Proximate learning has never seen a hiatus as big as the one that is currently going on. It’s been more than 2 months that students have seen their classroom or sat on brown benches, taking down notes from the blackboard. The brutal wave of COVID-19 has impacted different areas of life, profoundly. Students have been learning from the comfort of their home, through their mobile phone devices or personal computers. Teachers who believed that learning is not possible from home have been proven wrong as almost all the population was in lock down, but learning didn’t stop.
Although, resources have reported that the lock down may not continue for a long time now. It is about to come to an end and life may go back to normal. The blackboards may replace beaming light of mobile phones and large personal computers. But are students ready for it?
As mentioned earlier, it has been more than 2 months that students have stayed in. It is enough time to get used to a new lifestyle and adapt to changes. Experts believe that students are going to have a tough time getting back to the normal routine of waking up in the morning and going back to school. Not only that but learning from home has changed a lot of things both for students and teachers.
Use of Online Tools
Online learning is based entirely on technology. Teachers engage with the students, assigned work, and graded them through different applications and video chatting. Even the teachers who were once against Online learning adapted to it pretty well. Many students and teachers realized it during the lock down that online tools are not a luxury, but can make learning way easier and convenient. Learning during lock down boosted student performance with the help of advanced methods. Although, normal proximate learning never included online tools as a permanent option.
Students and teachers alike may find it hard to study in a complete traditional environment devoid of online tools. Post-lock down education will highly include online tools and methods as they have now become a permanent part of learning. Post lock down traditional classes are likely to have a touch of online learning, permanently. A mobile device here, Google search there, is going to be a normal part of any class. Teachers may also prefer to grade students online and receive homework online as well.
Adjusting to Timing
Many online classes and schools had one thing in common i.e arbitrary class timings. We have mentioned time and again that online learning is largely based on personal motivation, therefore online classes usually lacked proper timing and discipline. Students may find it hard to wake up early in the morning and going to school. Sitting in class for long hours and paying attention can also be a bit of a challenge for both teachers and students.
Online classes did not have an impact on student performance despite its casual nature. Although the normal traditional classes require proper discipline and time following from students, which can be a bit of a challenge after 2 months long lock down.
Boosted Class Engagement
Despite its innumerable benefits, one thing that online classes always lacked is class engagement. Teachers and students realize the importance of engagement and interaction. In a traditional classroom, teachers are going to interact and engage more with the students to boost learning. During online classes, class engagement was reduced the most, and students fail to smoothly interact with their peers and teachers. Teacher’s realized it more how important interaction is, therefore they promote engagement more than usual in a traditional classroom.
A Shift in Roles
One of the major differences between the traditional classroom and online classroom is of authority and leadership. In a traditional classroom, teachers are the ultimate leader and supervisors of not only the classroom, but every single assignment, course, and test. Although, in online learning, students were mostly in charge of their own performance and work. They engaged with teachers only to acquire their approval and grades on their performance. Due to decreased engagement and interaction, teachers could only guide students in the right direction the rest was up to the students.
Students and teachers both seemed to enjoy this arrangement where both the parties worked as partners rather than leaders and followers. Post COVID-19 classroom may incorporate some of the changes that took place in online learning. Teachers may go from being the sage on the stage to a guide on the side. The student-teacher role is expected to take a form where students will ultimately be more responsible for their own performance whereas teachers will guide them in the right direction.
All in all, educational institutes that adopted proper COVID-19 online learning culture may find it hard to go back to the old normal style. All the schools that followed the proper learning style during lock down may go into a hybrid model, where learning is a combination of online and traditional style. According to experts, it is not a bad change and is something that educational institutes and experts should promote and support for student learning