Even as the corona virus is wrecking havoc and accounting for lives, the fall-out has had its impact on education as well. The Ministry of Education (MOE), China launched a National Online Cloud Classroom on February 17 to officially schedule online classes.
Traditional brick and mortar classroom environments are being replaced with digital education where teachers are imparting knowledge via ppts, camera and online written communication.
Foreign universities have shut down their campuses in China until the contamination is curbed. Foreign representatives of educational institutes are negotiating with the Chinese embassy to provide a fast alternative to academic disruptions. With travel ban,government lock downs and visa delays, it is a state of impasse into which academia has descended. Cloud-based learning technique is set to ease the setback in China. Students could integrate learning into daily schedule and access materials from wherever they are
Pedagogical Tips for Successful E-Tutoring
• Courses should be designed with images, audio, video and interactive features. Incorporation of heavy texts and sparse images could be a let-down
• Usage of real-time data, new, pertinent magazine snippets,and maps instead of stock images should be regularized
• Broadened space to include students’ inputs on different lessons and assignments should be made mandatory
• Trimming online content is equally a prerequisite since the trick is to remain interesting on-camera. Without peers, students tend to zone out unless the chapters are captivating
• Prompt responses from teachers’ end could generate genuine excitement. Responses should be precise to avoid wordiness or unnecessary diversion. Visuals could be used to generate responses replacing the pedantic written communication method
• Skype and iChat could be excellent sources to enhance student-teacher interaction
Gap in Digital Literacy among Teachers
Reputed online tutoring brands are offering services free of cost. For instance, TAL Education, Tencent, Huawei and Alibaba have made complimentary their e-learning services to ‘minimize the influence on study due to the outbreak.’ However, teachers do not know the specifications of live streaming courses specifically
disrupting to offshore students.
Dwindling Student Motivation
As classes paralyse so does students’ motivation to learn in the virtual realm. Not equipped with technology, few can gauge how far a student is actively learning. Students are failing to utilise the space they are allotted
for engaging with lessons. High student influx to the online space has unfortunately done little. Faculties are invariably failing to pick up on ways to keep students glued especially due to zero peer engagement. High anonymity and lack of physical contact make students withdraw from class lectures.
“I can see students taking notes and give them immediate feedback when I am teaching [face to face] at school, but I can’t do this during online courses,” said Xie, a school teacher, commenting on the communication gap between student-teacher. Irrespective of tremendous opportunities to design online learning methods, the scenario is far from optimistic. The widening of this gap could be attributed to difficulties in using digital red pen, speaking in front of camera and elucidating via written comments.