‘Covid crisis has opened up huge opportunity for online education’

Our Bureau Pune June 17 | Updated on June 17, 2020

Online education has opened up a huge space for integrating legacy content with stories, games, and real-time problems from the field, and this requires training on the effectiveness of different types of content and the interfaces that make the integration of content seamless, said Urvashi Rathod, Director, Symbiosis Centre for Research and Innovation (SCRI).

“We need a plethora of online courses for educators not only on content creation but also on the way content and its integration can lead to effective learning,” she said. The Covid-19 crisis could be an opportunity to exploit the power of online education in terms of its reach, asynchrony, availability, accessibility and versatility and also to overcome the glaring weaknesses of our existing education system,” Rathod told BusinessLine.

“Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the core enabler of online education and its intangibility provides unfathomable opportunities for its evolution. However, the tangible aspect of ICT is expensive and needs huge investments,” she said.

Rathod added that while the governments and universities are planning and installing the technology resources, there is an urgent need to strengthen the soft aspects of online education that can help exploit the available technology and engage learners in achieving the desired learning experience.

Soft aspects of online learning

These soft aspects include the choice of content, mode of delivery, pedagogical considerations, solo or collaborative endeavours, assessment and other such factors which may seem to be trivial but make a big difference in the process of learning.

“The power of the internet as a medium of communication can be exploited well by mashing up finely-selected content in their relevant forms (printed, audio, visual) to make learning meaningful. This not only needs detailed planning by the facilitator but also a robust understanding of the process of learning and the tools/mechanisms that facilitate learning to happen in the desired way,” she added.

Published on June 17, 2020

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