Online learning is the way into the future. The digitization of education has already begun with thousands of online learning applications, helping students learn at their own pace. While it will not be able to replace conventional learning methods outright, online learning has already become an effective supplement. Educational applications on the Web are finding preference amongst students of all ages.
This article looks into the different features and characteristics of online learning apps and the myriad benefits they offer. It will also provide an inquisitive glance into the technical aspects of an online learning app.
So, without further ado, let’s begin with a brief look at the history of online education.
A Brief History Of Online Learning
The idea of dispensing education en-masse via electronic means began taking root in the minds of teachers, instructors and pioneers of the industry at the turn of the new century. Though the usage of machines and tools have been prevalent in the for quite sometime before that, the advent of the Internet and the proliferation of information technology opened up new ways and new ideas of delivering knowledge to a broad audience.
The University of Toronto offered the first-ever completely online course program in 1960. In 1986, the Electronic University Network was designed using DOS and Commodore 64 computers. And in 1989, the University of Phoenix in Arizona was the first institution to offer completely online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
That was the beginning of a revolution in learning and soon became a central aspect of modern education. The potential of online education was not fully realized until the turn of the new millennium when the Internet and computer technology became easily accessible.
Today, online learning is snowballing and has become a booming industry. Leveraging the power of the Internet, software engineering and data communications, online learning applications have become widely popular across the spectrum.
- Students use thee platforms to supplement their knowledge, complete assignments and get dissertation writing help online.
- Instructors use them as powerful alternatives for traditional methods of learning and circumvent their limitations.
- Professionals upgrade their skills and complete certification courses via these online learning applications.
But what are the features that make it so popular? The next section explores the features of some successful online applications that make them so popular.
The Beneficial Features of Online Learning Apps & Platforms
Online learning applications provide several features that make them a favourite amongst a wide variety of people. And, it is these features that lie behind their immense popularity and subsequent boom.
- Flexibility= The flexible scheduling and self-paced nature of online learning course constitute a significant advantage offered by these apps. Learners can learn & complete a course at their own pace as per their learning skills and abilities.
- Data Analysis and Feedback= Online learning apps employ data analytics heavily. Such analysis can help instructors track & evaluate the progress of a learner and offer constructive feedback & guidance.
- Assessment Management= Online learning courses come bundles with numerous assessments and examinations to help students test their acquired skills & knowledge. Feedback from these assessments enables learners to understand their performance and realize how much they have been able to learn & imbibe.
- Quality Content= Online learning apps and platforms are MOOC (Massively Open Online Courses) and cater to millions across the world. Naturally, they offer quality course materials, which are created by accomplished individuals across different domains.
- Easy learning curve and highly structured courses= Online learning platforms offer a wide variety of courses for everyone, beginner, intermediate and expert. A wide array of classes are available for selection and are designed for every type of learner. One can begin from a lower difficulty level and progress gradually to advanced levels at their own pace.
- Fast User integration= Most online learning apps allow for quick registration, the seamless course selection and easy payment options. The processes are simple and easy for anyone to use. Excellent user experience and quality content are essential features of any successful online learning platform or app.
- Online learning communities= Another excellent advantage of online learning apps are prolific and active communities they harbor. These forums and discussion groups are an ideal place to exchange information & interact with different people.
- Motivated Learning= Many online learning apps and platforms operate in tandem with renowned universities, accomplished academics and multinational companies. Learning in close contact with such intellectuals and institutions act as a massive boost for any learner.
- Education beyond barriers= Online connectivity allows learning platforms to go beyond borders and deliver knowledge to one & all. These apps are the most prominent media that are helping make education available to one and all.
The above features are a central aspect of every popular online learning application. And it is these aspects that have made online learning apps one of the most popular platforms of learning and the future of education.
Before we end this article, let’s glance a bit into the technical side of things by looking at how most online learning applications are designed.
The Software Developmental Framework of Online Learning Platforms
Most web applications are dynamic and communicate with a server to display information. Whether you are accessing a platform from a website on your desktop browser or an application on your mobile, the server accessed remains the same in most cases.
Servers offer connection to databases in the backend and generate results to browsers.
The two main coding categories involved in online application development are:
- Server Side Scripting= These are the does which are executed on the servers. Server-side codes allow retrieval of information from databases, amongst other things. Some of the most popular server-side languages and frameworks are PHP, Zend, ASP.Net, ColdFusion, Ruby in Rails, Python, etc.
Any course material in any format is stored in database servers. Client-side apps and websites communicate with server-side scripts in application servers, and they communicate with database servers for information. Whether videos, audios, written documents or any assessment, the general process remains more or less the same.
Well, that’s’ all the space we have for today. I hope this article gave you some ideas about online learning apps & platforms and helped you understand the reasons behind the immense popularity of the medium.