they’ll tell you that what’s going on right now is the formation of the crisis. This is not online education. But I think this crisis will fundamentally change the way universities educate people for several reasons. »

“Firstly, the students are now scattered all over the world and I think it is unlikely that they will all return to campus immediately. We’ve seen the expert forecasts and it looks like we’re going to see waves of this virus and more waves of lockdowns and then a return to normal. And from a university point of view, I think it’s unlikely that there will be many students all in one place in the near future. Universities must therefore begin to structure their teaching in such a way that part of it is always online. »

Towards a hybrid system and increasingly online

Many universities already have a digital infrastructure with learning management systems, video conferences and courseware. The teacher’s role in these hybrid environments will change. “Professors will have a slightly different role, facilitating teaching, allowing for in-person and online discussions, but leveraging courses and lectures from other universities. It’s kind of a world we’re preparing for,” says Leah Belsky. “I think the role of the professor will change, the time students spend studying online will change, the way universities work together will change. »

Tuition fees change

Coursera’s leader is betting that tuition fees will fall with the advent of online learning. “I think online education, when done right, can be incredibly powerful. The price may be slightly different, and at Coursera we strive to lower the cost of the education we provide to make it more affordable,” says Ms. Belsky.

The future of online education

Ms. Belsky notes that most e-learning efforts attempt to replicate current systems. However, best practices and new technologies will emerge to overhaul the online educational experience and make students more engaged.


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