A class of wide-eyed students staring at the blackboard with notes scribbled by their teacher. For many years this has been our perception of education. However, COVID 19 has changed the outlook of learning across the world. The 'new normal' has brought in a tidal wave of digitisation in the education sector, urging even the hesitant educators to adopt virtual classrooms.
With the onset of COVID, schools, colleges and other educational institutes across the world were forced to remain closed. In addition to this, the scheduled examinations and competitive entrance tests were stalled during this period. The education sector has experienced a massive jolt as the academic learning has come to a halt. This has caused us to rethink teaching methods and assessments.
Paradigm Shift in the Education System Post COVID
The trend of online learning was gradually gaining pace over the past decade. However, with the lockdown, students and teachers confined to their homes have been pushed to online learning to make up with the lost academic time and maintain continual learning. Schools and other educational institutes have been collaborating with the parents and other stakeholders for well-planned remote learning.
The need for the hour is to integrate online learning with classroom learning by modifying the existing pedagogy of schools and higher education. Besides, effective digital learning strategies need to be implemented for enhancing students’ skill-sets and productivity for the evolving job market post-COVID. Students need to be encouraged to develop conceptual clarity, problem-solving, critical thinking, analysing information and practical implementation of learning, which is the rising need in the current age.
However, while shifting from the four-walled classroom to virtual learning, educators must look beyond the conventional pedagogies and implement new interactive learning strategies, proctored assessments, define the class duration, train students, teachers, and parents in using digital tools and safeguard students' online privacy.
The Role of e-Learning Solutions
To build a sustainable and robust education system for the future, educators should embrace the digital learning solutions. The digitised solutions enable standardised and accessible learning despite geographic limitations. Here is a detail on essential elements of digital learning and how e-learning solutions can meet these requirements:
- Online learning is not about presenting video tutorials, hosting live sessions between teachers and students or converting textbooks into google docs. Digital learning should have curated content that involves virtual sessions, micro-learning, gamification and simulation of lessons to ensure an interactive and engaging experience for the students.
- The traditional teaching method uses generalised content for the entire class. But for effective elearning, educators should consider the diverse learning needs and capabilities of class students. A onesize-fits-all approach may not have an impact on students. Personalised and inclusive learning is necessary for a successful education system.
- Teachers should devise ways to communicate the classroom subject matter on the digital platform effectively. AI-enabled learning plans and multimodal content such as video blogs, case studies, live debates and virtual discussion forums with industry experts can render experiential learning for students.
- A progress-monitored assessment should be a part of the digital learning system. Digitised assessments can help teachers monitor the learner's progress and make necessary modifications in the learning strategies.
- Assessments can include questions designed around videos, infographics and audios. Besides, digital assessments reduce the anxiety of examinations and make it a fun experience for students.
- These AI-enabled assessments can enable remote proctoring to spot and evade unethical practices. Streamlined assessments save teachers' time so that they can focus more on student learning and ensure individualised attention.
The switch to digital learning seems challenging; however, one must not forget that every crisis offers an opportunity. Despite all its challenges, the pandemic has become a catalyst for educational institutions to explore innovative digital solutions.
We, at TCS iON, a strategic unit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), empower educational institutions and examination boards with transformative IT solutions. Numerous educational institutes in India and across the world are benefitting from TCS iON’s transformative digital services. TCS iON Remote Assessments and TCS iON Digital Glass Room are two such unique offerings that can aid educators and students to embrace a seamless and digitised education system post COVID.
TCS iON Remote Assessments enables location and time-independent assessments and AI-enabled remote proctoring of candidates. The assessment is secure, confidential with on-time creation of question papers, secure 256-bit encryption of question papers, and auto-routing of subjective answers to respective markers.
TCS iON Digital Glass Room was created envisioning the virtual classrooms as the future. The embedded live classroom allows a real-time session between teachers and students from any place, at any time. The multimodal content allows the digital sharing of lessons and assignments and promotes student interaction with learner's poll, quizzes and other engaging activities.
TCS iON is extending its support to numerous universities and corporates in the United Kingdom. TCS iON is offering free access to TCS iON Digital Glass Room for an entire year so that learners can take full advantage of digital courses and prepare themselves for a competitive future.
Overall, digitisation can foster a well-rounded education system. However, this would require educators to loosen their reign on traditional teaching methods and adopt the science of digital learning with the help of elearning experts.