Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is a new name for the online learning revolution
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major upheaval in the educational landscape, especially in online education or online learning. The Secretary of State for Education, MP Gavin Williamson, stated during the launch of the International Education Strategy: 2021 in February that the transformation observed over the previous 18 months has permanently transformed the way education is offered throughout the world. Colleges are unlikely to revert to pre-pandemic teaching and learning techniques, according to a recent study by the British Council and published by the association of colleges. In reality, the survey found that 6% of worldwide technical and vocational education training (TVET) institutions will continue to offer only face-to-face instruction, based on research conducted in five nations. Stewart Watts, VP EMEA at D2L, discusses the current TVET revolution and how technology might aid the education sector’s post-COVID recovery.
As universities negotiate the path ahead, it appears that online learning is here to stay, at least for the time being. Many colleges and universities will want to develop comprehensive contingency plans if the pandemic progresses. Even though the UK government has published a recovery roadmap and eliminated many of the remaining limitations, some schools may still be forced to separate classes or year groups. The government has also issued a new amendment to this effect, stating that English schools must continue to provide remote education for students who are unable to attend courses in person this year. We should expect a sustained dependence on digital technology to offer distant learning as and when needed, based on the lessons gained in recent months.
Education disruption has been well-documented over the last year and a half, and it is still going on in many ways. Despite the progress achieved by schools, universities, and institutions since the first round of mandatory closures, many have run into problems with online learning. Indeed, a recent assessment by the UK government looked at the efficiency of remote and online learning since the outbreak began, as well as how student achievement levels have been affected. Despite the shift to online learning, it is predicted that students in England lost 61 days of schooling – a third of their learning time – between March 2020 and April 2021.
Access to a high-quality online education is a fundamental right, and efforts must be done to bring kids back on track and guarantee that no child falls behind. With the problems that the industry is expected to encounter in the coming year, we need to have some fail-safes in place to ensure educational continuity. Technology and data analysis will be crucial in this situation. Given the uncertainty surrounding future limitations, schools, colleges, and institutions will need to implement more effective blended learning techniques to ensure that courses are flexible and that faculty can quickly move from in-person to online teaching on short notice. Building a strong digital infrastructure will assist, and ed-tech can aid by providing a solution that will empower our teachers.
The Department of Education (DfE) undertook a study of 2,000 school and college employees before the pandemic, which found that teachers worked an average of more than 50 hours per week, with the bulk of their time spent on marking and other administrative activities. Facilitating the abrupt move to online education has, naturally, added to the effort. In fact, according to a more recent study by Ofsted, 86% of teachers believe their workload has grown significantly since the commencement of lockdown. Of fact, because many institutions were likely compelled to expedite their digital transition by necessity, several lecturers and professors may have never considered teaching remotely until this spring. Critical workflows may be digitized with the proper technologies, freeing up instructors’ time to focus on other high-priority activities. Teachers may also gain genuine insight into individual kids’ development through data analytics, allowing for focused assistance, which will be important in the coming months.
Video material is becoming increasingly sophisticated and popular. While video lectures have been used for the past 18 months, the introduction of new digital technology and solutions has made video-assisted learning considerably more effective and accessible, making it an essential component of any curriculum. Pre-recorded courses can be utilized for review or to cover classes when students are absent due to illness. Teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD) obligations must be remembered, as they must be encouraged and taught how to successfully implement these digital solutions into their daily routines.
Staff members must be fully prepared to use all of the digital tools at their disposal. While they may have gained experience in the past academic years, many have never been ‘officially’ educated in the delivery of online learning — it is not often included in most first training programs. Lecturers and teachers must not only be given the tools they need to offer good online or blended learning but they must also be taught how to incorporate these solutions into their courses and create compelling online environments. Online learning classroom techniques should be supported as part of staff’s continuous professional development (CPD) plans.
The pandemic will have a long-term impact, as stated in the UK government’s recent education plan, and this provides a chance to reinvent education and experiment with new teaching techniques. Schools and universities must continue to pursue creative online learning tactics while also evaluating current curricula and experimenting with new teaching methods.
A review of the current state of schooling quality and assessment will be conducted as part of The Department for Education’s recovery strategy, which will include an investigation of digital teaching and learning. Policymakers, faculty, and teachers will need to consider the impact of digital transformation in technical and vocational education and training (TVET), drawing on the data and tools at their disposal to make informed decisions. This will launch the industry’s much-needed online learning revolution. Staff will have to utilize all resources at their disposal when students return this month to fill up the gaps in their learning and transfer courses online if circumstances alter. Throughout the pandemic, ed-tech has shown its usefulness and will be critical to our recovery through online education.