The spread of corona virus across globe made education come to a standstill the stirring spoon was online teaching and learning. Online learning got a spotlight in corona crisis. The journey from classroom to web room was indeed not planned and anticipated but became a sudden need of the hour. At such times the research; study on wide aspects of online learning became a priority for Researchers and academicians. This paper intends to bring forward the role of online learning in corona crisis with effective ways of managing web rooms that can extract the desired outcome of a virtual session . This paper also discusses on extending student support mechanism to make students effective learners in webroom and make them enriched learners.
Virtual learning which a choice was earlier got boost up due to learning becoming an ongoing need. Virtual learning offers flexibility that turns on self paced learning, overrides the affordability cost, accessibility with ease due to sharing of internet space and at the same time growth of technology fuelled the entire online learning pattern. The voyage from classroom to web room deserves justice at the hands of instructors and learners. People need to understand the fact online learning is time saving but the time investment to develop the content cannot be bargained at any point of time . Learners have to overcome the barriers of we broom to get the gulp of knowledge. Effective management of Web rooms through proper etiquettes can serve the purpose and outcome in a fruitful manner can be visualised. Classroom and Web room has their own unique characteristics which clarifies education is not about one ounce teaching is equal to one ounce learning. The outcome is based on Instructor’s effectiveness, content quality with effective delivery along with learner’s ability and adaptation. The limitation of web room can be overcome when student centric approach is adopted. The integration of technology with potential teachers can really give a flavour of blended learning in future.
What is Class Room learning?
The most traditional style right from Gurukul pattern to modernised schools of today’s era is the classroom teaching and learning. This mode of learning has been the indispensible part of education system. It is the classroom setting with teachers and students exposed to each other for learning with the help of resources which can be books, Smart boards, Projector based etc. The underlining feature of Classroom is the physical presence of Teacher and students.
What is Virtual Learning?
As such there is no concrete definition as per Techopedia ,” A virtual classroom is a teaching and learning environment where participants can interact, communicate, view and discuss presentations, and engage with learning resources while working in groups, all in an online setting “.In simple words we can say it is an online platform which enables exchange of opinion, knowledge, ideas, instructions in an online created mode with the help of online video conference soft wares. Virtual learning can be of two types, the one without an active instructor called as asynchronous learning where the students are exposed to learning online with the provided resources in the form of video, PowerPoint presentations etc. and the other one is synchronous virtual learning with the presence of an instructor onboard with live sessions. The various virtual modes of virtual learning can take form of MOOC’s, Boot camps, online delivery of lectures via videoconferencing.
Online learning in Corona crisis
The impact of corona has been deadly either on economies or on human lives. No sectors have been remained untouched with the effects of corona. Some sectors got scratched, some paralysed whereas some grew wealthier even education sector was not a left out sector that suffered the bombings of corona spread due to entire shutdown of schools and colleges across globe. As the virus is highly contagious which demands social distancing and less crowding, running of schools and colleges was also not a good idea. This virus has changed the entire scenario and has compelled us also to change. This Covid 19 taught resilience and patience to everybody who got affected which paved new ways of opportunities. For education sector this was Online learning which gave a breathing relief to the dying spirit of learning amidst the spread of virus. Within a short span of time teachers acquainted themselves with new technology and on boarded their students also with the same enthusiasm in web room as a new learning experience. Online learning is not new but has gained attention due to corona virus spread across all countries. Online learning cannot replace Classroom models but is definitely better than no forward ahead.
Difference in Classroom and Webroom learning
Point of Difference Classroom Webroom
Scope of Interaction Classroom has wide scope for social interaction with talk, doubt solving since instructor and students are physically present. Scope of Interaction is reduced to a great extent but however tools like chat box, Q and A session works towards making virtual learning interactive.
Platform of Delivery It is the physical setting of Classroom where the delivery of lectures takes place in a tangible environment. Delivery of lectures is in virtual mode on online platform with the help of internet.
Materials used for Instruction Materials used for Instruction are Vocal mode with the use of books, PowerPoint presentations, Assignments, innovative games for learning. Materials used for Instruction are PowerPoint presentations, video, audio, online quizzes, online polling.
Perishabilty Classroom learning experiences are stored in the minds of learners. Retrieving the session is very difficult in Classroom however it can be done with recording but it is a costly option to do so. Virtual learning is mostly done on online platforms which provide tools of recording which can be used later for reference.
Instructor / Learner focused Classroom is more of learners focused and all attempts are towards learners making satisfied. Web room is more focused on Instructor as the active player is the instructor because keeping check on student’s engagement is less.
Scope of Personalisation Learner and Instructor are exposed to open vocal mode which enables the teacher to improve the Scope of Personalisation with students. Scope of interaction is low and further the time schedule tightness restricts the scope of Personalisation.
Learning Duration Classroom can be run for longer duration as there is wide scope to include different form of learning materials. Web room learning duration cannot be lengthy due to continuous exposure to screen. The duration is drastically reduced to 50 % of live lecture.
