At the beginning of the pandemic, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said teachers must develop their skills in terms of online tutoring and home-based learning, which are the new normal in the field of teaching. E-learning is now regarded as the future of education and teachers are encouraged to find new and innovative ways to conduct interesting online classes.
Most universities and schools have implemented Learning Management System (LMS) to enable easy online tutoring using digital tools. Educators had to rapidly adapt to the change in mode of teaching and this posed a huge challenge for tutors who were not familiar with digitalised learning/teaching. Though home tuition is still of high demand, there is also a rising demand for online tuition.
Private tutoring has its own unique benefits and advantages but distance learning has made some changes that requires both students and tutors to adapt. The transition is certainly not an easy one to make…
LEARNING THROUGH A SCREEN
Traditional classroom learning requires student to stare at the whiteboard but with online learning, they have to stare at a laptop or mobile phone screen. From the comfort and convenience of home, students now have to sit attentively through online classes with self-discipline.
Another disadvantage that comes with this is the fact that it’s not healthy for children to stare at a screen all day. Eyes would end up becoming dry and tired. The heat emitted from devices would cause student’s body to absorb it and this ultimately causes exhaustion.
Knowing the pros and cons of e-learning, students as well as tutors need to ensure that this new setting does not make the situation worse. Instead, everyone should do their best to reap the benefits and make the best out of the situation.
MODE OF INTERACTION
By using platforms like Zoom and Google Meet, interaction can only be done through keeping the video on and one can unmute themselves to speak. During a class, the tutor would be the one doing all the talking; but in an online setting this can get boring.
Some ways to make this interactive it to arrange discussions. For example, tutors can arrange breakout rooms and ensure the big class is separated into smaller groups for discussions. After individual group discussions, breakout rooms can be dismissed and every group can present their own discussion to the rest of the class.
This keeps the lesson engaging and the tutor would not be the only one talking the entire time.
Online assignments are the next option now that everything has become digitalised. Online assignments do not necessarily have to be in the form of a boring written report. Other alternatives can be things like,
- Group discussion-based projects
- Case studies
- Online quizzes (platforms like “Kahoot!” is good)
- Student seminars
- Group PowerPoint presentations
- Essays (to be submitted online through platforms like Google Classroom, for example)
It is best for tutors to aim for collaboration, as doing assignments alone can be troublesome. Some students may feel helpless as they may not be used to using the online platform to get work done. Incorporation of different learning styles would also make sure learning is more interesting.
For example, online assignments can have a multi-modal design such as,
- Audio component
- Virtual hands-on activities
All of which will make sure learning isn’t mundane.
Whether we like it or not, we have to adapt to this change in learning style. The time has changed and we have to roll with the punches. The transition may be challenging but tutors and students need to try their best to accept this reality. Digitalised learning is the new way forward and it will open of various opportunities for progress and development in the near future.