Online learning has been adopted by many universities and institutions across the world with the advancement of technology. Even though online learning has been popular, it attained its universality during the last two years mainly because of the COVID- 19. The pandemic has altered the way we learn. Today, the Classrooms have been replaced by learning applications, Blackboards by digital screens. Online applications like the Classroom, WhatsApp have become the space for submitting homework and assignments. Emojis and private messages have taken over the chit chats during class hours. The physical interaction between students and teachers has become less. These are only a few among the numerous changes that have taken place in the study mode. While stepping into the second year of online learning, the pandemic has constrained everyone to work/study from home. Thus, an evaluation of online learning which has become part of the new normal is inevitable.
While analyzing the effectiveness of online learning, the opinion of the students matters primarily. Ms.Ashly Jose, the Chairperson of
Assumption College Changanacherry, shares her opinion as a student representative. Being a Bachelor Degree pursuing student, online
learning has become helpful for her as a student. Opportunities for students have increased as students began to use the online learning
platforms to study various other courses also at the same time. Part-time jobs, internships became more popular among the students. Online classes have helped make students capable of multitasking. Compared to on-campus studies, online classes are also more affordable, says Ms.Ashly. But technical issues, very prevalent network issues are the flipside of this. Compared to Bachelor students or PG students,students of Schools need much more attention from their teachers. Online learning, in that case, is less effective than campus learning. I students find it difficult to attend the live classes, providing them access to recorded classes is an appreciable fact on the part of teachers. E-learning makes their studies up-to-date without any backlogs.Conducting internal exams on time also makes academics systematic
Arjun Doney and his wife Tara Susan George
The involvement of parents and how they manage to change with the new learning method is also important. Popular YouTuber Arjun Doney and his wife Tara Susan George conveyed their opinions as parents of Sarah Arjun and Maria Arjun to Education Today : First and foremost, there is less risk of getting COVID and/or transmitting the disease to others. Hence, online learning is the only viable option to be adopted in the current situation. An added advantage to that is that parents get to directly monitor the teaching methods employed by the tutors. Also, no time or energy is being wasted for dropping off or picking up the kids. Arjun and Tara also mentioned a few demerits as well: The first one being that the kids do not get a chance to learn basic, social skills since there is an absence of direct interaction with their classmates. In addition to that, parents also have a concern that their children will not learn to be independent because they are always with them. As a parent of a KG 1 student, Arjun and Tara work (from home) also gets affected as one of them constantly needs to be at home to help their kid with the work.
The role of digital learning platforms and applications is another vital part. Although these digital platforms were prevalent, they gained more widespread universality during the time of the pandemic, when students were unable to access the offline mode of learning. Online mode enables students to access the class from any location. Also, online lectures can be recorded and saved for future reference. This allows students to access the learning material at any time they want. Thus, online learning offers students the flexibility and accessibility of time and place in education. However, there is a challenge in the network connection. Lacking a consistent connection causes teachers and students to be interrupted between the classes.
For students, it takes time to adapt to an overnight change in their learning methods. For many students, the biggest challenge they are facing in online learning is the struggle of focusing for a long period. In online learning, there is a higher chance of students getting distracted. Social media or other sites can be one of the main reasons for distraction. There are also concerns regarding the mental health of students on the part of parents. The article is hereby concluding with some remedies for students to manage the current change.
Mr. Tibin T Joseph
Clinical Psychologist Mr. Tibin T Joseph, who is the joint director of the Behaviour Science Research Organization(BSRO) analyzes some regulations for students to cope with the schedule and to deal with the change. Initially, he talks about how a student can use the digital platform efficiently. Students can get distracted easily while using laptops or mobile phones while attending online classes. Distractions are normal and there are ways to minimize the distractions while attending online classes. To avoid diversion, adopting different measures can be helpful. One among them is that applications that can preoccupy students from the classes must be removed temporarily from their learning devices. Not including social media apps on their learning devices is an example. Maintaining a schedule and following them systematically helps students in adjusting to a new normal Keeping a disciplined schedule while attending classes from home is also fundamental. also fundamental. Organizing a study room, keeping away the distractions from the stimulus are some of the useful tips which can be adopted. Following a timetable that allocates particular time for playing, social media, studies, helps students in maintaining a schedule which is necessity during this time.
Advancements in the field of online learning have become the motto of every nation as it is considered as the future of learning. The efficiency, accessibility, low cost and availability has made online learning an extensive proposition. Setting a learning goal, discipline, creating an ideal environment while studying, looking out for interactive and extracurricular courses makes online learning interesting. COVID- 19 has taught us to adapt to a new normal and to go with the flow. Recollecting the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres would be the best way to conclude this topic. We are in this together- and we will get through this, together.