How to Enhance E-Learning and Remote Education

Remote education, e-learning, virtual classes–we’ve all become familiar with the terms. 

E-learning can facilitate everything, from fully online courses to allowing staff to better manage their shifts using time clock software

It’s no wonder the e-learning industry is growing so fast. 

Bar chart showing the projected market growth in e-learning and remote education for 2026, most notably showing huge growth in online e-learning
Image sourced from

A history

Remote learning and e-learning might sound like new concepts, but they’re not. 

Remote learning began as early as 1828, when the University of London began the External Program–a program for earning a degree through distance learning. 

As for e-learning, the first automation appeared in 1924, when Ohio University professor Sidney Pressey invented the Automatic Teacher. It was a typewriter-looking device that offered students a way to advance their education at home, through a series of multiple-choice questions. The machine had a small window with a question and a set of buttons, and a student had to select the correct answer to move on to the next question.

In a 1932 article titled “Toward the Coming ‘Industrial Revolution’ in Education”, Sidney Pressey wrote:

“Education is the one major activity in this country which is still in a crude handicraft stage. But the economic depression may here work beneficially, in that it may force the consideration of efficiency and the need for laborsaving devices in education. Education is a large-scale industry; it should use quantity production methods. This does not mean, in any unfortunate sense, the mechanization of education. It does mean freeing the teacher from the drudgeries of her work so that she may do more real teaching, giving the pupil more adequate guidance in his learning. There may well be an ‘industrial revolution’ in education. The ultimate results should be highly beneficial. Perhaps only by such means can universal education be made effective.”

His goal to individualize education was commendable but unfortunately, his Automatic Teacher was a failure. It seemed the world just wasn’t ready for Sidney Pressey’s vision.


Whilst Sidney Pressey’s ideals of universal education continue to have an influence on e-learning, modern technology has revolutionized it at a rapid pace. 

In 1969 the Open University opened and soon began to utilize new technologies to facilitate remote learning. To aid their courses, they launched OU-produced radio and television documentaries for students to use, as well as an old-fashioned form of conference calling that provided extra support to up to 8 students at a time. 

From there, we’ve continued to see increasing automation as the internet has propelled us into an age of connectivity. 

This culminated recently as the 2019 COVID pandemic necessitated remote learning like never before. The need for social distancing and the availability of video-calling platforms has meant that distance learning has become a staple in most students’ lives. 


Now that remote learning is so prevalent, let’s look at some of its benefits.


From its historical roots, remote and e-learning were designed to improve access to education.

For students with mobility issues, whose classrooms might struggle to accommodate their needs, being able to learn from the comfort of their own homes is a huge positive. For students with special educational needs, the assistive technology that e-learning provides can help level the playing field. 

Education can also be expensive, and online courses are often cheaper than their in-person counterparts. Even better, many e-learning resources are free.


All students are different. They learn at different paces, benefit from various styles, and work through problems in unique ways. 

Where education has always tended towards standardization, e-learning offers something new–an opportunity for teachers to personalize each student’s education in ways that play to their strengths and provide support where needed. 

E-learning’s personalization features also benefit educators by allowing them to tailor their teaching methods and materials, potentially leading to increased job satisfaction as they see their students thrive in a learning environment tailored to their needs.


As more workplaces go remote and more workforces are spread out around the world, online collaboration is becoming the norm for many. 

It benefits students to learn collaboration skills throughout their education and with e-learning, they can both collaborate with their peers as if they were in a classroom and also learn online collaboration skills that might serve them well later.

Many e-learning platforms incorporate collaboration tools like whiteboards, calendars, video conferencing, group chats, and various screen-sharing tools such as device access control.


With e-learning technology constantly improving, the opportunity to incorporate new and emerging technology into education grows. 

Things like artificial intelligence, increased automation of tasks, and access to 24/7 virtual assistants open up a whole new world of educational advancement. The right technology can help you deliver a creative and engaging training presentation or class that will help your students grow. 

Hybrid education

Remote and e-learning can work alongside in-person classrooms to give all students a more accessible, personalized, and innovative education.

How we can enhance e-learning for the future

For remote and e-learning to continue to develop sustainably, a few things need to be considered. First and foremost, it shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for traditional, in-person teaching. Future generations are likely to benefit from a range of options, with some students being more suited to remote learning whilst others opt for the classroom. 

