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The rapid development of technologies and the IT ones in particular influences greatly all spheres of life. Of course, education is involved in this process, as its task is to prepare future professionals. This consideration makes the introduction of IT technologies into the process of teaching and learning inevitable. It started in the late 70s with some computer drilling programs. Later in the 80s multimedia with computer-based training was introduced. In the early 90s, web-based education with active learner models developed.

In the late 90s online flexible courseware delivery appeared and interactivity increased greatly as well. In the 2000s interactive distance courseware and learning management systems were introduced. In the last years with the covid-19 outbreak when schools and colleges throughout the world were forced to start distance learning the process of online teaching and learning has begun to develop very rapidly. It’s about the development of methods of teaching, new software, the Internet educational platforms, and mobile apps. Experts from pro-papers claim that Internet-based teaching and learning are here to stay as a part of the education of the future.  But its introduction isn’t an easy process both for faculty and students.

Advantages of Online Teaching and Learning

New technologies provide amazing opportunities for a college and university faculty to organize an intensive process of teaching based on the latest scientific discoveries and taking into account the individual abilities of students.

  • Online education provides ubiquity of the process both for faculty and for students. You can teach and study wherever you want. Students can also study whenever they want. Due to the ubiquity, a course can be taken by students from any part of the world. This makes studying more convenient and flexible.
  • Mobile education can greatly reduce the cost of education as there will be no need to pay for utilities, electricity and the colleges will need less technical staff.
  • Online studying can be more personalized. Students can choose the optimal course delivery option and repeat the material (like listening to a video lecture) a few times. Due to video conferencing programs and social networks faculty and students can keep constant contact.

Difficulties of Providing Online Teaching and Learning

Introduction of anything new to such a conservative system as the education one isn’t an easy task. This is a system where the results of any innovation can be seen and evaluated only within a few years. So, what ate the difficulties of providing online teaching and learning in higher education?

  • The role of a teacher in mobile teaching changes. Besides administrating, monitoring, evaluating the learning process, and giving support to students a teacher in online teaching should have the technological competence necessary both for developing an online course and later for helping students with technical problems they might experience during an online class. Besides, methods of teaching and ways of evaluation in online and face-to-face education are somewhat different. So, to provide quality online teaching faculty needs to get special training and possibly be able to get immediate technical support when necessary while delivering an online course.
  • To be successful in online learning students should be motivated, have technical skills to be able to use different educational apps and programs, have Internet access and a computer or another device to do all the necessary tasks. Besides, students should be responsible for their learning and this is might be the main difficulty.
  • Online learning still isn’t able to develop students’ practical skills that are essential in many professions. Simulation programs are of great help, but they still can’t substitute a practice for future teachers for example.
  • Lack of face-to-face interaction with peers and teachers slows down a student’s personality and creativity development.

Progress can’t be stopped. So, whatever difficulties faculty, students and educational authorities experience with the introduction of online teaching and learning in higher education, this new way of getting an education is here to stay.  A lot of scientific papers researching different aspects of online teaching and learning are being written now and will be written in the future. And all those efforts of progressive educators to implement a mobile teaching won’t be made in vain. Online teaching and learning is the future of education, especially higher one.

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