Restructuring education during COVID 19 Pandemic: Online class coping mechanism for college students

Dr Meyingangla
Counsellor,  Immanuel College, Dimapur

More than 700 teachers have died of Coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh after poll duty, reported by Teachers’ union 30th April 2021. Many lives have lost, and still many are suffering with Coronavirus at home and hospitals. Amidst the COVID19 pandemic, students have to continue their education through online from their respective places. Thus the whole world is adjusting to the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic by finding alternatives to the interruptions caused thus far. Schools and colleges are moving to online classes while teachers are preparing their best to pass on the knowledge through online classes. The sudden switch to online classes has caused anxiety and raised questions among students about their academic future. COVID-19 has changed the world system, and the college students have been dramatically affected by this crisis, learning to be adaptable.

This short column is to encourage College students to accept the situation as opportunity and to focus on their studies for their future career. 

Difficulties Faced By Teachers Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic: Many teachers faced problems while shifting to online classes from classroom teaching during the educational shift caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Teachers often need to rethink their course design and use different strategies for teaching, and assessment in the online environment. It is challenging to build a comfortable environment for learning and a sense of community in the online environment.  It is important to think about ways that students and teachers can get to know each other and stay connected. Teachers try to focus on innovation rather than technologies, they venture into new and interesting methods through online-classroom. Online teaching forced teacher to restructure their ways of teachings, such as, keeping up with students submissions, ensuring the authenticity of work and assessments, which demands extra attention and need more time. It is imperative as teachers to keep students engaged while being mindful of their ability to think and act. 

Challenges Faced by the Students: It is important to have advanced technical skills, and to   feel comfortable using a computer and navigating the Internet.  However, slow connections can make accessing course materials frustrating. In Nagaland many students from rural areas suffer due to poor internet connectivity. During on class interaction one of the student’s said, he was sitting on top of the mountain; the only place where he could access the network device for his online classes. Another said, he walked around 3 kilometer away from home everyday to get the network to attend the online classes.

Benefits of Online Learning: Online classes will continue to be an integral part of the education. The covid19 brought the platform to students that they can learn without geographical locations. This advantage of online learning allows students to work in the environment that best suits them. As new online degree- and certificate-seekers, research in different places, should focus on those that offer a reliable internet connection. Though the Colleges are closed by covid19 pandemic the advantage is that students learning are ensured and not hindered. Through online classes the students take initiatives and develops their own voice as they learn through activities with their peers online. 

Student need to accept the changes and develop the habits according to the need of the time. They need to start practicing the art of being friendly with the technology. Teachers and parents need to establish a better communication among them to look after the discipline of the students taking the help of the technology to keep a track of their activity. In order to maintain the interest in the students one needs to find more motivating and interactive ways to teach and learn.

Students need to be serious about their education, learn how to manage time and set their daily schedule, and learn to study despite the constant distractions. Learning online can help students improve the technical skills they need for the job. New skills include the ability to use new software suites, perform in-depth research online, and communicate effectively in various formats such as discussion boards and teleconferencing. Employers often demand these skills as more and more positions require employees to work remotely. 

Will you become a part of it?
As a teacher or as a student, teaching online allows you to have the chance to impact lives, contribute to a growing industry, and share your expertise with others. Try to identify a quiet place to complete your coursework, even if that time is late at night. If you get distracted by social media or browsing the internet, use tools to block when you need to focus on study. Also creating a to-do list for the week or each day with what you need to get done can help you determine the best times of day to tackle each task. 

Stay in touch with your classmates, in addition to reaching out to faculty or academic staff as needed. Log in daily to see course updates and class discussions. Connect with other students and share questions or perspectives. The most important step is to stay in touch with professors and inform them about your doubts. They will help you understand and be flexible about the situation, perhaps even recording class sessions as a backup.

“Students fear not that you might fail; Fear rather that you might never succeed if you never dare to try.”!

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