The Impact of COVID-19. edX keeps the commitment to the global community in pursuit of a world where every learner can access education without the barriers of cost and location in the changing world. COVID-19 brings unexpected challenges as well as new opportunities for us this year. Although in-person learning will still matter, traditional higher education will not return to exactly the same situation as before.
The Importance of Online education. Online education will be a key pillar of every university strategy. It is not just optional, but essential. Online education has unique pedagogical benefits over in-person learning and resources for creating business opportunities and continuity. Online learning also offers flexibility, even during normal times.
The New Normal of Higher Education. After COVID-19, there will be a combination of in-person and online learning, which is called blended learning where students will be seamlessly switching between different types of instruction. edX has been passionately pursuing a modular stackable vision of learning that enables schools to pick and choose online content from other schools and share resources and experience. Blended learning has long been known to be more effective than either of its constituents: in-person learning and online learning.
The Progress Made for the Future. Before COVID-19, teaching and learning was all in person all the time with some universities actively offering online learning opportunities for only on-campus students. During COVID-19, online learning grows from zero to 100% when universities were forced to shut down. Teachers use Zoom, Google Hangouts, Webex, Skype, or other means to give their hour-long lectures remotely. This trend will continue at least until the end of 2020. More and more online programs using techniques have been specifically designed for better learning experiences and outcomes: active learning with short videos and interviewed exercises, instant feedback, self-paced learning, peer learning, virtual labs, as well as space, repetition, and mastery learning. Everything built at edX and the partners over the past 8 years has prepared as for this moment, to support our students and the global education system. It’s in the DNA of edX.
The Vision for the Future. In the post-pandemic era, the pace of blended learning will pick up as more courses are developed, and as the faculty build experience with creating and sharing content. By 2025, most universities will have roughly about 50% of online activities with in-person learning, thereby ushering in the new normal where online work and in-person work interleaving with each other.