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COVID-19 and Distance Learning

Posted on: March 20th, 2020

It’s March 20, 2020, and life as we know it has dramatically changed within the last few weeks, with COVID-19 becoming a pandemic. No nation or industry is unaffected by this outbreak; we are all faced with an unprecedented challenge of global proportions.

In the United States, the government has embraced the concept of “social distancing,” which is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. This has led to public events being cancelled, restaurants and schools closing, bans on groups of people above certain sizes, and an unprecedented encouragement for remote work. The county of San Miguel in Colorado, and the entire states of California, Nevada, and New York have gone a step further and enacted “shelter-in-place” rules which require residents to stay at home with the exception of “essential” trips for things like groceries and medication, and requires non-essential businesses to close for the duration of the order.

The closure of schools presents a huge challenge for all educational communities. For some students, spring break has been extended from one week to four weeks; for others, school may be closed until summer or fall. Millions of parents, students, and teachers are all asking the same questions. How do we stay on track academically? How can we meet and complete requirements? What about graduation?!

The answer for many is distance learning. Distance learning, also known as eLearning, is an online educational system in which students can log in and learn from any location; they can view education content, interact with instructors and other students, complete homework assignments, and take exams all online.

For example, starting on March 16, the University of Colorado Boulder began conducting all classes and exams remotely using Learning Management Systems such as Canvas and web conferencing software such as Zoom, in order to allow students to complete their educational requirements for the semester. Other schools without such systems and associated syllabi in place, such as elementary schools, are advising students to stay sharp by using online educational websites such as Khan Academy while they rush to implement their own online classes.

Distance learning offers several advantages over traditional classroom training, including access, convenience, automation, and cost-effectiveness. Many industries and organizations, such as airlines and flight schools, have realized the latter advantage, and distance learning plays an important part in their employee or student training programs. With the use of a Learning Management System (LMS), organizations and schools can provide remote users with access to learning content, including courses, administer exams, and track user progress.

COVID-19 has revealed another advantage of distance learning- distance. Distance learning allows schools and organizations to continue delivering students and employees with learning content, lectures, discussions, forums, assignments, exams, and grades in spite of conditions like those we face today.

Avsoft has been providing aviation distance learning to airlines, flight schools, universities, and self-training pilots around the world for over 15 years. Our in-house LMS, designed specifically for airlines and approved training organizations, along with our collection of customizable aircraft systems courses and aviation general subject courses, provide clients a detailed, flexible, and effective pilot distance learning solution.

To find out how we can help your organization realize the advantages of distance learning, please contact us.

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