Managing Virtual Classroom
The expressions of students, satisfaction of learning in their eyes, approachability to students are all missing essence in Web room which demands several tips and techniques to add on so that the liveliness is maintained in web room. The following suggestions can help to manage effectively virtual classrooms.
1. Pre Classroom Etiquettes:
- Always Prepare lesson Plan before hand so as to manage the lecture effectively. This can be done by thorough preparation and understanding of topic.
- Always ensure the message has been communicated with the students well in advance. Students’ mental preparation and acceptance is bit difficult at last moment intimation.
- Message of Intimation must briefly cover the topic going to be discussed, timing and duration, with proper date and notify about the things required to be kept handy for session so as to avoid any kind of doubts and confusions for students.
- Ensuring the required Hardware and Software setup required for lecture. Hardware includes PC/Laptop or Mobile Phone whereas the soft wares include the online platform and the necessary soft wares needed to run the programs during online lecture.
- Ensuring smooth connectivity of internet so as to avoid pitfalls and technical glitches during lecture.
- Teacher must undergo trial session so as to check the various available options on online platform for conduct of lecture.
2. Ongoing Classroom Etiquettes:
- Teacher must initially begin lecture with welcome and should first try to connect with the students.
- Last session revision so as to refresh the minds of students with the topic which got a halt in last session.
- Proper time management in the sense the timing is well constructively used for effective learning of students.
- As far as possible to ensure student engagement in virtual atmosphere quiz and polls should be adopted. For example voxvote , easypolls , directpoll can be used for live voting during sessions. Quizzes can be conducted with the help of google forms, quiziz, testmoz for student attentiveness in class.
- To make the virtual atmosphere lively gamify options should be used with the help of websites such as kahoot, Classcraft, Classdojo which are fee and can put life in online lecture.
- Chatbox should be effectively used with student opinions, suggestions and confirmations. This is an effective way of managing online lecture with interaction.
- Questions should be thrown randomly to participants each time different participants which will make the students to remain alert.
- As it is said a good beginning should have well ending so the session should end with brief revision of topic with invited suggestions and feedback and proper doubt clearing session so as to not leave any doubts in the minds of students.
3. Post Classroom Etiquettes:
- Provide Assignment on the topic so that students can explore further on the topic discussed in session.
- Checking the students who did not attended the class and try to find out the reasons for same.
- Feedback received should be analysed and constructive ones should be incorporated for further sessions.
Preparing Students for Virtual Learning
The transition from classroom to web room was a steering action which may reflect some students are still not ready to onboard due to their stress, lack of acceptance, hesitation or lack of resources. AS it is always said a satisfied student in a class is the best incentive for a teacher. Success of Web room does not only depend only upon the quality of contents and on effective teacher to a great extent it is tilted on active participation of students. Teacher needs training so as to get equipped and be an effective teacher at the same time the balance has to be done by preparing the students also for virtual learning. This can be done by student supporting mechanisms which are elaborated under:
- Yoga as a mental support system: Making the students realised about the importance of yoga and engaging them with yoga can work like a wonder that will develop mental stability, concentration, deep thoughts provoking and will enable to get rid of stress.
- Ensuring Infrastructure facilities : There could be students who do not have the required infrastructure may be hardware or the internet affordability could be a problem for such students educational institutions should try to work out with strategies like partnering with cyber cafe or working with authorities to ensure smooth internet connection.
- Flexibility: Virtual learning to a great extent is technology loaded so flexibility should be there like recorded lectures or reference videos should be provided with proper learning resource materials to help student who miss the sessions due to connectivity problem. This will enable self paced learning also for slow learners.
- Psychological support: There could be various issues at the backend of student. The symptoms could be lack of attentiveness, absenteeism, lack of interest such cases should be identified by teachers through communication and students seeking mental help should be counselled well by an expert.
- Be a First Aid Teacher: Teacher has to not only pin the questions in class but workout for solutions to students. This will develop motivation and trust in the students.
The journey from classroom to web room is certainly not an overnight step it is a pathway ahead which demands vigorous processes collectively by teachers, learners, authorities to reshape, redesign and restructure the pattern of learning. Online Learning is certainly not a replacement of Classroom but blended learning experience can definitely cater to students who are deprived to education due to accessibility, flexibility and affordability. Instructor as a facilitator can make online experience enriching with quality contents, effective delivery and efficient management of virtual classrooms. The border of classroom and the entry of web room need to be connected on energetic spirit rather than a customary practise.
- J.A. & Rees , Poritz (2017), Education is Not an App: The Future of University Teaching in the Internet Age, London, Routledge
- Cooperman, L (2017), The Art of Teaching Online: How to Start and How to Succeed as an Online Instructor, Netherlands, Chandos – The Art of Teaching Online: How to Start and How to Succeed as an Online Instructor
- Stephanie Smith, Budhai Ke’ Anna Skipwith (2017), Best Practices in Engaging Online Learners Through Active and Experiential Learning Strategies. London, Rout ledge.