The Future of Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

The Future of Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0062-0.ch003
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In recent years, rapid developments in the field of science and technology have profoundly affected social lifestyles and have led to significant changes in the process of producing, sharing, and communicating information. Acceleration in the growth rate of knowledge as a result of developments in science and technology has made it necessary to constantly update existing information. Parallel to this, the necessity of the people to follow the information constantly and to continuously update it to keep up with the speed of daily changes tops the agenda. This situation increased the use of information and communication technologies and the internet in the field of education, resulting in the spread of online environments.
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Knowledge is changing very fast, skills are getting old, but many teachers and even education institutions cannot keep up with this speed. Today's employment conditions play a decisive role in what knowledge and skills individuals need to have. Because of the rapid developments in technology, the technical skills of the individuals are easily lost. On-line learning environments can be effectively used to provide continuous, flexible and uninterrupted training to meet these needs of individuals who need such knowledge and skills. On-line learning environments, which can be expressed as the use of computer and internet together, are on the agenda of the public as a new education trend that is willing to meet these needs (Tuncer & Taşpınar, 2008). In recent years, both universities and private sector organizations offer online trainings to meet these needs observed in the community. The e-applications initiated at universities have brought with it some new educational needs.

Important changes and new paradigms that have intensely occupied the agenda of today's higher education such as internationalization of higher education, entrepreneurial and autonomous university, e-learning, lifelong learning, student-centered education have occurred as a result of globalization (Odabaşı, Fırat, İzmir, Çankaya & Mısırlı, 2010; Simonson, Smaldino, Albright & Zvacek, 2014) .

In the last years when technology and education are intertwined with each other, the concept of distance education and training has started to be mentioned together with technology. The letter, Radio, Television, and so on, nowadays virtual environments and even virtual reality elements have become widespread (Moore & Kearsley, 2012; Veletsianos, 2010). In this context, time and space flexibility were available in distance education until the 1960's (İşman, 2011; Simonson et al., 2014). Simultaneous distance learning period started with the use of bi-directional communication tools. With the expansion of virtual classes, web conferences, online audio and video communication technologies, simultaneous learning methods have become widespread in online teaching. With the possibility of recording the sessions, it is possible to follow the courses asynchronously (Ilgaz, 2014). Thus, an individualized, lifelong education structure can be formed according to the need and suitability. On the other hand, the development of mobile devices and internet infrastructure provided the participation of mobile devices in virtual classroom environments and a more flexible environment.

Falling behind the time is the biggest messenger of the problems that can be experienced in the future. Therefore, there is a rapid race in developing countries. In our age, information and technology are one of the most rapidly consumed sources. The importance of distance education cannot be neglected in such a fast-changing world. The developments in science and technology have facilitated the access of individuals to higher education. However, not only the students but also the employees need the skills, knowledge and learning to reach information. At this point, distance education is of great importance in terms of time and giving freedom and flexibility to the individual.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Adaptive Learning Technology: It is a system that provides users with personalized options by creating a user model that reflects the user's various features.

Distance Education: It is an interdisciplinary field that uses existing technologies in a pragmatic way by trying to eliminate the limitations of learning, teaching and learning resources.

Higher Education: It is a degree of education based on secondary education and covering at least four semesters.

Blended Learning: It is a kind of learning that provides many advantages such as instant feedback / correction / reinforcement to learners through web-based learning environment at any time from any place, while it also presents the strengths of face-to-face learning environment such as discussing in face-to-face learning environment, direct interaction and communication with teachers and learners and the ability of learners to see and study each other's learning products.

Mobile Learning: It is the acquisition of a knowledge or skill using mobile technologies and the creation of behavioral change through them.

Project Based Learning in Virtual Environment: It is an instructional model that prepares students to create original products in learning activities in a virtual environment by confronting them with a problem situation.

On-Line Learning: It is a kind of distance education that allow learners to easily access rich learning resources and actively participate in learning activities without time and space limits.

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