The Future of Learning international report by the Open University’s FutureLearn team found many in the education sector want to accelerate changes to include more online learning. Matt Jenner, of FutureLearn, said: “Online learning grew in popularity during the pandemic and is set to continue doing so as technology advances.
“The current advancement in technology means that the population expects bigger and better tech, such as virtual reality, by 2030. But the latest technological innovations must be provided with universal access to learning.
“This ensures their utilisation is integrated with our understanding of the issues that impact our world today, as evident by the proportion of people wanting to learn about environmental issues, inclusivity and diversity.”
The report found younger generations are driving the change towards online learning.
More than a fifth of millennials think it can provide similar benefits to a traditional form of education.
Almost half of the population think online classes will mean better access to education for disabled people, the study said.
And learning alone at home will be more comfortable for shy pupils, according to 48 percent of those surveyed.
Some 40 percent feel online learning enables people to feel more confident to study subjects they would not usually feel comfortable taking because of the privacy it provides.
The web-based lessons are particularly valuable for those “locked out” of opportunities due to poor qualifications, it was said.
Many are likely to take an online course within the next five years to get ahead at work.
Nearly two-fifths of people globally think future education will include lessons about environmental and corporate sustainability, climate change, human rights and access to justice.
Another trend identified in the report is that women, more than men, believe education has the power to make the world a better place.
They also feel it can better help wellbeing.
Some 35 percent of women around the world also want to learn more about nutrition, diet and physical health.
About 38 percent want to expand their knowledge on mental health issues.
However, the report said Britain is falling behind the US and Australia in both the adoption of online learning and positive attitudes towards it.
The survey included 2,200 adults in the UK, 1,182 adults in the US and 1,040 adults in Australia.