The 21st century has brought tremendous changes to the world of education. Previously, was limited to the education teaching model in classroom teaching. Now, with the invention of the Internet, transfers learning outside the classroom to everyone's palms.
The Covid pandemic in 2020 further serves as a catalyst to strengthen the dissemination of online teaching to the public in a broader way. In fact, after 2020, online teaching, which was mainly limited to the field of higher education, has spread its wings to kindergartens and preschools also. The true understanding of the importance of anything comes only from your needs. The importance of online teaching became apparent mainly after the pandemic spread. Online Teaching appeared as the savior and rescued the education system of the world from the fear of the zero-academic year.
Online teaching is not a new phenomenon. The first reference of online learning in the world is available from University of Illinois, USA in 1960. Although the Internet had not yet been invented at that time, students began to learn through computer terminals connected to each other to form a network. The University of Toronto opened the first fully online course in 1984. After 2009, online teaching took a big leap and expanded multifold.
India has a long history of online teaching. All India Radio and Doordarshan provide a broadcast space to broadcast recorded educational programs for students in schools and institutions of higher education. In 1994, ISROU used the teleconferencing facility for the first time at IGNOU headquarters in New Delhi. It was a one-way video and two-way audio communication over telephone lines, providing students with a variety of interactions on site.
Today, in 2021, teachers and students should be lucky enough to develop so many applications that two-way communication is possible even on mobile devices. This technological advancement is the resultant of hard work of millions. This is a revolutionary invention in the field of education.
The challenge now lies no longer with the technology, however with the concept of a way to make online teaching useful.
Every possibility comes with demanding situations. This unexpected inflow for the use of on-line teaching has uncovered a range of demanding situations additionally for the teachers, college students or even the parents.
The first and larger most challenge is the level of Computer Literacy. It is difficult for teachers, students, and oldsters to begin employing a learning management system without additional training which too in very limited time. For school going and dependent students, computer literacy has become essential for parents also.
To stay updated about the emerging trends of education in their respective fields and areas of specializations and changing pedagogies not impossible but needs time and space and may be a bigger challenge for the teachers.
With multiple tasks and responsibilities, teachers, the role models for many, find it difficult to effectively manage work and time management. Work-life balance has been affected.
Not all students and teachers may have personal devices for online teaching and learning. Many of them should share laptops and computers with their parents, siblings, friend, knowns to continue to function properly. Some people don't even have laptops or desktops and may only be able to use mobile phones. In rural areas of India, this problem is very common and is a huge challenge.
Unexpected malfunctions or equipment crashes are another problem faced by many people. Due to the high utilisation rate of online learning systems, the technical difficulty is relatively high on a global scale.
Internet penetration becomes difficult and sometimes the connection is unstable, or the user's data plan is insufficient to meet the demand for progressive e-learning. Both urban and rural teachers and students have difficulty managing poor internet connections during online courses.
The lack of interaction between students and teachers is a major concern in the teaching process. Although interaction is the most important requirement, it has been severely affected. In the limited time available of online teaching, teachers must solve many questions from students and may not be able to answer all questions from students, and many of them may not have the opportunity to ask their questions.
It is almost impossible to judge a student's understanding from the student's body language because many students have mastered the art of dressing well in front of the camera.
The lack of etiquette is another reason to worry. During the online conference, it is difficult to continue involving the student without his or her physical presence.
In addition, the main concerns are related to practical, lab and field-based courses.
To carry out the evaluation and assessment, it is the greatest challenge of all educational institutions around the world to manage the quality of education and evaluation.
It is the biggest challenge for online education institutions and universities. The challenge lies not only in teaching and learning, but also in the emotional health and motivation of teachers and students. Maintaining self-motivation and maintaining students’ enthusiasm is a big challenge. Isolation without much interaction with the outside world is a psychological factor that still has a great impact on the enthusiasm of teachers and students. Data security and privacy issues are other challenges that need to be resolved at the individual and organizational levels. Network-related issues are very high, and data security and user privacy are greatly threatened. These challenges will decrease in the future, but from now on, they are of great concern to everyone. In the coming era, there will be new opportunities, and the ever-changing world will see new standards for online teaching. Together, we can realize the transition from classroom to blended learning mode as the most effective method in the education system.
“Tough times do not last, tough people do”
(The author is Dean, Faculty of Management Studies & Director Amity Business School, Amity University Uttar Pradesh)