Online classes part of new way of life
The pandemic has brought a new paradigm shift in the dissemination of education
The pandemic has brought a new paradigm shift in the dissemination of education. In order to maintain the flow of teaching the academic institutions have switched to the online method of teaching, the decision that has received applause as well as its share of criticism. Vivek Tuteja, Chairman and mentor, Endeavor Careers talks to The Hans India on the burgeoning issue of the online mode of teaching. Tuteja, an Alumnus of IIM- Ahmedabad (2004 Batch). He has been associated with the Education and Media industry for a long time and after accumulating an authoritative experience, he said goodbye to his salaried profession and jumped into entrepreneurship with Endeavor Careers. Today the Endeavor Group boasts of 4 companies with a diversified portfolio including Education, Hospitality, and Human Resources Consulting
1. Is online education the future or if we can say a new way of life?
It's part of the new way of life. In the new world of 4G connectivity and reduced physical interaction what educators have realised how blocked they were in their mindset vis a vis traditional delivery tools are concerned. What we will see emerging now is students as a consumer of the content become more aware and confident on how he learns. Consequently, we will see a lot of dispensation to move to high quality pre-recorded videos, interactive online lectures, personalized coaching and traditional feel and experience classroom learning.
To go deeper, let's understand a student's learning needs in our current environment. Apart from Board prescribed subjects & syllabus, a student learns arts, design, sports, language, vocations and prepares for competitive exams and seeks counselling for career direction. Many of his learning pursuits overlap with each other depending on priorities of the day. The list of options I narrated earlier now gives students a choice and educators a choice to ensure optimizing of time and more powerful learning experience.
If the effort is not put in just encashing the money from the consumer in name of technology but is spend on working closely with students and identifying right combination of tools for individual learning requirement and sensitizing him on organizing and prioritization of his pursuits we surely are in process of creating an empowered learning experience for future generation.
2. Are the students pursuing higher education adapting themselves well to the online mode of education?
Yes. There is great adaptation by students towards online mode in higher education. Practical subjects which require labs are suffering and those involving group participation have been affected. But students are liking the idea of having more time at their hands and having convenience to watch recorded lectures in case they miss the session. One big challenge though is technology readiness. Lot of students still don't have the right laptops/gadgets. Not much effort also has gone here in educating the students on what should be their technology readiness and hence drop outs will only increase if this is not resolved soon.
3. Several academics have expressed skepticism about classes online. Some have expressed their experience that subjects like accountancy cannot be explained online. What is your take on this?
If we go and check Youtube channels views on accounting lectures, we will see a different story. In fact, the delivery can be better in these subjects that are more quantitative or problem solving in nature. But the challenge is that class groups are not homogenous. In a physical classroom, a teacher is able to personally guide weaker students through the class while smarter kids are on the next problem. So, the solution here is remedials. Give weaker students another class and may be with a faculty who understands their learning challenges.
4. Would online replace the traditional method of classes? Would it be good if this happens?
No. And it should not. Blessing of technology is that it gives access to the world of resources and teachers. But a physical learning environment adds a lot of perspective and behavioural learning as well. We have protein bars as replacement for food, but we cannot have hit 4 times a day for 365 days. As I mentioned the student will gradually become more aware and educators will become more aware and what we are looking forward to is great blended learning in decades to come.
5. India still grapples with slow internet connectivity. Do you think that online modes of classes have helped the students?
Absolutely! Net connection hampers the learning but "where there is a will there's a way''. Students are finding solutions and even telecom players are coming up with solutions so things are improving.