How to Improve Online Learning During Covid-19
|Subject:||🏥 Health Care|
|Type:||Problem Solution Essay|
|Topics:||Covid, Academic Success, Teaching Philosophy, 🎓 College Tuition|
Table of Contents
Online learning intensified and revolutionized during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the past, only a few courses were offered through the online platforms used by various schools. However, the pandemic resulted in many academic institutions being closed. Due to future uncertainty, most schools adopted remote learning by enhancing online systems to teach most of the units. Even after the pandemic, online learning has remained a significant mode of instruction as it notably reduces teaching costs. Despite growing preferences for online learning, the challenges of internet connectivity, technology skills among the faculty, and curbing cheating could be solved through training and the use of proctored assessment systems.
Problems Faced During Covid-19
One of the challenges faced in online learning during the pandemic is internet connectivity issues. The transition to online learning was sudden for most people. Some students and teachers did not have the devices or internet connectivity to access the courses. It resulted in a lack of meeting the scheduled times for classes and some students’ attendance (Mahyoob, 2020). The challenge led to having recorded lessons and available documents which students could assess at their convenience and complete their assignments. However, not all the students could focus on the learning materials and mostly used the online platform to complete the assignment and score well. This choice has lowered the quality of education over time. Some students were forced to go into remote areas where internet connectivity has either low bandwidth or signal strength (Selvaraj et al., 2021). As a result, the challenges could lead to delays in the assignment and lagging, which could eventually lead to some people dropping out of the courses.
The second challenge entails a skills gap in technology skills for both the students and teachers. Some faculty members deliver better when interacting face-to-face with students (Rosales & Pagsuyoin, 2021). In addition, some are not technology savvy and have difficulty planning and teaching through a remote approach. As a result, the quality of instruction and system use has been reduced. Some students also have the same problems accessing some of the online classes and navigating through the resources, which has become difficult in completing assignments and learning activities. In one of the studies regarding factors determining the acceptance of an online learning program, some of the respondents included that having young teachers that are technology savvy helps, especially in the quality of instruction which influences many learners to take up courses (Zalat et al., 2021). The implication is that some of the faculty members, especially those older, have had to relearn how to use only instruction systems, complete assessments, and grade them due to the skills gap.
Another main challenge, especially for the faculty members, includes curbing cheating. Unlike face-to-face assessments, online tests are difficult to monitor remotely. An assessment aims to test if learners remember the content taught and understand the concepts applied to real-world problems (Özüdoğru, 2021). Therefore, the assessments depend primarily on learners’ ability to express themselves. However, from a remote learning approach, it is difficult to determine if the students completed the homework or if they sought help from others. Besides, some tests, such as the short quizzes, required a timed answer based on the memory from a learned material. However, some students could browse the answers from other sites and score highly. This performance may not reflect the student’s ability, hence giving misleading scores and preparing half-trained graduates (Ramani, 2021). While some educational institutions have integrated other online monitoring tools, some learners have found a way to go around the process and still cheat in their exams.
One of the solutions, especially during the pandemic of online learning, is to enhance training for students and faculty members at the beginning of the courses to increase effective learning. First, the training should address the technological skill gaps in using the online learning systems and navigation around the course materials needed to succeed in the classroom. Secondly, proctored systems need to be used to address the cheating problem. Some institutions have integrated the proctored systems in delivering tests at a particular time and date communicated early. The system requires students to allow it to monitor their online activity, screen, and the surrounding environment. Reviewing such environments reduces the chances of cheating during assessment and enhances the preparation for the tests adequately.
The online learning system during the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in many challenges for both the learners and faculty members. The main challenges for both learners and educators were the skills gap in using the online platforms and navigating through learning materials. In addition, internet connectivity made it difficult to participate effectively in the learning process. These obstacles have reduced the quality of learning and instruction, affecting educational outcomes. In addition, there have been challenges regarding curbing cheating for faculty members when monitoring and assessing students during tests. In this case, designing an educational program to train students and teachers at the beginning of every course could enhance the learning systems’ technological skills. In addition, using online monitoring tools such as proctor could help reduce cases of cheating and enhance learning outcomes in tests.
- Mahyoob, M. (2020). Challenges of e-Learning during the Covid-19 Pandemic Experienced by EFL Learners. Arab World English Journal, 11(4), 351-362. https://doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol11no4.23
- Özüdoğru, G. (2021). Problems faced in distance education during Covid-19 Pandemic. Participatory Educational Research, 8(4), 321-333. https://doi.org/10.17275/per.188.8.131.52
- Ramani, D. (2021). Challenges Faced by Students Due to Online Learning during this Covid-19 Pandemic Situation. International Journal Of Management And Humanities, 5(9), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.35940/ijmh.i1297.055921
- Rosales, R., & Pagsuyoin, J. (2021). Entering a new academic year: the problem faced in online learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal Of Public Health, 44(3), e463-e464. https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdab299
- Selvaraj, A., Radhin, V., KA, N., Benson, N., & Mathew, A. (2021). Effect of pandemic-based online education on teaching and learning system. International Journal Of Educational Development, 85, 102444. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2021.102444
- Zalat, M., Hamed, M., & Bolbol, S. (2021). The experiences, challenges, and acceptance of e-learning as a tool for teaching during the Covid-19 pandemic among university medical staff. Plos One, 16(3), e0248758. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0248758