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In the first episode of MOOCs and online courses we discussed the advent of online courses. We also discussed the basic features one needs to employ in order to build an app that replaces conventional classroom teaching. In the sequel to the same we will discuss the more complicated features and the future of these applications.
One in four students is now enrolled in a distant learning course now. But more than 65% of the enrolled students do not complete these courses. The accessibility factor is being tackled by players in the MOOCs sphere with apps. That makes these courses available on the go. But there exist other barriers such as no motivation due to peripheral involvement or inefficacy of virtual assessment that hampers the involvement of the users with the app.
Here we discuss the various features that MOOCs and online courses can upgrade to in order to make the application a wholesome package:
Virtual reality can make the online classrooms an immersive experience and hence more effective methods of engaging and educating the audience. With devices such as cardboard available at low prices and the VR gear catching up rapidly VR isn’t an inaccessible feature.
What may be difficult would be designing for a 3D view. The challenges are real but they are nothing impossible to build. Harvard University announced in 2016 that it may consider holding distant learning courses in VR. The cost is the only barrier that stops this from being a commercially viable option for now but once the technology is mainstream enough to take over from the on screen two dimensional one way teaching, it will be a success.
The online assessments can still be made more advanced and online tests be made more foolproof. Human proctoring is one way but there is enough advancement to detect screen changes and change in tabs for the people taking a test. These advancements aren’t recent and have been existing in the online testing platforms. 73% of all corporate training happens using online videos and so does the assessments but these certifications often don’t count for much because of lax online exams. With advancements in algorithms, AI can even proctor and grade subjective exams and complex fields such as coding with more than one possible answer.
The online assessments aren’t usually taken more seriously not because the subject content is trivial or insufficient but the lack of testing the comprehension of the same.
While VR and AI may still have to advance to aid the online education business, augmented reality is very employable and an easy method of helping students understand the subject content easily. Especially in subjects that require detailed learning. For example all science courses or engineering mechanics courses that require intricate diagrams. These diagrams can be projected in Ar and be made adaptable in size and given 360 degree views for better understanding. Similarly an interactive interface to answer in text questions can help aid the learning faculties and make students feel more involved at every step of the online learning class.
Airing content on phones is not enough or for that matter having one format that either focuses at a group or only on an individual isn’t enough. Separate formats for separate devices and subject matter that is designed accordingly is the key to having an all encompassing virtual classroom experience. Interoperability of apps on various devices helps make sure that the content can adapt to the number of users.
The future of MOOCs is proportional to the advancements in VR and AR and AI in mobility in the coming years. As the mobility solutions become more advanced so will the apps. Watch this space for more developments in mobility and current trends.
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