As has happened with almost everything, the pandemic has also accelerated the transformation in educational models in postgraduate education, but without a doubt, Business Schools have made an effort in the last two years, having produced a re-evaluation of their training plans.
And the impact of Covid-19 continues to have consequences, for while many schools were forced to close their buildings to students during the pandemic, the experience also served to emphasize the value of coming together to learn. As a result, campus construction projects are moving forward again as restrictions are eased. But the competition has changed as schools have also seen the value of offering online teaching to complement in-class lessons.
This is what Eleanor Murray, associate dean of executive education at Oxford Said, highlights, stating that “we re-evaluated the whole space after the pandemic, trying to make it as flexible as possible and as technological as possible”.
She argues that the challenge is to balance the demands of those who want to study online and to offer high-quality facilities for face-to-face teaching.
“Increasingly, there’s this sustainability argument with customers,” she says. “If they can avoid traveling for a module in a course, it allows them to reduce their carbon footprint. However, we are also seeing a really healthy increase in clients who want to return to our current campus. People still value the networking, conversations, and discussion that they only get when they’re face-to-face.”
Because it’s all about networking opportunities, which is why it’s always been (and will always be) important to be on campus. But the change that has taken place since the pandemic is that people have become accustomed to valuing their time and are grateful for the flexibility of studying online when the pace of work has become more frenetic, precisely as a consequence of the transformations in job positions. work that companies have been forced to do, which radically changed people’s time freedom agenda, so the online format was not only the instrument of the pandemic, but has come to stay.
According to some postgraduate students who also hold leadership positions in their organizations, they believe that online interaction works and that it seems that in this way those attending online meeting points are more willing to ask questions than face-to-face courses. It is as if they were encouraged to ask questions and an interest that perhaps was not so evident in face-to-face classes.
The demand for hybrid learning, where students participate both in person and online, has grown.
Combine campus facilities with online training
One of the main reasons schools combine inspiring campus facilities with online teaching technology is the growing demand for lifelong learning. This is driven by the recognition, intensified by job changes caused by the pandemic, that everyone needs to retrain and acquire new skills more often. Lifelong learning that we have already dealt with in this forum.
Educational research firm CarringtonCrisp’s annual Alumni Matters report, produced in partnership with management education accreditation body EFMD, found that 51% of 1,726 business school alumni surveyed in 76 countries would want some form of lifelong learning. and 77% said they would like to have online access to the conferences.
“Executive education will be much more focused on lifelong learning through microcredentials,” says Caryn Beck-Dudley, executive director of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, another accrediting body. “A lot of it can be delivered virtually, then save that face-to-face for networking, for people who really work as a team, and for team-building exercises.”
The challenge for schools is not identifying campus facility uses previously used by executive education programs, but rather finding the additional staff needed to teach shorter courses, adds Beck-Dudley. “You don’t really need to have the building at all, but you have to have the capacity in terms of staff to teach.”
E-learning and personalized instruction
In face-to-face training, the center is on the teacher and her ability to transmit her knowledge. Online training puts the student at the center and her ability to learn from practice, that’s why we turn the class around and the most important thing is to learn through experience with practices.
In the classroom, it is about creating a unique experience for the teacher so that he/she can better transmit what he/she knows and the student memorizes everything he can.
Within the online training we build a unique learning experience for the student in a collaborative environment where he acquires experience from the practice “Experience Learning”
In face-to-face training you memorize what they teach you and they evaluate you with exams. You learn what you need to know, but often you don’t learn how to apply it, right?
In the online training you solve projects learning in a group with your peers and mentor and you receive professional and non-academic feedback with continuous evaluations.
Online training is transforming the value chain from a model focused on the content and the teacher to a model focused on the student and the learning from it.
In short, a change of model is taking place where the student ceases to be a mere spectator to become the true protagonist.
E-learning systems represent an interesting alternative to provide students with adequate personalized instruction. Among these systems, adaptive educational hypermedia systems offer personalized learning that is considered the key to activating student motivation, allowing them to learn more efficiently.
Face-to-face education vs. virtual education
Distance training or face-to-face training, which one to choose?
A few years ago, distance education was the ugly duckling of higher education, both university and postgraduate, as it was less recognized than face-to-face education. Today, online learning has become the preferred option for millions of people due to its flexibility, for eliminating geographical barriers and for giving access to a more varied educational offer.
Online education continues to gain ground over face-to-face education and most students have tried this type of teaching. According to a Global Shapers survey published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), 77% of young people in the world have an online course in their curriculum, and the trend will only increase.
Another clear proof of the global growth of distance learning is the number of users of online course platforms: the five most used platforms worldwide totaled almost 90 million students in 2018 and more than 900 universities incorporated MOOCs that same year. —massive and open online courses— to its educational offer, as pointed out by the Class Central seminar search engine.
North America and the Asia-Pacific region lead the online education industry which, according to the Global Online Education Market: Forecasts from 2018 to 2023, will achieve an annual growth rate of 10.26% over the next four years and will exceed $286 billion market value in 2023.
Differences between virtual and face-to-face education
Online training and face-to-face training are two different ways of acquiring knowledge. Although both pursue the quality of teaching, each one uses its own method and establishes its own channels and learning guidelines.
Virtual education uses the Internet and information and communication technologies (ICT) to provide students with teaching tools —chats, blogs, videoconferences or shared documents— that make the course more dynamic and more intuitive and easy to follow. This asynchronous system allows students to attend class, work, communicate, take exams and access content from anywhere. Distance learning is also characterized by promoting the autonomy and curiosity of students, collaborative work, critical thinking and self-taught learning. This system also diversifies the sources of knowledge.
