Online learning is new and laden with innovative technologies. However, its newness creates an array of challenges that require a quick fix. To learn more about them, read the below post.
We experienced some of the most significant changes in our lives in 2020. Also, learning moved online as colleges, universities, and schools were closed to stop the coronavirus spread. Students and teachers learned how to use new technology to make things function as online learning became prevalent. But what appeared to be so easy on the surface was complex and hard underneath.
So, we are here to discuss the issues one could encounter while pursuing online learning. We'll look for answers to the issues both from an educator's and a student's point of view.
The Problems of Online Learning & Their Solutions
“Pace, Place, and Path”- virtual learning provided flexibility in these areas. But what it is still struggling with is the distance factor. Offline active learning differs significantly from what educators hope to do online. Therefore, as Zoom sessions replaced actual classrooms and lecture halls, things changed and became more complicated.
Online learning is not just about shifting from a physical classroom to a virtual one. It is also a shift in the mode of learning, planning lessons, etc. And the aspects we mentioned are also some of the key areas experiencing major problems.
But the question is why? The answer is a lack of proper adaptation to the new concept of learning. So it is worth focusing on common problems individuals face when undertaking e-learning.
The External Factors
Certain external issues cause roadblocks in online learning. The issues might include a poor WiFi connection, power outage, or the absence of a functioning system. In this regard, the state of electricity in India requires special mention. Approximately 99.9% of homes in India have access to electricity thanks to the government's Saubhagya program. But the picture is less rosy when we consider the quality of the electricity and the number of hours it is made available each day.
Additionally, as per a survey conducted by QS I•GAUGE in India, "the technological foundation is not yet at a level of quality to guarantee the effective delivery of online courses." Since technical equipment for online classes is the foundation of digital learning, its absence would unquestionably impact the entire virtual learning system.
Finding out the extent of this problem could be the best way to tackle it. Surveys can be carried out, particularly in our nation's rural and semi-rural regions. Doing so can find out what kind of technical support parents, teachers, and kids need- in terms of Wifi connection, devices, and so on.
Lack of Training
As we have already indicated, lack of adaptation is the main obstacle to implementing new technologies. Instructors and students may find it difficult to understand virtual learning due to insufficient training. The Asian Journal of Distance Education revealed that many Indian institutions do not prepare their educators to work via online platforms. As a result, they are finding it difficult to adjust to the change. Teachers had a terrible time running online lessons from their homes without the required training.
The government and schools should collaborate to implement training courses on online teaching techniques. Additionally, the teachers should be taught the knowledge to troubleshoot any problems they may encounter when running online classes.
Lack of Digital Know hows
A teacher is a social figure who stands tall to motivate students through efficient teaching techniques. But we cannot expect them to play this role when they lack confidence in digital know-how. That said, a significant percentage of teachers and students lack the most fundamental computer skills, such as using MS Office, and downloading or uploading a file. And this ignorance is causing a chasm between online learning and teaching environments.
Educational institutions should provide faculty and learners with resources to advance their fundamental computer literacy. Making online instructions simple should also be a priority. Using learning tools that are too difficult maybe quite disheartening.
Yes, we include gender disparities among the issues with e-learning. And there is evidence to support this connection. Internet usage is divided by gender. According to ORF, women in India are 33% less likely than men to use mobile internet services and are 15% less likely to a smartphone. The fact that India's largest gender disparity in internet usage in recent years in Asia only serves to darken the image.
Solutions for online learners should include more access to digital devices. They can be provided with free mobiles, tablets, etc. Loans at a lower interest rate can also be provided to working women for purchasing smartphones and/ or laptops. Including digital content explicitly in curricula for female students might also be effective.
Different Learning Style
Every student has a distinctive learning style. In other words, each learner has a particular and unique way of learning. But virtual learning prevents educators from spending long periods with students. Hence, they cannot engage in one-on-one interactions with students to comprehend the different learning preferences. Additionally, it becomes challenging to identify which pupils need an extra push or a more specialized lesson plan. Due to the lack of this knowledge, the likelihood of student dropout rates, learning loss, etc., increases.
Finding out more about pupils' potential learning needs may be attainable by monitoring their performance. Additionally, it's critical to interact with them one-on-one. Providing feedback forms and speaking with their parents is also important to fully comprehend how each learner utilizes online learning.
You couldn't be more mistaken if you believe online learning follows the same structure as traditional learning. Online teaching sessions need different lesson plans than those created for teaching in a traditional classroom. It takes creative thinking to transform traditional curricula into an efficient online format. Additionally, lesson plans for various disciplines must differ. For instance, it would be necessary to include graphs, charts, and 3D visuals to teach mathematics online. Crossword puzzles, scribbles, and other specially designed tables could be required for English education.
To develop engaging and innovative online lesson plans, teachers need regular training. To meet better student engagement, creating small chunks of lesson plans may also be helpful. Instead of focusing on the volume of lesson plans, teachers should concentrate on their quality.
The Key Takeaway
The key takeaway from this post is that, despite the glimmering scopes of online learning, there are some glaring flaws restricting its potential. There is no shortage of Edtech companies offering online degrees and courses. But, not everyone has proper access to online learning facilities, and that is a true difficulty. The pivot for this era is digital education, so we need to identify the Achilles' heel to target it and provide a fix.