That COVID has changed the way we live is not news anymore. The lethal virus has led to tectonic shifts in almost every aspect of our lives – be it business, entertainment, hospitality or education – and we’re still grappling with the repercussions of these radical changes. What we’re also debating is how permanent these changes are, and what the new normal in each of these sectors will be.
Take education for instance. Soon after it became clear that this was no passing virus, educational institutions started the move towards online teaching – and students and professors adapted rather quickly to the changing methods of teaching, learning, and grading. This success, however, has led to widespread speculation that the pandemic has sparked a transformative change, especially in higher education – with many claiming that the future of college education is online.
The truth is that the future is not so black and white anymore – there’s a lot of grey in between. What we seem to be moving towards, is a hybrid model of learning – a mix of online and offline. While in-campus teaching will definitely return (maybe not as soon as we’d like, but return it will), there will also be a wealth of options available online, for those who prefer it.
But, will one take precedence over the other? Not really – because both have their unique characteristics that make them worthwhile. People will learn to use the two together. However, when it comes to the debate of one over the other specifically for college education, the truth is that online learning can never really replace an in-campus experience.