Current advances in cloud technology have brought massive change and revolution to all areas of business, causing some to confidently state that the fourth industrial revolution is now upon us. The impact of these developments on the world of e-learning is game-changing.
Prerequisites for e-learning
To fully appreciate all the benefits that cloud technology brings, it is worthwhile taking a step back and reminding ourselves of the main prerequisites for an effective e-learning environment. These include platforms for both independent and collaborative learning modules, safe and secure storage solutions for both students and teaching organisations, various means by which students can interact with each other and mechanisms for the evaluation of student progress and performance.
Why the cloud?
Quite simply, cloud technology ticks all the above boxes better than anything that has come before it. It provides almost limitless storage potential, as either the main repository for data or a secure backup that can be accessed anytime and from any location as long as you have an Internet connection. At the same time, it brings these additional advantages:
Limitless database options
One of the biggest challenges of advanced academic study is the sheer scale of research materials to which students will require access. The immense storage capacity that the cloud provides means students can have quick and easy access to all the research data they could possibly need. And modern cloud-based content management systems make it easier to find, annotate and reference the right paper than ever before.
Furthermore, students are not limited to traditional research papers, but can also gain access to a broad range of blogs, videos and other materials.
Remote learning used to be something of a lonely pursuit, but not anymore. Innovative cloud-based communication is touted by many as one of the hottest topics for 2017 and means that students can communicate with both each other and with faculty staff better than ever before. This leads to better engagement and a healthy exchange of perspectives and ideas.
Better progress tracking
Traditionally, e-learning has demanded high levels of self-discipline, and it has been a challenge for teachers to know if a student is struggling or getting behind. However, cloud-based applications make it easier for students and educators alike to use online course unit tests throughout the academic year to ensure everyone is on track. This reduces dropout rates, which can only be good news for students and educators alike.