It’s time for a reality check for online learning.
Has it now become a must for every educational institution to offer online learning? Yes. But is online learning flawless? Definitely no. The last few months have exposed quite a few disadvantages of online learning.
Ever since educational institutions started announcing closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak, online learning has remained in the limelight among the educational fraternity. Most of the institutions acted swiftly and introduced online learning for their students almost immediately. What was more heartening was, teachers and professors – even the ones who weren’t tech-savvy – embraced the concept of online learning and adapted to the new way of teaching quickly.
While it started with a good note, as weeks passed by, the initial excitement towards online learning decreased. Disadvantages started to get exposed. Talking about this, co-founder of Classe365, Nandan Keerthi, on LinkedIn, said the following. “Online classes have now turned from being inspiring to exhausting for teachers. Preparing slides for hours and recording/ delivering lectures in front of the screen have started to become painfully monotonous.”
Not only for teachers, even for the students, online learning has started to become difficult. They aren’t able to maintain their attention during live lectures. Their engagement has started to decrease as well. As a result, they are now said to be spending twice the amount of time they would otherwise spend on a particular lecture topic. This has affected performance in assignments and examinations.
While there are obvious disadvantages of e-learning, a highly reassuring fact is that most of the disadvantages could be addressed if institutions use Learning Management System (LMS) software more smartly.
In this blog, let’s see 3 ways through which we overcome the disadvantages of online learning/ distance learning through LMS.
Make online classes more dynamic; have the right mix of pre-recorded and live lectures
When it comes to e-learning, students find it difficult to hold their attention when a live lecture extends to two to three hours. While students find it difficult to stay attentive, educators too find it exhausting to sit in front of the screen and keep a class engaged for hours. One way to overcome this for schools is to ensure that they have the right mix of recorded and live lectures. To make this practice more effective,
Teachers could do pre-recorded lectures for a particular session. And then, they could conduct live online lectures just to solve the doubts of the students and to expound on the topics taught in the session
This way, students needn’t sit through live online lectures for hours. They could finish the pre-recorded lectures in phases based on their convenience. And similarly, the duration of live lectures would be lesser since they would only cover doubts of students. The engagement would be better as well.
Good LMS platforms would provide both pre-recorded and live online lectures features for teachers to be able to do both.
Include more activities to engage interaction and engagement
One of the other drawbacks of online classes is the lack of interaction and engagement. This is directly detrimental to both teachers and students.
To overcome this disadvantage, teachers could ensure that they include more activities during their live lectures – in the form of conducting polls, conducting quizzes, and organizing group activities in breakout rooms.
These could make sure that a student not only stays focused, but also has an immersive learning experience. While some of the web conferencing tools have online polls and breakout rooms, they might not necessarily have the option to conduct quizzes. But teachers could simply ask questions and ask the students to type in their answers during the live sessions.
Again, all this could be possible when a particular institution has an LMS which would have integration with well-reputed web conferencing software platforms.
Make online assessments more dynamic and challenging
Conducting online examination might be one of the trickiest things for institutions. This is because there is a higher possibility that students could be collating and writing the exam, do it with the help of a friend, or could be engaged in any other similar unethical practice. As a result, online examinations might not accurately determine the ability or knowledge of a student in terms of the particular topic/ subject.
So instead, schools and universities could have multiple ways of conducting assessments – including online assignments and live online quizzes.
While there are several platforms where institutions could check for plagiarism when it comes to assignments and for live online quizzes, institutions could randomize the question series for students and make the time duration for quizzes shorter. This way, the integrity of assessments could be maintained.
(Through Classe365’s LMS, educational institutions could conduct online quizzes and come up with online assignments for students. Also, schools, universities and academies would be able to implement Classe365’s LMS in just two steps!)