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11/11/2021 By : Michelle Marais

The long-term impact of COVID-19 on Virtual Learning

Covid has changed the face of education for learners of all ages, and virtual learning has been adopted as the ‘new normal’. Learners and educators at all levels of education have been affected by restrictions, with a rapid move to virtual learning platforms, and this is truly apparent in the travel/tourism sector.

According to weforum.org ‘research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information, and takes less time, meaning the changes coronavirus have caused may be here to stay. Even before COVID-19, there was high growth and adoption in education technology, with global edtech investments reaching US$18.66 billion in 2019, and the overall market for online education projected to reach $350 billion by 2025. Whether it is language apps, virtual classrooms, video conferencing tools or online learning software/platforms, there has been a significant surge in usage’.

In response to significant demand, OTT offers free access to its online learning services for travel professionals to grow their knowledge of the airlines, destinations, accommodation partners and more. OTT has also been innovating the use of virtual classrooms, and these will enable partners to train travel agents directly in 2022, providing a one-stop e-learning shop for the travel trade.

A recent survey conducted by Entrepreneur.com showed that more than 92% of learners were happy with the online delivery of lessons.

“I believe that the integration of information technology in education will be further accelerated and that online education will eventually become an integral component of education,” says Wang Tao, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and Vice President of Tencent Education.

Advantages and challenges of virtual learning

Advantages:

  • E-learning is an exceptionally efficient way to deliver lessons research demonstrates that learners retain up to 60% more when learning online versus an average of 9% in the face-to-face learning model.
  • E-learning is far more affordable or offered for free, compared to physical learning.
  • Learners can access lesson modules at any time, and as a result, there is no absenteeism.
  • Learners can access lessons from any area, at any time, as long as there’s connectivity.

 

Challenges:

  • Learners without reliable internet access have difficulty participating in virtual learning opportunities. This is applicable both to the socioeconomic environment and the region the learners live within. According to OECD data, as an example, while 95% of learners in Switzerland, Norway and Austria have a computer to use for their work, only 34% in Indonesia do.
  • Learners tend to have dominant learning styles, and while elearning caters to most learners, it doesn’t cater to all.

 

With the ability to offer travel and tourism-related elearning globally to over 200’000 travel professionals, find out how OTT – Online Travel Training can help your travel trade business thrive in the new, post-Covid environment.

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