With the increasing risk of Coronavirus and the rising number of sufferers, educational departments around the world are hustling to shift their classes online. Many tier institutions in Pakistan including NUST, Bahira University, Roots IVY have moved to virtual learning in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan.
Pakistani educational institutes have been increasingly used as an instrument of fear by Terror mongers followed by the closure of universities and schools in the past. However, this is the first-time universities are going to adopt distance learning. A sudden shift to digital learning among the pandemic crisis has posed some challenges to the system as the students were familiarized with the Face-to-face traditional classroom environment and it is not easy for them to shift to online classes all of a sudden.
“We reject online education” popped up as one of the top trends in Pakistan on the microblogging website Twitter and the hashtag remained on the top for quite some time with most of the tweeters expressing concerns over lack of “effectiveness” of the online education. Students were accustomed to the classroom environment and it is not easy for them to shift to online classes all of a sudden.
World’s top universities are trying Rapid eLearning and focusing on designing self-paced courses for the learners whereas Pakistani universities are enforcing online learning (Streaming) since teachers were not given any time to prepare for either.
Though Rapid eLearning seems to be the only solution to all these problems but designing courses in a global pandemic is not as easy as it sounds. Right now, however, we need a simpler formula. Here are some quick tips to make online teaching better, from our experts in online learning.
1. Quit the Live Streaming
In a Third world country like Pakistan, the majority of students cannot access the internet 24/7. The live streaming of lectures will naturally make it hard for them to meet the attendance criteria and attend the lectures. Along with live streaming, record your lectures and send them to your students with the required resources.
2. Include Your Face in Video
Including instructors face in the video not only affects information retention but visual attention as well. Recorded lectures with no element of face-to-face interaction lack eye-contact and makes it harder for the student to stay focused. It is advisable to place the video of the instructor on a corner of the screen if the lecture requires drawing or solving problems on a screen.
3. Provide Useful Resources
Online learning should not only be limited to video lectures. Supplemental resources including student worksheets and instructor guides, or lecture slides should also be provided at the end or start of the lecture for better understanding.
4. Hold Group Discussions
Encouraging an effective discussion can be a challenging activity for an instructor in a face-to-face situation and can be even more challenging in an online setting. However, the exchange of ideas among groups can be done through social communities. Facebook allows you to make separate groups for each class and hold discussions by either going live or inviting students to engage in posts.
5. Set Realistic Expectations
Transitioning from traditional classrooms to online learning is a drastic measure for the learners and instructors as well. Apart from higher education, there are hundreds and thousands of teachers and learners who are venturing into academic cyberspace for the first time. It is important to set realistic expectations and give your students time to get used to the learning management system and the new routine. Students residing in fewer privilege areas must be compensated for deadlines and attendance.