Online-Offline: What works, what doesn’t?by Monarose Sheila Pereira April 5 2022, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 5 mins, 11 secs
Lecturers and students from various institutes talk to Monarose Sheila Pereira about their preferences. Colleges today conduct lectures in three different modes - online, offline and hybrid i.e. both online and offline together.
Carol Andrade, Dean, St Paul's Institute of Communication Education
It's tough teaching media online and it really shouldn't be. In the past 15 months, we have learned more than we have taught. The good part is that students become collaborators in the processes because they are such digital natives.
Freddy Singaraj, Coordinator Mithibai College
Every program and course is unique in its own way. Having a uniform evaluation pattern across different programs takes away its uniqueness. Online evaluation was a temporary solution considering the pandemic crisis. But it has given an opportunity to set things on the right track.
With NEP 2020 to be set in motion, educational institutes can now build a robust framework through which a change in the evaluation pattern could be brought about. Through this both online and offline teaching and evaluation can be used as per program and course requirements.
Meghna Kothari, Coordinator National College
Ever since COVID-19 struck us as a lightning bolt in 2020, Online Education has become the New Normal; and rightfully so. ‘E Learning’ has not only saved the students from wasting away their youthful years but also helped in safeguarding their aspirations. Teachers and students both find it more convenient to have a virtual class rather than a physical one. Does this mean online learning would one day take over traditional/offline learning? Only time has the answer. But frankly, whatever the answer might be, it doesn’t matter. What matters most is the quality of the education. What matters most is the hunger for knowledge. What matters most is the curiosity to learn.
Sharon Menezes, Ex Course Coordinator, MMK College and Visiting Faculty
With the onset of the COVID-19, offline classes became impossible to conduct and online classes became the norm. While online classes proved to be a challenge in the beginning, it allowed for students to continue their education from the safety of their homes. Personally, I prefer offline classes as there is more interaction and one can explain, express and analyze, as well as clear doubts that students face. Moreover, classrooms offer direct engagement with the teacher - detailed discussions - and this helps improve student performance and competence.
Although we are currently conducting classes online there are various challenges like connectivity issues faced by students, bad networks and therefore no response to questions asked during online classes, and also issues related to anxiety arise – students fear asking questions or clarifying doubts.
Amrin Moger, Head-BAMMC, Guru Nanak College of Arts, Science and Commerce
Learning has gone digital owing to unprecedented times. This transition had to be accepted without having the time to consider the resources at hand. It led to a digital divide in the education sector. I, as an educator, miss the classroom, the bonding and mentoring that was possible in the physical space.
Intruding into the homes of students has opened me to their timid and shy nature. The security of being in a classroom and speaking their thoughts has been snatched away due to online classes. The only rainbow being, those living on the outskirts or on jobs are also able to connect and learn.
Madhuri Dsouza, Headmistress, Supari Tank Municipal School
It has been more than a year since the pandemic hit, wave after wave. It ushered in a new era of e-learning given the circumstances where the safety of the students was highest priority. No doubt, technology ensured that students did not get a long break in their education and learning was uninterrupted.
However, on a personal note, I feel that given a choice, nothing beats the beauty of offline classes where students and teachers are placed face to face in a room. The teacher is not only able to pay personal attention to every student, but also demonstrate practical learning effectively.
Students also get to bond with each other and learn teamwork and friendship. Sports activities too can happen by physical presence, which is critical in the overall development of children. Students across every economic strata will be on the same page in this case as no amount of money can replace traditional classroom education with virtual learning. It should be effected as a temporary solution only.
Apurv Vaidya, Student, Jai Hind
I prefer offline classes because it has a personal connection between a pupil and a teacher. In an offline setting it is simpler to approach the professor. Also it is enjoyable to hang out with your friends in the class after the lecture and have endless conversations, make business plans. It is fun to share your tiffin with friends and taste the food from different households. One drawback of learning in classrooms is that you can’t attend the lectures in your pajamas but being with your friends and learning things makes up for it.
Adarsh Chaturvedi, Student, R D National College
Due to the COVID-19 surge, all the education modes have shifted online. I, being a student, would prefer offline classes to offline classes. My reason I chose offline classes is because it provides the most important thing for education that is communication. Communication face-to-face is easier and very accessible.
As in online mode, we might face network issues, voices get cut in between, apps crash, which is not good for flowing communication. Neither can we students perform co-curricular activities, which are utmost important in order to de-stress. Besides, being online for hours on end is dangerous because of the radiation of the gadgets we use - a laptop, PC or phone’s screen.
The last reason why I feel that offline classes are better is because we get to travel and communicate and explore instead of sitting in the four walls of homes. We all hope we win the fight against COVID-19 and again experience normalcy like old times. One day, we will travel mask free again. That is my prayer.