Sandeep Gupta from California, a technology manager is taking an online course in artificial intelligence as a way “to try to future-proof your working life.”
Dr. Robert Davidson, an emergency-room physician from Michigan took up an online master’s degree course in public health.
Online learning has seen a rise in children and college students as a way to keep up with their studies during lockdown but interestingly they are not the only ones to turn to online education. Millions of adults working in various fields have subscribed to online courses as a way to stay ahead and make use of leisure time. This period could mark a renaissance for online learning business.
Coursera, an online learning platform developed by Stanford University saw 10 million new users from March to May, seven times in comparison to last year(according to pace). Other websites like Udacity and edX also saw a jump in users.
“Crises lead to accelerations, and this is the best chance ever for online learning,” the co-founder and chairman of Udacity, Sebastian Thrun said.
Coursera, Udacity, and edX were developed as an online learning project a decade ago called massive open online courses (MOOCs) but the experiment was not quite a success as few individuals completed the courses and were largely free.
MOOCs mission to “democratize education” is now taking shape, earlier when they have launched thousands of students enrolled but hardly few completed the free courses. Though courses that were not free and provided a degree saw more completions and results.
“Active learning works, and social learning works. And you have to understand that teaching online and learning online are skills of their own” said Anant Agarwal, founder, and chief executive of edX.
A few years ago apps like Udacity were on the verge of drowning and their market was slowing down but through treil and error, they learned that these courses need to be focused on skill learning as that’s where the market is and now the popular courses are in tech field like coding, analytics, and AI.
People are turning this lockdown crisis into their advantage by building skills via online learning. As schools and collages tilt towards online education, the paradigm of education is evolving rapidly.