A blended education system utilising the efficiencies and convenience of online learning but giving students the benefit of human interaction could help raise completion rates, according to leading software company Cloud Assess.
Rob Bright, Director of online assessment and training software as a service company Cloud Assess, says whilst more and more companies are offering flexible employment arrangements such as work from home, the education system should be following the trend with a mix of virtual and traditional classrooms.
"The concept of balancing online and face-to-face learning and assessment is increasingly becoming the normal in today’s COVID world and finding the balance is the key to its success," said Bright.
"There is a place for remote learning and assessment but where possible, most institutions should be offering a blended method that still uses the efficiencies of online software but gives students the benefit of human interaction. In an online world, face-to-face is still really important, maybe even more important, and that is why we offer a blended learning and assessment approach to educators and employers with our software."
Bright is responding to a recent study by the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education which looked at completion rates of higher education students and found only 44 percent of online learners finish their studies, compared to 77 percent of on-campus students.
"We don’t want people thinking that online learning and assessment only means remote. There’re many ways to utilise the online component of learning and assessment, without missing out on the personal aspect," said Bright. "One of our clients, Kool Kids Training College, does this effectively and has given us feedback about how this flexibility has opened up the number of students enrolling and completing their studies."
According to another report by Pivot and Education Perfect, 80 percent believed students would need additional support when transitioning back to school and the top concerns included social isolation, a decrease in student wellbeing, and learning loss.
"Although COVID lockdowns have shown the benefits of online learning due to the convenience and efficiencies it offers, on the flip side, blended learning enables the benefits of both and may assist with transitioning students if further lockdowns continue," added Bright.
"Our Cloud Assess solutions will help many organisations and education departments implement viable alternatives to the traditional model of teaching and assessing students - that will ultimately allow more flexibility for both students and teachers."
In 2012, Rob identified the shortfall for a fit-for-purpose digital assessment solution for the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. After a year of perfecting the solution, Cloud Assess was born in 2013 and since then has grown from a great idea to the leading solution for the VET sector. By making assessment streamlined, compliant, and accessible for everyone, it is not only the solution for RTOs for training and assessment but businesses too encompassing all assessment requirements including workplace and employer/supervisor engagement.
Cloud Assess has won local business awards including the Award for IT and Digital Business at the Business Excellence Awards (2020) and the Mayors Award for Innovation at the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards (2019). Founder Rob Bright was also a runner-up in the Gold Coast 40 under 40 Young Entrepreneurs Award.