Deep and long-lasting

Do-It-Yourself Learning inspires students to take the initiative, work responsibly, solve problems, collaborate in teams, and communicate ideas

Published - March 07, 2021 01:13 am IST

DIY Learning provides real-world relevance to what is learnt.

DIY Learning provides real-world relevance to what is learnt.

Like all sectors, our education ecosystem is also evolving. A look at real-time data gives us an insight into the need for an urgent, disruptive overhaul. For example, according to ASSOCHAM, only 7% of fresh MBA graduates are employable. Another estimate states that a majority of those in primary school today may be looking at jobs that don’t even exist now. Employers also believe that, in the next 10 years, the skills that will become more prominent are critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving. Yet, our education system and its traditional lecture mode is not geared to help students hone these contemporary skills.

Changing focus

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 aims to reform curriculum and pedagogy and move the education system away from the culture of rote learning and towards a culture where students grasp “how to learn?” Cognitive development, character building and creating individuals who are well-rounded and equipped with 21st century skills is the focus. These shifts have led millions of children to leverage the power of technology-based online learning to enhance and accelerate their overall learning experience. Typically, this takes the shape of an after-school programme.

Our educational system, even today, does not account for the fact that children learn at different paces and in different ways. Adaptive learning, or the creation of a personalised learning path, ensures that every child gets adequate care to achieve the desired grade level learning skills. There is a systematic and scientific way to identify strengths and weaknesses. A real-time dashboard empowers all users to have access to usage, compliance and performance reports, instantaneously. Last but not the least, career guidance is also a part of the offering. However, one of the most high-impact outcomes of tech-enabled blended learning is the practice of Do-It-Yourself or DIY-learning.

What is DIY-Learning?

DIY-Learning pushes students to engage in learning that is deep and long-lasting. Students actively engage with projects that provide real-world relevance for learning. Not only do they solve real-world problems but also interact with adults, businesses, and their community leading to a deeper understanding, greater retention of conceptual knowledge and inculcation of a certain “work ethic” because they are consistently inspired to take the initiative, work responsibly, solve problems, collaborate in teams, and communicate ideas. In such a scenario, one may wonder: what exactly is the role of a teacher?

While we believe that a teacher’s key role is to teach, this is a misconception. Today, teachers spend a large amount of time on two primary tasks: report generation and evaluation. Technology-enabled blended learning empowers teachers and enables them to concentrate on their main job: Teaching! Secondly, the teacher’s role has evolved into that of a facilitator or coach. Instead of feeding students all the answers, the teacher nudges them towards DIY-Learning that encourages them to learn with depth, curiosity, intent and understanding. This will also give teachers time to discover new methods of teaching and student-led, engaging activities that will prepare young minds for work and life.

The writer is the Chief Executive Officer, Online Adaptive Learning System (OAKS).

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