Next, to get the full potential out of e-learning, it should be dynamic, creative, experimental, and transformative. This is crucial, as it serves to replicate the more dynamic elements of face-to-face learning. Part of this is continuing to incorporate new features, such as the ability to create interactive ebooks. Interactive ebooks can offer students an engaging and immersive learning experience by incorporating multimedia elements, interactive quizzes, and simulations. Adding elements such as this can ensure that e-learning is enjoyable and students don’t suffer from the dreaded “zoom fatigue”.

Personal touch

One of the most immediate concerns about remote learning is the lack of a personal touch. 

There is a tendency to judge remote learning as cold and impersonal–and not without cause! The rapid transformation from in-person to virtual classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic left a lot of students feeling isolated. Educators did their best during a difficult time but now the world has had a few years to breathe, they are innovating new and exciting ways to keep remote learning students connected. 

Personal connections are vital to development, whether those connections are between students and staff or students and their peers. Developers of e-learning platforms need to keep this in mind, pushing for new and innovative ways for teachers to have one-on-one time with students, and for students to collaborate.

Improve access

E-learning has huge potential to improve accessibility for all students, but there are still areas for improvement. After all, if the ideals of remote and e-learning are universal education for all, accessibility is paramount.

Equitable distribution of technology

Students come from different social, geographical, and economic backgrounds. Utilizing technology for education requires certain conditions to be met, like having the hardware to run e-learning software, a stable internet connection, and a safe place to study. 

Not all students have these things–hardware is expensive, many areas have spotty internet connection, and some people’s living situations are less than ideal. 

To make e-learning accessible, the infrastructure needs to be there. Things like ubiquitous high-speed internet, affordable technology, and subsidies for students who cannot afford the conditions required to learn remotely can go a long way to improving accessibility. 

This can apply to staff, too. Administrative tasks can be simplified by incorporating them into e-learning systems, like Paylocity benefits management

Record lessons

Virtual education platforms usually have recording tools, and it’s important to utilize them. By recording lessons, lectures, and presentations, students have unlimited access to all the information they need to study and complete assignments. 

Ultimately, this helps every student, but this is especially beneficial for students who have visual or auditory impairments, as well as students who might struggle to focus on live classes. 

Transcribe lessons

Similar to recording lessons, many virtual learning platforms have transcription tools. Either manually by a member of staff or automatically by artificial intelligence, an entire lesson can be transcribed into text and even translated into other languages. 

Free resources

In a traditional education setting, the teacher can be limited to the resources they have on hand. In an online world, those resources are unlimited and often free. 

Educators have a universe of free resources available to them at the click of a button, and they can share them with students or even ask students to research their own resources. 

Things like free ebooks, webinars, and educational games can be great tools. And online blog posts, articles, and research papers about a whole host of subjects are available to everyone, like learning how to prioritize tasks with BeSlick

For a concept that idealizes universal education for all, free education resources are what it’s all about! 


The beauty of remote and e-learning is its versatility, and that should be optimized at every stage.

Instead of having to build education around rigid classroom schedules, educators have much more freedom to set schedules that work with their students’ needs and around their own lives. Like remote workplaces, remote education can offer a freedom that traditional classroom settings can’t.

To further enhance e-learning for the future, consider introducing XR/VR into your curriculum.


A tangible way to enhance remote and e-learning is through collecting, assessing, and using feedback to improve the platform. 

Many e-learning platforms come with onboard analytics, which can amass high-quality data that allows developers to locate problems and fix them. 

Personal feedback is also important in improving the quality of e-learning. Communication is key, and feedback from students, parents, and teachers can be a valuable tool in assessing what is working and what isn’t. 


With any new technology, security is an ongoing issue. Keeping up with the latest cyber threats and data regulations can be tricky. 

Map of the world used to demonstrate how e-learning can be used by students all over the world, and how they can be connected through the online platform
Free to use image from Pixabay

Feeling safe empowers students to learn better, and online threats are very real in a world where much of our lives are digital. Worrying about your personal data falling into malicious hands or having your financial details stolen are new threats to online students–threats that educators are not used to dealing with. 

E-learning security is an ever-evolving process. Developers of e-learning platforms can utilize tools such as two-factor authentication, securely backing up data, ongoing security training for both developers and teachers, and Databricks data engineering certificates to protect both students and teachers from online harm.

Remote and e-learning is the future

Even if you’re dubious about the subject, e-learning is a growing industry with widespread adoption.

With growth comes a better understanding of the benefits of e-learning–as well as its drawbacks. Only by constantly improving can remote learning pioneers create a universal education environment that solves traditional education’s biggest problems. 

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