Education

Innovations in teaching

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Having seen tremendous challenges over the last year, it is now clear that educational institutions cannot look forward to returning to the pre-March 2020 situation. The future learning environment is going to be very different.

In the initial stages of the lockdown, Higher Education Institutes were among the first to adopt online learning and conduct of assessments. Both faculty members and students learnt to adjust to the new mode and the former attempted and championed several innovations in the teaching-learning process including sending pre- and post-class material to students, encouraging peer discussion and group work through use of online tools, making assignments more practice based, and organising interactive webinars with guest speakers to reflect on curriculum-based issues as well as matters of general importance.

With full opening of educational institutions in doubt, universities need to gear up to make learning interesting for those who choose to come to the campus by introducing a range of activity-based exercises. Some institutions moderate dialogues among these learners on insights gained. The practical exercises and other recordings are made available to those who are unable to come to the campus. This group is required to watch the videos, complete the exercises at home and send a video-recording, a detailed review or complete an assignment based on what they have seen.

Universities are also in the process of devising strategies to usher in blended learning and educators have already begun separating the content into that which will suit the online mode and that which requires the learners’ physical presence.

With 40% learning being allowed online, one could allow students to choose half of this from available online courses and seek exemption from specified ones based on equivalence. When it comes to face-to-face interaction, the focus can be on practice-based learning. Moving forward, more project-based learning can be used with regular reviews and discussions on the progress. Evaluation can be more application-oriented, which will ensure that strict proctoring will not be a critical requirement. More such innovations can ensure that the quality and content of learning can be enhanced by a judicious mix of the online and physical modes.

Abhishek Mohan Gupta is Pro Chancellor, Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal and Dr. Sandeep Shastri, Vice Chancellor, Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 4:58:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/innovative-teaching-methods-to-ring-in-blended-learning/article34234693.ece

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