Coronavirus outbreak has spread trepidation across the globe with a rising number of positive cases and tragic deaths. Schools, colleges, and other public places have been closed. People are asked to stay at home unless there is an urgent need to step out of the house. Everything is in a temporary lockdown; markets have been closed and public gatherings have been banned.
What could be the possible solution for the education sector? Schools and colleges are looking towards remote learning practices to keep the students’ learning on track. However, the transition to remote learning hasn’t entirely been a smooth experience. Paired with the drawbacks of non-standardised systems and facilities and being home-quarantined, students still need to be trained to become adaptive learners that can make the best of remote learning.
Coronavirus outbreak: Schools should start online lectures
Educational institutes can shift their curriculum online and upload class lectures and tutorials, but we need to compose remote learning to engage student understanding and participation. A break from schooling structures should not mean that teaching should regress to a one-size-fits-all’ model. To ensure that learning remains personalized for the benefit of student education, institutes and teachers must equip students with the skills for adaptive learning.
Adaptive learning in the times of coronavirus
Adaptive learning is a technique for providing personalized learning experiences, to enable effective and tailored learning paths to engage students and address their individual needs. It utilizes data-driven algorithms and systems to adjust the trajectory and pace of learning for each student. Tools for adaptive learning can help students take control of their learning, make considerate decisions, develop metacognitive skills and become lifelong and future-ready learners.
Educators can help design these adaptive learning sessions, but to create a healthy and functional learning environment, they need to help students move beyond their current pattern of learning and move out of the complacency that occurs when teachers drive the lessons. Learning from home can be a novel experience, but teachers can offer a few tips to ensure that students thrive at their new virtual learning stations.
Online class meeting
Instructors during webinars or online class-meetings’ can offer students’ tips on how to stay charged and focused. Giving them advice on how to manage breaks between lessons will help them learn with minimal distractions. Additionally, students may take time to develop the skills for staying focused and driving their own learning. However, teachers can aid the development of these skills by setting objectives learning objectives for students to follow.
A school is usually a social experience; an online learning programme, while effective can draw away from the interaction that would normally occur in classrooms and halls. Teachers can help students adjust to this current phase of self-isolation by leveraging virtual classrooms. Partnering students for online assignments or projects can help ease their stay-at-home learning experience.
Teachers can also inform students to regularly update their learning or availability status. There is no one set of best practices that will apply to all learners here. Just as how every learner is unique, every school’s remote learning program will also need to be customized according to their needs and students, drawing from the larger pool of best practices and solutions this calls for a lot of commitment, creativity and focuses on everyone’s part.
Coronavirus outbreak: How can students utilise this time
Students should also enjoy their learning experience at home. So, creating fun activities and challenges can be a good way to motivate the class and bring the lessons to life.
It is quite a challenge for the students to stay online, yet not get carried away in the world of the Internet.
Talking about how we can help students become comfortable with digital learning from home, an educationalist said, teaching students, through tutorials, to set up video calls, share screens and enable learning software, can help them make the most of their virtual learning experience. On the other hand, a failure to do so could mean a waste of multiple days on trying to figure out how to operate their equipment. It is all about the physical and mental preparedness for digital learning; only when this is taken care of, the learning programmes that follow will be a lot more effective.
How to maintain discipline in virtual classrooms
Instructors must help students feel as if they are still in a classroom and that they need to be responsible and accountable. The comforts of home should not distract them from their education.
Online learning should be done in a manner that students engage better and not get distracted by comforts available at home. To aid the transition, teachers can hold one-on-one interactions to gauge how students are faring in this new setup. This interaction, whether through chat or video call, can serve to aid student understanding and solve any technical or personal issues.
Educators believe that teachers play a pivotal role in such situations as the manner in which they design the learning experience can affect learning outcomes. Therefore, instructors must also empower students to provide feedback, as the adaptivity in both teaching and learning becomes essential to guide learning sequences.