The expression of being able to run before you can walk is somewhat appropriate for the field of distance learning.
Those leaders in charge of progressing the edtech industry, those tasked with transforming learning for good are delving forth into unexplored territory, and, according to Dan Sandhu, CEO of Digital Assess, forgetting problems with distance learning that stand in the way of its success.
The problem Sandhu describes is that “people wish to take distance learning, but there’s no accreditation or assessment at the end of it.”
This is a huge issue, because the formal accreditation offered by established academic institutions serves as a proof of quality, reassuring learners and prospective employees that the qualifications undertaken by students have met a particular standard.
Leaders are forgetting the problems with distance learning that stand in the way of its success
And without official accreditation, courses undertaken- however useful, however much of a differentiator to others, become void in the eyes of hiring managers.
It’s something that needs to be focused on immediately as one of the most pressing problems with distance learning.
Particularly as an increasing number of students are attempting to steer clear of huge amounts of debt which totals $1.3tn in the US alone, substituting bricks and mortar degrees for distance learning alternatives.
This concerns Sandhu, because “people talk about distance learning before there’s an infrastructure.”
This gaping hole in distance learning could previously have held technology accountable; But Sandhu believes this isn’t the case.
“I think people previously would have thought, well it comes down to a lack of technology. I’m personally way past that.”
“We have, as a business and as an industry a fantastic technology ecosystem now.”
“This would allow distance learning to be much more prevalent… it provides the ability to undertake really good accurate assessment, and therefore great accreditation.”
“I think that’s the shift we’ll see, we’ll see the adoption of really high end technology. Which makes the distance learning market a lot easier to access. Because people can see the certification they are getting at the end.”