Here are some pointers that could be useful for educators preparing to take online classes.
Aakash Chaudhry, Director and CEO, Aakash Educational Services Limited, The situation around Covid-19 has forced several educational institutions across the country to adopt the online mode of delivery and instruction to ensure that learning continues and students do not suffer. While the present adoption of online learning has been sudden and will possibly be temporary, is there a learning in it for educators? This period does have the potential to contribute to a model of learning and development that optimizes the resources available for maximum effectiveness.
While in-class and in-person interactions have always been the preferred mode of instruction in educational institutions across the globe, it will be a wasted opportunity if our institutions do not take this pandemic as a sign of changing times. The ones that are nimble will bring the best of online education into the classroom and offer a superlative learning experience to the students. Although the current crisis has practically forced educational institutions to transition to online classes, a majority of educators are increasingly realizing the need to enhance their classroom delivery through digital interventions.
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The reasons could range from localized disruption – pollution, riots in specific areas, to bad weather or more global reasons such as the Covid-19 pandemic. A case in point is the instance in November 2019, when the Supreme Court ordered all schools in Delhi-NCR to be closed for two days due to extremely high levels of pollution.
The virus outbreak is demanding that educators, students, and parents think creatively to help students remain engaged and to ensure that their learning continues uninterrupted. Virtual classrooms have helped them do just that. The online mode of learning does bring with it some unique advantages such as flexibility and an enhanced learning experience due to standardized & quality content delivery. However, for most teachers and educators in India who are accustomed to the traditional in-person, classroom style of teaching, this up skilling to taking online classes will call for some preparation.
Here are some pointers that could be useful for educators preparing to take online classes:
- Set rules for interaction and participation at the beginning of the class
- Conduct test classes to practice slide transitions and use the various options to present content
- Take into account the attention spans of students – students will find it difficult to sit for a class that is longer than 45 minutes. So, if a longer class is needed, consider having breaks in between.
- Intersperse your class with ‘breaks’ for physical exercise – lead the way and encourage your learners to follow as you do simple on-chair exercises
- Take into account students who may have lower bandwidths while designing courses / classes – Include a range of activities from audio – video conferences that call for high bandwidth to pre-recorded video lectures and platforms for group chat and messaging that consume the least bandwidth.
- Encourage interaction and communication – An online class misses the person-to -person communication that a real classroom offers. To make up for this, it is important that students have a platform where they can connect with their teachers and their peers outside the class. Chat channels, bulletin boards, discussion groups are a few such options
- As the online education experiment across the globe picks up momentum on account of the pandemic, it could also be a good opportunity for teachers to reflect on the learnings from this period and consider incorporating changes to classroom courses in the future to make them more productive. After all, every cloud does have a silver lining.
Courtesy: India Today
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