It was not long ago, when students were attending classes daily and solving business management assignments. But, the classes were put on hold due to the sudden outbreak of COVID-19. College campuses sent students home before restaurants, and shops closed in response to the pandemic. The situation worsened so much so that the undergraduate enrolment fell 2.5% for the fall of 2020.
However, the education process could not come to a halt as it would ruin the progress of the children, society and nation. Here, remote learning opportunities proved to be vital. But, many institutions were not ready for the technology, and it led to several problems.
Everyone Should Use the Same Technology
Technology has always been present in college, but when it comes to teaching online, the acceptance of remote learning has been sporadic at best. Some instructors are accustomed to teaching in person, particularly those who have been teaching the same syllabus for many years.
Some professors like to adopt early. They experiment with emerging technology in the classroom, push for new digital teaching methods, and keep up with cutting-edge technology. They’re the professors who, as part of the curriculum, check out new applications.
It’s great to have both types of the teaching process. A coherent distance learning strategy is critical for a college that is going remote. That means students shouldn’t have to learn on Chalkboard in one lesson, Google Hangouts and Slack in another, and a learning management system (LMS) in a third.
Students, like corporate learners, should be able to log into a single framework with all of their lessons. If you are writing a paper on how to enforce remote learning effectively, you should take pointers from this blog. And do not forget to cite the sources properly. If you are having trouble with Latrobe referencing tool, you should use the online citation tools available online.
Instructional/Professional Course Designers Should be Hired
Unlike licensed K-12 teachers who develop online training materials, college instructors do not need to know how to teach to get a teaching job. They are hired by a college because they are knowledgeable in a particular topic, and they learn to teach or coordinate a lesson in one of two ways:
- Via classroom trial and error
- Using a department-provided, tried-and-tested syllabus
Online teaching is not an easy affair, and it cannot be delivered by inexperienced teachers. Online courses require structure. It should be developed by instructional designers who understand how students perceive, are familiar with the technologies used to deliver the course, and collaborate with professors. Most of the times, colleges or universities lack the funding. And historically, higher education has saved money by sending adjuncts into the classroom with little to no pedagogical support or instruction.
Experts typically create corporate training manuals. Modules are often installed in-house, and other times businesses buy off-the-shelf courses. Those modules are developed by experts who understand how to create meaningful, engaging remote learning in both cases.
Investment in CyberSecurity is Essential
Physical security is a major concern for most colleges and universities. It’s important to invest in cybersecurity now that the campus is going digital.
The business world understands the importance of safeguarding digital properties. The estimated cost of a data breach, according to the Ponemon Institute, is $3.86 million. Since hackers don’t spare educators, universities that teach remotely should invest in security as well. A data breach in the education sector costs an average of $3.9 million, and 48 percent of such breaches are intentional rather than accidental.
Colleges would need to find a safe teaching solution and educate faculty and staff on good cyber hygiene. This is a crucial move as some faculty members may have been teaching using unsecured software or other means of communicating with students.
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The Courses Should be Optimized for Smartphones
In college classes, cell phones have always been the adversary. Corporate preparation, on the other hand, recognizes the value of mobile learning. Some learners may need on-the-job training, while others may be able to learn from a distance. Even those stationed at the HQ who tend to do training while sitting at their desk in the lobby with their mobile device in hand would be perfectly acceptable.
Mobile learning could be even more critical in college, as many students are on the wrong side of a technological divide. They may not have access to a computer; some low-income students may share a device or have typed papers on shared computers. Classes that can be accessed via mobile devices are important for those who do not have a desktop or laptop or who are dealing with a machine that has low processing speed.
However, the majority of college students own a smartphone. According to a 2018 mobile learning report conducted by the University of Central Florida (UCF), 99.8 percent of students own smartphones. And 82 percent of students use their phones for educational purposes.
Students from underprivileged backgrounds, who had lower GPAs, reported using their phones to complete assignments in particular. In this way, getting a mobile app for a course will help level the playing field for students who are working, living with relatives and sharing computers.
Offer Training to the Professors
Both technophiles and sceptics would need to be trained on a campus-wide teaching tool. Tech enthusiasts would need to know how to get the most out of the tool (and they may have to be convinced to abandon their own way of teaching online). Many who have stopped taking online courses in the past would need to brush up on the fundamentals. All, from tenured professors to adjuncts, would need to participate in this training.
While training may seem to be a basic phase, many institutions of higher education do not require all faculty members to attend. Part of the explanation for this is that higher education depends on adjunct professors, who are not full-time and are often preoccupied with other responsibilities or heavy course loads.
In this situation, the pandemic presents an opportunity to provide and enforce remote training sessions. Students and faculty are still dealing with a lot of changes, so they can have as easy of a transition to their new LMS as possible.
All the above-mentioned steps have to be taken care of, only then the remote learning process can be executed smoothly. Furthermore, institutions should ensure that students have access to laptops or mobiles and Internet connection.
Author Bio: Robert Smith is a digital educator, and academic counsellor working on behalf of a reputable firm in Australia. He own blog site where he shares important updates, career choices, etc. At present, he is associated with MyAssignmenthelp.com, where he supervises the academic help service provided by the experts.