COVID-19 in early 2020 only accelerated the digital transformation that was already in progress. Many people
turned to the digital world to see entertainment, engagement, and even education.
In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that at least 84% of undergraduate students in
college had at least one (if not all) of their classes moved to online learning.
Two years later, online courses continue to be a major part of the education system.
Online courses offer flexibility for students who find it difficult to attend an in-person class, as well as
provide that same flexibility to instructors to have all materials in one place that their students can access
at any given time. Online learning tools improve learning accessibility for many people.
Even spheres outside of higher education are thriving with the addition of virtual education options. Services
that teach content online such as languages, crafting, and video/photo editing are increasing in popularity due
to their accessibility to the average person.
Keep reading to learn the basics about online classes and digital student learning.
Course Delivery Methods
There are a few potential methods of online class delivery. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of
live-streamed classes vs on-demand online classes.
During these classes, the teacher broadcasts the class while it’s happening. Therefore, the students listening
are doing so in real-time. They can ask questions and engage with the instructor during the course. However,
this does make it harder to keep up with the speed of the class.
These classes include pre-recorded videos. The instructor shares the videos through distribution tools, like
online course software, a website, etc. Online, students can access the recorded video on their own time. The
teacher prepares the material in advance and the learner accesses it when it's convenient for them. With this
format, it’s much easier to pause, fast-forward, or speed up lectures to improve learning. They can help both
students and instructors with time management for this reason. However, the learner can’t engage with the
instructor in real-time to answer questions.
Many modern online courses include a combination of live-streamed and on-demand material. A combined strategy
offers the benefits of both methods.
Benefits of Online Classes
There are several key reasons to introduce online learning courses as they benefit teachers and students.
Hold classes anywhere without commuting to school
Reduce the risk of illness transmission
Share your screen
Streamline the class without student interruptions
Learn from anywhere
Reduce the risk of illness transmission
Learn at your own pace (with on-demand classes)
Re-watch lectures for studying and greater retention (on-demand)
Ways to Use Online Classes
Of course, educators use online classes for remote learning. However, there are many other helpful use cases
for online classes. Some examples include:
Learning a new language
Online workout classes (yoga, HIIT, etc.)
Internal education for employees of a company
How-to for using software or products
Tips for Creating an Online Class
Instructors recording class lectures should limit the background noise in
the recording so students are not distracted by the noise and it can be easier to transcribe. Make sure the
recorded audio is also of a high
quality so it can be easily heard. Using a microphone can help improve audio quality.
Aside from the audio, ensure you have a clean background as well. While students may not always have cameras
on, instructors typically do. If you are a student, be mindful of your background as well in case you must use
Planning is key for an effective online course. Plan out the learning materials ahead of time, and make
recording or streaming stress-free.
When planning your online class, focus on creating interactive sessions that will keep the attention of your
class. Use PowerPoint, videos, and other graphics to draw attention to urgent and important information.
Online Class Tools to Use
Here are a few tools that can help with online class creation and learning:
Zoom is a platform for online meetings that can accommodate groups of up to 500 people at once. It also
includes helpful teaching features, like breakout rooms and whiteboards.
Furthermore, you can record meetings on Zoom, to turn live learning sessions into on-demand ones as well.
Google meet is another top online meeting tool. The free version allows up to 100 participants. For Google
account users, meetings are very fast and easy to set up. Invite students to your meeting and automatically add
the meeting to their Google calendars. Set up recurring meetings as well.
With the paid version, you can enjoy a questionnaire and Q&A function to engage students. Using extensions,
you can add several other features.
Maestra Transcription Tool
Maestra’s Video to Text Converter tool makes it easy
to get a simple and accurate transcript of the audio provided in the lecture. Simply download the lecture and
upload it to Maestra’s Video to Text Converter, and let the tool do the rest of the work!
Online learning can be a great idea for students or people looking for a non-traditional way to learn new
material or want to explore learning outside of the typical classroom.