By Dr. M S Ganesha Prasad
Professor and Principal
Learning is a natural human trait; when you learn something that you did not know, it should make you joyful. If learning is making people miserable, then we have not understood what learning is– as stated by Sri Sadhguru. Most of the faculty of higher education institutions feeling incomplete during their online teaching in pandemic period, because of online teaching. In particular higher education institutions belongs to engineering education needs to support student communities by supporting teaching & learning systems like hybrid learning, blended learning system, e-learning systems of education, mediated learning & web assisted learning systems.It was learned during this pandemic that as learning environments are communally dynamic, tactically organized change will only happen if there is a shared vision and energy that touches all parts of an organization.
Hybrid Learning: Hybrid learning is learners learn through a mix of in-person and online events. Students are encouraged to learn from one another in in-class instruction sessions whereas the audiovisual aid shared online enhances and reinforces discussions in class.
Blended Learning: As per the google definition “Blended learning offers the learner convenience and flexibility; they have the ability to control their learning pace and learn remotely. Academic research suggests that blended learning gives learners a more comprehensive understanding of the course content”
e-learning: (Synchronous eLearning) is when the learners and the instructor interact with each other in real time, from different locations.
e-learning: (Asynchronous eLearning) is when learners complete self-paced online training. In this case, the learner and the instructor are not online at the same time
Mediated learning: If student becomes self-motivated, independent, and creative recognizing the importance of mediated learning could cause the teacher’s role to move from provider of information to learning enabler, Mediated Learning Strategies offer opportunities for constant interaction between teacher and student, thereby creating a supportive role for the teachers.
The structures of above online learning environment may result in
- Improved student engagement in learning.
- Improved teacher and student interaction.
- Improved time management and flexibility
- Improved student learning outcomes,
- Improved institutional reputation.
- Improved flexible teaching and learning environment,
- Improved experiential learning.
Also in higher education institutions very specific to engineering education, above methods of teaching & learning activities results in improving following skills of student communities Exploring skills, Self-learning, Self-engagement, helps to develop a ‘self-driving force’, Better conclusion making and students at large can develop sense of accountability for their presence. In professional education system, along with the theoretical concepts, students also supposed to learn practicals. No learning is going to be complete without practicals in professional higher education degrees. Because learning through practicals projects / internships gives better understanding about the theoretical concepts.
During recent past, good number of state governments in India waved off the theory and practical examinations to students of professional degree programs. The outcome of this decisions definitely reduces the confidence level of students who are part of average and below average categories. With this curtailed learning, the future placements of students of all the professional programs is going to affect. Because during placements, if students are not answering confidently either they may lose the job opportunities or they may under value their capabilities and has to compromise for lower pay package.
By looking into important outcome of higher education institutes that is placements, authorities of the institute should plan for additional classes specific to all the laboratories which are missed by the student community during pandemic period of their semester studies. Before planning for such additional classes for practicals, students may be asked to give feedback about their professional studies learning during pandemic.
Any Curriculum is at the heart of designing any blended-learning program. Thus, it is essential is to come up with a curriculum that can support such pedagogical approaches. Traditional curriculum, which expects students to learn in a classroom situation may not align well with this learning model. Some academicians researchers have come up with guidelines to design the curriculum for such setting. However, detailed instructions may have to be formulated separately for different areas of educations.
Traditional solutions that are often categorized as Learning Management System can be useful in continuous evaluation of students. Google Classroom and Canvas are two common examples of such systems. They can be helpful for a teacher in designing an evaluation-oriented learning experience. Some solutions, such as Microsoft Flip grid, provide a feedback mechanism to students to share their experiences with the teacher as well as with their peers. These feedback plays major role in deciding the curriculum for professional studies. Authorities of academic departments can definitely plan the missed laboratories for all the students looking into upgrading the practical knowledge of students.
As per the Indian education system, most of the students learn during examinations. By considering this factor, academic departments may plan following assessments for the students of professional studies.
Constant valuation play a major role in a education process. Learners can be informed about their performance in online course work and quizzes through expertise. They may be given continuous access to their online information for them to monitor their progress over the time against their specific learning goals. There should be decent means to measure the performance of learners.
- Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation of students’ knowledge
- Innovative trends in Evaluation and Assessment like
- Open book examination
- Spoken / Speaking examinations
- Classroom/Online Quizzes
3. Asking students to attend
- online short term training programmes
- NPTL courses
Well defined tools to evaluate the student’s growth and accomplishments should be used. Neutrality and correction should gain meaning. This will also encourage students to participate in self-assessment and peer valuation activities. As mentioned by UGC guidelines, following Essential Guidelines for Evaluation maybe used by academic authorities of higher education institutions
|Sl No||Particulars||Necessary Standards||Desirable Standards|
|1||Online assessment||Online assessment strategies should be introduced.||Assessment to be used at least partially for all subjects.|
|2||Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation.||Should be innovative, learner-centred and competency-based.||Necessary evaluation systems should be in place and all evidences of internal evaluations to be maintained. Paper-pencil tests, unit-end exams to be completely discouraged for CCE. Instead, other modes of evaluation should be used.|
|3||Open Book/Closed Book||Both maybe considered for hybrid / blended learning||Both models to be followed selectively for all courses.|
|4||Group Examinations and Evaluation||At least one group-work activity should be evaluated per course||Group-work evaluation and Group Examinations should be encouraged for all subjects|
|5||Viva Voce||Viva-voce for at least 50% experiments,
group-projects should be mandatory
|Viva-voce for all experiments, research projects, groupprojects should be mandatory|
|6||Project Presentations||Presentations to be planned against evaluation of projects and dissertations at least once per course.||Evaluation Rubrics to be developed for such presentations.|
Institutions need to ensure checking essential requirements to begin with and then should monitor processes to ensure successful implementation of online / offline teaching methods during pandemic periods. Online / offline mode is to be used to help learners develop 21st century skills along with the effective learning and skill development related to the subject-domains. Online / offline learning should be carefully implemented and should not be replacing classroom time as a privilege. Every academic department of the institute should strive to be a model department to demonstrate a successful implementation of online / offline teaching – learning activities in the higher education of higher education institutions.