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Online Learning in Pandemic COVID-19

By: Zeeshan Rustam

Pakistan is facing political, educational, socio-economic crises in the lockdown in the consequences of plague COVID-19. The formal educational institutions are shut down and grappling with faculty to switch on online classes. They are striving to prevent student’s educational loss incalculable lockdown. Higher Education Commission has conveyed its directives to conduct online classes to universities and colleges. But most of the teachers, students, and administration is not accustomed to online teaching and learning. We are going to share the following points which will become helpful in achieving online reaching targets.

  1. Recording and Sharing lecture.

The lecture should be recorded before delivering it to students. These recorded lectures should be forward to all students. It will become more convenient for those students, who have not stable enough connection for live-streaming since downloading the audio is easier. The exact practice varies with the needs of each course.

There are many numbers of platforms that allow for live classes to take place through audio and video streaming, screen sharing. There are functions for audio discussion as well as written chats, and students can even raise their hands and be acknowledged in order to speak.

  1. Digital Education.

But faculty will need some training in utilizing digital technologies effectively. There is an urgency of workshops of faculty being held with the collaboration of the Higher Education Commission. In the workshops training the faculty will be trained on how to manage your attention as you are providing a lecture (audio) while students are also raising hands, entering and leaving class, and writing in the chatbox. The management of various interfaces has to be done by teachers, which requires some practice as well as developing the standard operating procedures for teachers and students to follow.

  1. Access to the presentation of lectures and study courses of students.

                             All students have access to the reading material and lecture presentation prior to the class. This is sent to them through email or a learning management system. A good LMS is essential to ensure that students have access to all the material, can submit assignments and other written material, and can even appear for examination through it.

  1. Lack of Resources.

A few students did not have access to android phones, laptops. Universities that are currently setting up an online learning mechanism should also start addressing the lack of resources issue, and perhaps the HEC can also step in with the resources needed to do so.

  1. WhatsApp Groups for comprehensive two-way communication.

The faculty should also create Whatsapp groups for students. This allows for a lot more communication. They can ask a question at any time.

  1. Phone Calls for an individual session

Phone calls can be good for one-to-one communication, and for students who have no or poor internet connection.

The writer is student at the University of the Punjab.

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