The teachers should ask themselves some questions before giving any online class to their students; those are - what would they learn, why would they learn, and most importantly how would they learn.
The COVID-19 pandemic is leading the already evolving education sector though a quick and pertinent transition. New and innovative ways of teaching with the help of technology has brought about various challenges that require caution and apprehension while dealing with them.
The traditional narrative of teacher and student in this ever-changing circumstance will come to a standstill and a new concept of mentor and learner will come into existence. In order to keep its significance in the virtual world, teachers need to adapt to the changing scenario of the education sector.
In the “Best Practices for Teaching Online” workshop hosted by ABP Education on Saturday, an esteemed panel of academicians discussed various ways teachers need to adapt to the changes and generate innovative ideas to reach out to the students amid these trying times. Here’s what they had to say:
Prof. Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Adamas University, Kolkata who was the keynote speaker began the session elaborating on the Phygital (Physical + Digital) ecosystem of education. He explained about blended learning which is going to exist in the post-pandemic period. The concept of teacher and student tradition will phase out, he said, adding that a new concept of a mentor will now play a crucial part and the notion of a student will be replaced by the learner.
“The structured syllabus is somewhat going to become obsolete. Organic learning will come into existence. Aggregated learning will be done from multiple resources unlike the traditional approach of exploring the limited resources available earlier. Every topic needs to be educated through storytelling. High-end content needs to be created and delivered to make students more interested in learning. There has to be innovative ways to engage learners through digital platforms. There has to be a mechanism for the digital learning management system. Every topic and course has to be managed for a longer period,” said Prof. Chowdhury.
He went on to say that one needs to create the content so appealing that it needs not to be proctored. “A large part of the practical learning could be done virtually. Recognize digital access as one of the key points to lead a dignified life. Measures need to be taken to reach out to underprivileged to have digital access,” he said.
He further discussed the aspects of online teaching which range between content development to content assessment. He said that summative assessments have to happen at the end of the sessions. The questions after they are set up, they should be scrutinized twice or thrice so they could not be easily searchable on the internet in order to conduct the summative assessment. Whereas, the same tools need not be used in every form of formative assessment. Talking about the digital divide in the society, Prof. Chowdhury suggested to figure out solutions as per the circumstance demands instead of lamenting.
Prof. Joy Chowdhury, Director Operations, Center for Professional Studies, Adamas University, began his talk by saying that the world education system is now converted from classroom learning to the digital learning system. In India, because of the digital divide, and because of economic conditions, we can not reach out to our 100 percent students through digital devices. And this is absolutely a big concern for all of us.
He added, “The last three months taught us a lot of lessons. I believe any kind of disruption always leads to innovations. Most of the teachers have gone ahead and gotten into the training procedure of online teaching. But according to me sending documents through WhatsApp is not actual online teaching. Online training covers multiple levels of teaching procedure."
He advised the teachers to ask themselves some questions before giving any online class to their students; those are - what would they learn, why would they learn, and most importantly how would they learn.
He discussed Knowles’ five assumptions of adult learning in his conversation. He said the important factors of adult learning are self-concept, adult learning experience, readiness to learn, the orientation of learning, and last but not least motivation learning. While speaking about the question of what are the important factors of online teaching procedure, he gave reference to the “Bloom’s Taxonomy” theory. That suggests knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation are the key points that one should have always keep in mind while giving online lessons to students.
He said during online classes one of the most important things is that the student gives attention to your lecture or not. He suggests six factors that would help to get the maximum student’s involvement or engagement in online classes. Those are - keep your lecture short and sweet, give lectures in a storytelling manner, track the progress of your students, create checkpoints, maintain a regular notification updating process, and create a community group with your students. He also suggests teachers use more and more animations or design techniques in their topic presentations during online classes that would help the students to interact more with them.
Dr. Sandesha Rayapa-Garbiyal, Assistant Professor, Linguistic Empowerment Cell, JNU: In order to grab the attention of the attendees, she began by conducting an activity that includes writing down a few words on a piece of paper. Then she went on to talk about 21st-century life skills and its importance. Sharing her PowerPoint presentation, she discussed effective communication skills. She talked about 2-way communication where receiving feedback is crucial.
She further mentioned that planning is important for the digital methodology of teaching. Furthermore, she conducted an interactive quiz which included a series of interesting questions. She explained about the term ‘Netiquette.’ There are certain rules jotted in a book written by Virginia Shea that have to be followed while one is online. She emphasized on how to follow these rules during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in terms of teaching students through digital platforms.
A survey conducted by Dr. Sandesha, she talked about the results that were received and explained how one should use video conferencing tools in order to conduct classes. Referring to Prof. Chowdhury, she said teachers have to look for opportunities to reach out to possible students.
She explained how certain tools like Google forms could be helpful to assess students and interact with them. She suggested teachers quickly learn the online tools to reach out to the students.
Dr. Uma Shankar Pandey, Head, Dept. of Journalism and Mass Communication, Surendranath College for Women moderated this ABP Education Online Workshop which saw an overwhelming response with over 2600 participants registering and hundreds attending and watching the workshop live on Zoom and Facebook.
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