Monday, 22 June 2015

Online Teaching: Redefining Educational Paradigm

Educators around the globe are incessantly searching for new resources that could help their students to attain exhaustive knowledge of various topics. Supplementing classroom knowledge with other forms to disseminate information has become rather imperative. Online teaching, that leverages the ubiquitous reach of Internet to disseminate teaching material to a wider group with 24/7 availability, is not only redefining the style of communication between the educators & students but is also continuously redefining itself to add value to the whole teacher-student engagement. It is important to mention here that this e-learning doesn't diminishes but complements the classroom teaching.

Some relevant points that augment the e-learning experience are briefly discussed below.

Teachers' Contribution

Even traditionally, educators have had used different methods in addition to classroom teaching to help students with their studies. The difference, today, however, comes from the ability to connect with them at any hour for any length of time. White board videos, online transcripts, live discussion boards (Thought Box), etc. allow students to tap into various educational resources if & when required. Apart from this, teachers can easily create & organize online question bank and conduct mock online tests on various topics to seamlessly monitor & manage the progress report of every student.

Students' Acceptability

The high efficacy of online teaching observed among students can be contributed to the familiarity and easiness of incorporating technology into trivial day-to-day tasks & problems by the students. Hence, the transition from real to virtual classrooms among students is rather smoother than what is observed in the case of faculty of most educational institutions. Easy access to teachers' study material online helps students to save their time and more importantly in ensuring that the online content accessed is correct & relevant. Mock online tests allow students to gauge their performance leading to final tests and work on their weak areas with the help of online educational resources.

Role of Discussion Boards

It is quite common these days to join some forum or write a blog about an interest. Students these days engage with the online world through these platforms to ask or comment on common interests. Discussion boards are just an extension of such platforms where students ask or clear the doubts of other students. A teacher might start a thread on a specific application of a concept taught in the class and let students share their opinions on it. Conversely, students might ask their teachers on any topic that they are finding difficult to comprehend. Hence, out-of-class interaction could be progressively maintained between the students & teachers.