Like the facilitator, the online student possesses distinctive qualities. The traditional school will never go away, but the virtual classroom is a momentous player in today’s educational community. Just as many excellent instructors may not be effective online facilitators, not all students possess the necessary qualities to perform well online. In general, online student should possess some particular qualities.
One must be open-minded about sharing life, work and educational experiences as part of the learning process.
Remember that on this forum you do not have to hesitate in expressing yourself as you may do in a classroom. One must also be able to communicate through writing. In the virtual classroom, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that students feel comfortable in expressing themselves in writing. A student must also be self-motivated and self-disciplined. With the freedom and flexibility of the online environment comes the responsibility of doing it by yourself and self discipline. Here no one is guiding you to remain in the class during period, it is only your self control and determination that guides you to take maximum advantage. A student should be willing to speak up if problems arise. If you are experiencing difficulty on any level -either with the technology or with the course content- you must communicate this immediately. Otherwise the teacher will never know what is missing at your end. Be willing and able to commit three to five hours every day. Online is not easier than the traditional educational process. In fact, many students will say it requires much more time and commitment. So be prepared for it. Accept critical thinking and decision making as part of the learning process. Assimilating information and being able to think ideas through before responding while attending online quizzes and practicing assignments requires critical thoughts and determination. It is also important to have practically unlimited access to a computer and internet service. One must also feel that high-quality learning can take place without going to a traditional classroom.
While the level of social interaction is not high in the virtual classroom given that many barriers come down in the online format, it is not the same as living in a classroom full of friends.
By following the above-mentioned practices, it is expected that both the facilitators and the learners will take this golden opportunity positively to learn and grow using online teaching platforms and the classroom teaching at the time available will become much more innovative, interactive and quality oriented.
(The author is principal of DPS Ranipur in Haridwar)
Monday, 04 May 2020 | Anupam Jagga | in Guest Column
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