COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of human life and has forced people to adapt to new ways of living, working, and even learning, almost overnight. As the world enters the fifth month of this global pandemic, most people are still adjusting to changes that were unimaginable only six months back, but have become a norm today. The most important of these changes have been in the manner in which education systems across the globe are operating. With most countries facing an unprecedented health crisis of massive proportion, education of students seems to have taken a back seat.
The current crisis has forced more than 1.5 billion students across the world to stay away from their educational institutions and continue their learning at home, mostly through distance learning. The best private universities in Delhi and other educational institutions have risen to the challenge and started offering online classes to ensure the continuous learning of their students. In fact, both the students and the educators are adopting various flexible learning and teaching methodologies to ensure that the quality of education is maintained even during this difficult time.
An Overview Of The Changed Scenario
In order to prevent the academic progress of the students from coming to a complete standstill due to COVID-19, educators quickly sought the best ways to overcome the challenge. With this context, online teaching emerged as the clear winner mainly due to the fact that most students today have access to the internet technology and use devices which can help them to attend classes easily.
In fact, the shift from classroom teaching to online teaching was done in a remarkable manner across the length and breadth of India. Educators are taking advantage of the various learning tools and resources available online to maintain the quality of learning. They have also adopted new teaching methodologies to ensure that their students are able to learn new topics and concepts in a manner that is at par with regular classroom teaching. The focus of educators is on making the process flexible enough to meet the diverse learning capabilities of individual students.
Challenges Of Online Learning
There is no denying the fact that online teaching has come as a boom for students in this time of great crisis. However, like most other good things, this new teaching and learning methodology comes with its own set of challenges. The most important of these challenges are listed as follows.
Poor Internet Connectivity
Poor internet connectivity even in major cities is a common problem faced by students in the context of online classes. This makes it difficult for them to attend classes regularly, especially if they are living in a remote area. They are thus likely to miss out on key lectures which might impact their overall understanding of concepts and their academic performance.
Lack of Resources
Most resources available online need to be purchased and are often too costly for students with limited funds. During normal days, these students rely on the resources available in the libraries of their institutions or even public libraries. Now with the institutions closed, libraries shut down and online resources beyond their reach, such students feel helpless and desperate.
Making it interactive
Online classes are often not as interactive as regular classes, which makes it difficult for students to get their doubts cleared and queries answered. In most cases, the students are advised to ask their questions after the classes have ended, by which time they either forget their queries or consider them too insignificant.
One of the biggest challenges of online learning is that students tend to feel more distracted. Unlike regular classes, where most attendees are focused on what the teacher is saying, students attending online classes may be distracted by the happenings in their immediate surroundings. This is especially true in the case of students living in congested localities or with multiple family members.
Resolving The Challenges
Given the fact that the pandemic is still spreading its tentacles in India, it would not be wrong to assume that online teaching is here to stay. Hence, it becomes the responsibility of the best private colleges in India to coordinate with public education institutions to find the best ways to overcome the aforementioned challenges. Some useful tips in this context are given below.
- The colleges and universities should upload a recording of the online classes conducted by the teachers on the website for students to access at a convenient time.
- The various educational institutions should provide an online library of resources for the students to access free of cost or on payment of a nominal membership fee.
- Educators should opt for video-conferencing based platforms and customized learning management systems to make the classes more interactive and beneficial for the students.
- Wherever possible, group studies should be encouraged to create a classroom-like feel and minimize the distraction of students and enhance their learning experience.
Despite its various challenges, online teaching and learning have provided an effective solution to the problem of imparting quality education to students even during this critical time.