There has been a huge change in the worldwide educational scene due to the Covid-19. Educational institutions all over the world shifted to online learning and hence the focus turned to elearning creation. The students had to suffer because of this change as lab classes were cancelled and it became mandatory to study from home. This change was pivotal for many institutions because they had to provide students with an elearning LMS platform and create their credentials and monitor their performance. Ivy League institutions also had to shift their education to an elearning LMS platform where students could log in and attend classes and training materials etc.
Teachers don’t know how to teach online
This shift to online learning has been stressful for many teachers because it is unprecedented. Although the IT staff of educational institutions has been helping the instructors to operate the elearning LMS platform, they are only able to help a few. It’s because online learning was implemented faster than anyone could imagine and it was unanticipated.
The faculty is also not comfortable teaching students online because of the inability to handle IT equipment. Also, the teachers have their learning curve for teaching through an elearning LMS platform. When the teachers are teaching the same course the 2nd or 3rd time, they become efficient in delivering online classes. So, they require to practise to become perfect and this time can range from a single day to weeks for different teachers.
Lack of resources
Although the IT staff is eager to help, the server of the schools doesn’t have the bandwidth to handle so many students logging in. The servers can crash down. Another problem is elearning creation i.e. how to use the authoring tools to develop such content. If some teachers have digital fluency, only they can use such tools and they need the support of SME’s also. But all the teachers are not expert at using elearning creation tools and have different levels of technical knowledge and require support.
Every subject can’t be taught online
Another problem is elearning creation which can be problematic because every subject now has to be taught online.
Some subjects cant be taught online so properly. Also, instructors don’t know how to impart classes in such subjects i.e. the online content.
It’s difficult to implement online learning because many strategies are available. But the right strategy depends on the size of the class. Also, students cant be given individualized feedback as the class size increases. There is also the question of how online learning is to be implemented because, unlike students, adults don’t have much time on their hands. So, for them, asynchronous learning is the best option, but students can study in a routine.
There is more to teaching than just face-to-face classes. Students in classroom-based learning also get to participate in extracurricular activities, which is not possible with an elearning LMS platform. Students also can get books from libraries to enhance their knowledge about subjects, something which their teachers advise. Therefore, school-based teaching is a complete system, something which online learning lacks. The universities will have to prepare themselves for providing more comprehensive elearning. This requires advanced planning and then developing a course requiring a time gap of 6-9 months before it is launched.
What is the solution?
Emergency remote teaching(ERT) is the solution in which the students are imparted teaching through the blended teaching model. This teaching model involves online learning and classroom-based training, the latter involving webinars. So, the portion of the syllabus which the students cant learn on their own through training materials is delivered online. The main aim of this system is to cope up with emergencies and is available during Covid-19. This system does not require any planning to be implemented but can be set up quickly. Many countries have implemented this method of teaching during the Covid-19 crisis like Afghanisation. The female students were provided DVD’s because they could not go to schools.
When teachers are allowed to impart instruction through blended learning they can develop online teaching materials at their comfort. It’s because everything else can be taught through webinars. Although ERT does not have any planning and is developed rapidly, it is a correct solution during a crisis. But, it might not have the quality of elearning creation which requires planning.
However, access for all students must be a necessity in ERT also and it must be based on universal design for learning(UDL). It must be focused on students and must make sure that they can get the learning material any time and understand it too.
In the end
Any online learning approach will have to be implemented keeping different factors in mind, like how many students completed the course, how many could access it and the time invested by the faculty to develop it. This is how effective elearning creation can be done.