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|2020-11-09, 8:11 AM|
|Online teaching in the period of Pandemia |
Author: Zibeida Kerimova
Online education is gaining popularity due to the individual approach, which places an emphasis on the student's self-esteem, intrinsic motivation and use of the latest technological tools in the learning process. For the last two decades, online learning tools have been extensively implemented in the educational process in Kazakhstan. There is a constant search for innovations in the development of the effective methods and technologies for online classes. Scientists and education specialists conduct their research in the variety of areas, including the increase of the effectiveness of classes; expansion of the content; construction of individual approaches to each student (taking into account individual abilities and motivational aspirations); and improvement of independent work and time management skills of students. Although online learning is still a relatively recent tool, it has already become a crucial educational element, thus establishing itself as a promising pedagogical technology. Current events resulted from the pandemic situation have emphasized the critical role of online technologies in the education not only in Kazakhstan, but also all over the world. However, its ubiquitous implementation requires thorough analysis of the advantages and disadvantages.
As any other educational technology, online learning has its advantages and disadvantages for both teachers and learners. My recent experience in the intensive online teaching shows that online learning has a number of advantages for students and instructors. First, it is a relatively modern type of education allowing to keep abreast with the development of technology, which is an important factor for the majority of students and their parents. Second, students note the economy of time, since there’s no need to get to the places of study every single day. Besides, a considerable number of students find it enjoyable and productive to use technological devices in the learning process. That allows them to spend more time on educational activities without leaving their homes. Another important factor is that online learning is significantly cheaper than traditional learning. Due to the rapid development of modern technologies, almost every household can afford a laptop, smartphone or any other gadget that will allow them participate in the online classes.
Online learning has become particularly relevant in the quarantine conditions, as it has allowed us to continue the learning process without severe interruptions. Although, there is still a need for more efficient and consistent adaptation of the learning tools to the specifics of the online learning, students have a chance to receive quality education without risking their health and well-being.
There is also an added advantage in the form of a flexible learning schedule and relative independence, which is an undoubted benefit for those students who are able to correctly and rationally plan their time. Not to mention, online education is actually a great tool for students to improve their independent work and discipline. Moreover, in the appropriate online learning environment, students experience less distractions during the learning process (which might take place in the classroom), and therefore are able to process more information.
Despite numerous positive aspects, the distance learning is also known for its disadvantages. Firstly, many students and teachers have faced temporary technical difficulties in the form of poor-quality connection or computer problems.
In the beginning, some students experienced certain difficulties in processing the learning material due to the fact that there was insufficient interaction with teachers and fellow students. Besides, flexibility seems to be a challenge for the students who have poorly- developed time management skills and lack of discipline.
Similarly, online learning also has its advantages and disadvantages for educators. As for the main advantages, there should be noted the convenience and lack of commuting, which in turn results in more productive time planning. Another advantage is also the opportunity to create quality teaching materials and online tools, as well as conduct creative and interactive lessons.
However, creation and distribution of study material requires a sufficient amount of time and efforts on behalf of the teacher. This in turn leads to the considerable increase in the amount of time spent on grading and feedback. Indeed, in contrast to the in-class sessions, online classes require more time on preparation, explanation, distribution of the material, and grading of the students’ works.
Moreover, there are potential technical problems of the regulatory nature. The novelty of this phenomenon is also to some extent a disadvantage, since the regulatory framework for online learning has not been sufficiently developed yet, and most of the practical issues are regulated by the educational institutions, which should include the necessary requirements for the realization of online programs into their local regulatory acts. These are issues such as student identification, assessment of requirements, final certification, and others. All these aspects are extremely important and have to be clearly outlined and discussed in detail.
In conclusion, I would like to note that online learning is still a relatively new and modern type of learning that requires some time and proper conditions for effective implementation. However, the crucial role of online learning in the modern education is undeniable, especially in the unprecedented conditions (for example, Covid 2019 pandemic). At the same time, under the normal conditions there is no need to switch entirely to the online education, since there are still flaws and so-called “pitfalls” in its operation. The best way to ensure an effective learning process is to introduce the elements of online learning into the traditional in-class learning process, which will improve the quality of education and make it accessible to every student. As it was rightly mentioned by famous technological guru, Bill Gates, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the children working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important”.
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