The strict adherents to the belief that classroom-only teaching alone is effective, have had to dilute their beliefs over the last year and a half. The pandemic dealt a body blow to the tradition of the classes being held within the confines of the classrooms.
Like several other aspects of our lives, the classroom too has been transformed and redefined. Every level of education is today provided online, and several tools and platforms like the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), and several of the technology tools like the Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Classrooms are now the enablers of it in the world of education. They are also able to bring the best teachers onto one’s laptop.
You can take up courses offered by the top professors from prestigious institutions like MIT, Purdue, Harvard, IIM-B, IIM-A etc. offering their courses and you do not have to spend tons of money to pursue them. Also, you can access the same lectures any number of times, all made possible by the Internet.
They have gained in popularity due to the pandemic when more and more professionals began to use them for skill enhancements. They were now able to do the best courses at minimal costs.
Also, these certifications came to be more accepted, and the employers also began to see these degrees just as the normal degrees. These degrees are now accepted on a par with the regular classroom degrees.
So, you are now able to learn from the best teachers from the top-tier universities and institutions who come right into the homes and provide lectures in the most interesting manner. This also ensures that the students’ interest in a subject is enhanced and they are able to grasp the concepts better.
As the costs of the technology tools have been falling, more and more students are now able to access the best of the resources for meeting their learning goals. The platforms and their business models have ensured that a greater number of students are able to benefit, irrespective of where they are. One can now learn all he/she wants sitting at any location and only needs to have a reliable Internet connection.
On the cost front too, the courses are much cheaper to deliver as it does not need big buildings and spacious classrooms, and have become more affordable for the students, allowing more people even from the remotest corners, to take up any of the courses. It’s especially useful when a course is very complex and an expert can break it down into a highly-digestible form which is often the speciality of many of the top academics.
Affront to academics
It has also become a challenge to all other academics who now need to pull up their socks to change the way they teach lest their students consider them dispensable. The academics are now forced to find ways to make their courses more interesting to their students as they are now compared to the top professors.
It’s more or less like being in the classroom no matter where you are. Hence, it’s not just the academics, but also the institutions that also need to pull up their socks and find out ways to offer their courses in the most endearing manner. The technology tools are now making it possible and with tech firms developing tools that are only getting cheaper by the day.
The pandemic allowed for the various experimentations in using technology to deliver courses across levels, right from primary school, with five and six year olds, to the post-graduate level. While debates have been raging over the pros and cons of virtual education, it has proved itself to be indispensable. It has now become the only means for most students to have any semblance of normal education.
As the inability of schools and institutions to begin normal classes prolongs, online courses are a good and easy means to buttress the regular syllabus. There’s no need for the expensive tuition any longer. The classroom can be supplemented by the online courses.
Despite the several dissenting voices saying that the model can’t be depended upon in the long run, it has proven to be an effective model. The future would perhaps see the dependence on a hybrid model of teaching and learning, involving both classroom and online teaching. So, why not make the best use of the opportunities of learning through the online classes today itself so as not to miss out on anything at work.
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- Hetal Palan