Education

Cast away those doubts

The sudden shift to online learning, in the wake of the pandemic, created many apprehensions regarding the quality of the education.   | Photo Credit: Freepik

The sudden shift to online learning, in the wake of the pandemic, created many apprehensions regarding the quality of the education. Here are a few common myths regarding this that must be debunked

Online degrees are not valuable: Earlier there was a feeling that online learning was not valued enough by employers across fields. The pandemic, however, has helped eradicate this long-prevailing notion. People have now understood its relevance and how feasible it is for learners who come from different walks of life. Since online classrooms include many advanced technologies used in the workplace, it actually prepares students for the real world. The other aspect is that students get global exposure as technology has ensured that one can learn from anyone anywhere at any time.

Online classes are monotonous: This belief holds that laptops and phones with Internet access can cause various unnecessary interruptions, making students miss out on important topics. However, according to a recent study , the Internet helps not only teachers but also students, as the latter learn more through visuals and audio rather than from books. Therefore, mediums such as YouTube and podcasts help them understand the topic better and grasp concepts faster. In fact, online learning also bridges the gap of social anxiety among them.

No holistic development: As the myth goes, online learning does not give any practical exposure or opportunity to network and get on-ground exposure. Also, there is a belief that virtual learning is not feasible for those who are not tech-savvy and don’t have advanced knowledge of gadget functions. However, it is a fact that online/digital learning is easy and more feasible. Although videos are a common component of most professional courses, online learning is not just about video lectures but also lots of hands-on work. There are some online programmes where instructors assign projects that focus on the aptitude of the learners and what they are capable of in a professional work setting.

It is ineffective: A common misconception is that students can cheat easily, making the learning process ineffective. But students have to submit assignments and write tests in online classrooms. The flexibility offered by this system allows them to learn at their own pace and develop a fair understanding of the topics before starting the next module.

It is a cakewalk: This is one of the most prominent misconceptions; many believe that online learning is too easy, hence not authentic enough. However, these courses are just as demanding as traditional ones. Teachers expect the same quality and efficiency in work assigned, but often expect submission in a shorter time. This means students aren’t losing out on content and have just as many, if not more, opportunities to learn. Also, the syllabus remains the same; hence, students have to be prepared thoroughly since there is no leniency here.

The writer is Group Director, S.P. Mandali’s Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research (WeSchool)


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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 4:15:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/busting-myths-about-online-learning-for-higher-education/article36985699.ece

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