In contrast, in face-to-face education, students go to a physical classroom where teaching and much of the learning takes place. In this mode, students take on a more passive role and adapt to the pace and method of the teacher, who becomes the main source of consultation.
Is online education as effective as traditional on-campus education?
Today, more than 6 million students are enrolled in at least one online course, as a recent distance education study shows, and while this format represents a different experience than traditional on-campus education, it is an option that follows gaining traction, especially among non-traditional adult learners and a population that is not unemployed (usually with stable, well-paying jobs).
However, with this growing popularity, the question has been raised as to whether online education is effective in giving students the information they need to earn their degrees, enhance their careers, and even advance to the next phase of academia.
If what you are considering is to obtain a degree, for example, an online MBA, there is good news. According to a recent MIT study, massive open online courses (MOOCs) are just as effective as those traditionally taught in classrooms or a conference room. A renaissance in postgraduate education is taking place right now and it is being led by students who are in control of their education, which means setting their own schedules and gaining invaluable experience through online learning, which for many is your first experience in learning in general.
Variety is the spice of life
The first online degrees were offered around 1995. At the time, there was little incentive for students to study online, as course offerings were extremely limited. Today, however, online students can obtain a postgraduate degree from a Business School in various specialties, and with the same quality guarantees as if they were studying in person.
Comfort is also important for learning
Imagine taking a marketing class from the comfort of your couch or your favorite coffee shop, which are undoubtedly much more comfortable environments for you than the typical classroom environment. That is exactly what online classes allow you to do: learn where you feel most comfortable.
Unlike traditional courses that require you to be present at a certain location, online courses often offer asynchronous lectures, allowing you to plan your studies around your schedule.
You can watch lectures and study when you’re at your best, whether it’s early in the morning, midday or late at night. This makes online education the perfect option for people who value convenience, flexibility and independence.
Online classes offer more accessibility
No two students learn the same way. Personality types and learning preferences come into play and influence one’s activity levels and performance. The benefit of online courses is that they provide a bit of distance, allowing each student to adjust to his preferences to participate in classes. As an online student, you have the freedom to participate in group discussions and chats whenever you are ready. With a class format that offers both introverted and extroverted students the opportunity to thrive, success is more accessible in online courses that meet you where you are.
Employers know that online students are hard workers
According to the US News & World Report, one outstanding quality that online students have in the eyes of their potential employers is time management. While many traditional students have to learn this skill on the job, online students already have years of time management experience. This key skill makes these types of students especially attractive for positions that require them to work independently, multitask, and collaborate with peers who also connect on their tasks and responsibilities remotely.
You can still grow your connections
As Thomas Friedman, a prestigious columnist for The New York Times, once wrote, “The world is flat.” What did he mean by this expression? What he meant was that people from all over the world are now interacting and connecting with each other on a regular basis. Multinational companies want to hire employees who are from all latitudes and are culturally competent, who understand what it means to work with people from all walks of life and from all continents. This means that it is not enough to build a network in your local community. To really succeed in your career, you will need connections from all over the world. Online education allows you to interact more easily and quickly with classmates from anywhere every day.
Online learning prepares you for real life learning
As an online student, you’ll get into the habit of learning quite independently, which will prepare you for the kind of learning you’re likely to encounter in the workplace. Many jobs require regular online training as well as some independent research to supplement new skills or technological advances. With experience in both, you can impress future employers with your ability to learn and continue to grow on the job. Many online graduates find that since they are already in the habit of learning and working as students, they are better prepared to continue learning as employees when the time comes.
Advantages of online teaching
Flexibility to engage in discussions within discussion areas at any time, or connect online with classmates and trainers remotely in chat rooms.
Based on all the experiences to date, both trainers and students argue that online training encourages additional interaction between students and teachers, compared to classrooms, especially when large classes take place in lecture halls.
It also has the advantage of being able to simulate situations that occur in real work in companies, that is, for students it becomes like an active job, which means very good learning.
There are also fewer calls for attention from teachers and coordinators due to non-compliance with work.
In general, online students successfully complete the courses having left them satisfied in terms of what they have gained from understanding new knowledge and the certainty that they will be able to apply it in their jobs.
Encourages students to take responsibility for their learning
On the downside, students with low motivation or unhealthy study habits might fall behind. While not the routine structures of a conventional category, students can get sidetracked or confused regarding course activities and deadlines.
Students may feel isolated from the trainer and classmates. Hence the value of schools that have very good coordination in online programs and all surrounding activities, being of course very important, the level of collaboration provided by the network of peer students in the same course, including the contribution of former students.
Care must be taken when once a thematic unit has been seen, the trainer may not be available for what has already been seen with respect to this knowledge, because a rhythm is being followed at which one is obliged to follow, therefore, it is important continuity and respect for the scheduled classes that are part of the online course.
Pros or advantages of learning in the classroom
Regarding the advantages:
– Face-to-face instruction is available.
– You are ready to raise queries on the spot.
– There is face-to-face interaction with classmates.
– Networking is less complicated.
As for the downsides:
– Classes are given on a selected schedule and there is no flexibility in this regard.
– Perhaps the most obvious disadvantage of participating in on-campus learning is the set schedule you must follow each week. When your class is only offered on one night, like Wednesday nights from 6 p.m. at 10 at night, you have to make sure you have that day booked to go to class. This means that you may have to miss out on a few things to commit to achieving your goals. With an on-campus location, you’ll also need to factor in travel time from work or home to the location of the class.
– More structured classes in terms of schedule
Connected to a set schedule is how class time is invested and distributed. In an on-campus classroom, your professor will plan how class time will be used, whether it’s lectures, group discussions, or review of her paper. Such a set schedule may seem restrictive if you are someone who prefers to do their own things on their own time.