Most recent changes in educational learning have been the result of technological improvements and the impact for online GMAT is definitely noticeable. Internet connectivity now enables classrooms to be videotaped and streamed live online. Students don’t even need to go to class and can simply load a website to view the class from the comfort of their homes. Sometimes these classes are offered as live streaming video, other times they can be recorded and viewed at any time just like on-demand TV.
But does extending the availability of lectures to students at home effectively increase their learning? Many would agree that it does – students can watch and rewatch lectures to fully grasp a concept. It is incredibly convenient and removes logistical barriers to learning – such as getting to and from class.
However, people should not overemphasize technology’s contribution toward educational learning. Yes, its benefits may include convenience and accessibility. But more important to our goals as educators is 1) the Quality of teachings and 2) Students’ ability to absorb and learn those teachings – rather than the use of fancy technology.
Whether students learn in a real classroom lecture or benefit technologically from learning in the comfort of their home, they are still up against the same barriers to learning – the ability to absorb a professor’s teachings. Students must be alert and be able to grasp a professor’s train of thought from the beginning or risk “being lost” in his lecture talk for the remainder of the class. It is no wonder that many lectures leave students dozing off, often wondering whether they are victims of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). The responsibility of following the professor’s train of thought is a difficult one and without help, many students will be unable to keep up.
Thus, in the context of technology improvement, we must not only make improvements in the areas of convenience and accessibility, but also in the dimensions that matter most in education – quality of teaching and ability to learn. The future of educational learning will lie in innovations that successfully improve students’ ability to grasp a professor’s teachings. We will see developments in Learning Management Systems/ E-Learning and streaming capabilities, but don’t let fancy computer technology lead you to believe that educational learning is improving. Don’t forget that effective educational learning is highly dependent upon students’ ability to absorb the teaching and the quality of the teaching itself. Thought process learning, which is the cognitive teaching method I use in GMAT Pill for online GMAT prep, which is is one new teaching method aimed in this direction. Going forward, along with continued developments on the technology side, I expect to see further advancements in effective teaching styles. These advances will propel educational learning forward into the next decade.
So if you’re taking the GMAT, definitely consider an online GMAT course. They are much more effective and cost a fraction of the price. You get access to a lot more material and definitely get more bang for your buck.