A lot of things are changing as the current pandemic has forced and taught people to do things remotely. Although people are not quite prepared for the changes, they will eventually have to pick up the pace.
Teachers must find new and different ways to deliver lessons while ensuring effective teacher-student engagement.
Virtual learning should not be a barrier to interaction. Instead, it should be seen as a positive alternative to education. The unconventional approach plays a part in progressive society.
As British author Richard Templar said in his book of The Rules of Management, ‘You have to be moving or you will stagnate.’
According to the lecturer/programme coordinator of Quest International University’s School of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences, Muhamad Amirul Faiz, learning virtually can be fun and convenient but it can also be quite challenging, especially to those who have connectivity issues.
When asked if there is a need to change his teaching materials and styles, he said, “I’ve to keep my lectures short and simple by providing students straightforward examples as well as real-life case studies. I can’t overwhelm them with lengthy and complicated explanations or they’ll lose interest. Thus, making the learning process harder.”
“It was difficult in the beginning as not everyone is technologically inclined. But, in time, students will feel more comfortable and be less resistant to this approach,” he explained.
“Of course, it’s important to show mutual enthusiasm in order for this to work,” he added. “I believe e-learning is a good alternative to conduct lessons.”
However, journalism student Saundarya Ramesh and medical student Bonou Sedo Alicia have different perspectives on e-learning.
“E-learning is insufficient as my field requires hands-on experience and a lot of practical work where we work with real-life patients,” Alicia highlighted.
“We can only learn the theoretical part online which would hinder our performances,” she further described.
As for Saundarya, she believes both online and physical classes have their strengths and weaknesses. Though studying online is more flexible and it saves money.
“Although virtual classes consume more battery and mobile data, at least we don’t have to physically travel to class thus saving on transportation fee and my lunch money,” she elaborated.
Saundarya pointed out that virtual lessons are more prone to misunderstandings which leads to lecturers or students having to clarify if points are missed. “The tendency of glitches is much higher,” she posited.
Consultant and trainer Joel Lim, who is also a father of three, said that the two major problems while guiding his children through their online classes are when they cannot understand the subjects and when he is tied up with work. “The classes take up time too,” he expressed.
“However, we need to take into consideration that not everyone owns a computer or has Internet connection,” said Lim.
Some of them may not be well-equipped but everyone is giving their best in making this a success.
Sometimes we have to jump fences, light fires to succeed. Things are not going to be the same forthwith.