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What do you feel are the most significant trends in online learning? Why are these important?

Spector et al talks of the deep importance of authentic learning and creating an environment in which the student can gain knowledge that they can apply to real world situations (Spector et al, 2014). The overall world shift toward common worldwide web access has allowed for a technological outlet for authentic learning. Online learning has expanded over the years since access to the internet and digital devices became a prominent part of society (Huda et al, 2019). Thanks to the growth of social networking, social learning has become a common trend in online learning environment. Icebreaker posts, such as introduction posts and peer commenting on weekly discussion posts “serve to humanize the new learning situation” as the students navigate the course individually but together (Simonson et al, 2015, p 169). As Holder describes, a common practice in society today consists of households acquiring a basic SoHo (small office, home office) network which connects a multitude of devices, i.e printer, home computers, wireless laptops through some form of wireless router or modem cable that allows home access to the internet.Since 1995, a massive boom has occurred from a respectable 16 million world users to over 1.6 billion internet users as of today (Holder, 2019). Adaptive learning is a trend that is growing with intensity in recent years. This form of learning system is less generalized and more personalized for the student to help them establish their own unique pace and education path as they pursue their education goals. Through modern technological advancements, adaptive learning can use algorithms to help adapt the course modules to only focus on areas the particular student needs more work on (Huda et al, 2019). Video based learning is another steadily significant trend for online learning, especially where job training is concerned. Video based learning can often coincide with study sheets or fill in the blank note material and allows for a viewable dialogue that will mimic the classroom lecture interaction that online learning despereatly needs. All of this is crucial modifications necessary for modern online learning to keep up with advances in technology and the mass population seeking to pursue this avenue of education. If the goal remains to establish an online curriculum that is either equal to or—if possible— better than a traditional form of schooling, then online learning must evolve to include the trends of technological advancement that best accomplish this goal.

Holder, D. (2019). EDU 631, Internet Communications and Online Assessment [Video file]. Retrieved from https://learn.liberty.edu/bbcswebdav/courses/EDUC631_B03_201920/EDUC%20631/WK%205%20internet%20basics%20and%20assessment%20%28LMS%29/res/index.html

Huda, M., Ulfatmi,, Luthfi, M. J., Jasmi, K. A., Basiron, B., Mustari,

M. I., Safar, A., Embong, W. H., Mohamad, A. M., & Mohamed, A. K. (2019). Adaptive Online Learning Technology: Trends in Big Data Era. In D. Williams, & N. Harkness (Eds.), Diverse Learning Opportunities Through Technology-Based Curriculum Design (pp. 163-195). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-5225-5519-3.ch008

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S.(2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education. (6th ed.) Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN: 9781623967987.

Spector, M., Merrill M., Elen J., & Bishop M. (2014). Handbook of research on educational communications and technology. (4th ed.) New York, NY. Springer. London: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. ISBN: 9781461431848.

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