The education industry today is witnessing a 360-degree makeover. The traditional modes of education are swiftly shifting from learning in colleges and universities to remote learning via dedicated online communities and platforms.
Educators have to now struggle to create online education strategies, build communication, and provide support to students to keep them motivated. Online communities are the perfect medium to understand a student’s approach in these trying times and keep them engaged for unhindered learning.
Let’s dive deeper into the world of online communities and decode their role in the higher education industry.
What are Online Learning Communities?
With eLearning becoming the new normal, the need to develop communities for students to engage, learn, and share has become the need of the hour. Online learning communities empower students to stay more connected.
The emergence of online communities has revamped the way the higher education industry used to function. Students can now access tons of coursework and connect with academic experts to resolve their queries instantly. There are a plethora of academic as well as social-emotional benefits attached to online learning communities.
The way students used to socialize earlier has been completely reformed with the development of online communities for higher education. Via this advanced network, it has become much easier for students to delve into discussions openly, interact with their peers, and learn through visualization.
How are Online Communities Impacting the Higher Education Industry?
The higher education arena is experiencing dynamic changes from every sphere like – social, academic, technical, and economic. Institutions that wish to keep up with this changing landscape have to think of new ways to engage with the target user. This is where the role of online communities comes into play.
Here’s how online communities are impacting the higher education industry:
- AI and Learning: The use of data-driven tools and AI is empowering universities to streamline operations and drive enrollment. With AI, institutions can build more personalized teaching and engagement plans that keep the students interested at all times. This has also led to a fall in the dropout rates as students can learn remotely, at their convenience. AI has transformed traditional learning methods, leveraging which, universities are experiencing a number of benefits such as instant query resolution, improvement in IT processes, and better team collaboration.
- Increased Participation: The rise of online communities in the higher education sector saw increased participation from students. A major factor that encourages students to stay active and contribute to the community, is the ability to address all their concerns in a timely fashion. Students can connect with each other virtually via these communities which gives them a sense of belonging and motivates them to keep participating. Rewarding students through gamification for their contribution is another factor that leads to an increase in participation.
- Improved Learning Experience: To make online communities an interactive learning space, it is crucial to understand the needs of the students and pen course material according to that. Earlier, students could openly voice their concerns in face-to-face classes and receive feedback within seconds, but it is difficult to tap the true feelings of the students about virtual learning without their actual presence. You can ask students about their preferences and the challenges that they are facing and curate a wholesome community learning experience for them.
- Emotional-Social Balance: Peer learning is a critical aspect of online learning via communities. Students can openly interact with their fellow students and mingle with peers, which ultimately leads to more engagement and participation. Communities help create a more personal and closed space for students to discuss their doubts and share their thoughts freely. Communities keep the students motivated at all times reminding them of the fact that they’re not alone.
The adoption of online communities has made it easier for institutions to simplify learning and address the student’s issues in real-time. With community support, institutions offer a personalized learning experience to the students.
Through online communities, institutions can strengthen their relationship with the students and encourage them to continue learning without any hindrance. Communities are a great medium for institutions to promote online learning via video tutorials, discussion boards, and more. By including the gamification feature in online learning communities, institutions can keep the students motivated and increase participation leading to better engagement.
Wish to build an online learning community? Know more.
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