When it comes to the arts and subjects of humanities, professors find the online medium not too bad to teach but wonder how much of what is taught gets across to the student.
Professor Mini Mark Bonjour from the Dept. of English says she isn’t a “digital native” and had to do a lot of ‘homework’ to get a hang of teaching online. But once she did get to know how to use technology to teach, she is able to express her idea and explain the concept just as well with the online medium. She can display PPTs, send across PDFs and even show videos to the class, just like how she could do it offline with the help of the projector. However, with the online medium, the energy of the physical classroom is missed out on. Dr. Mini has also been a victim of online fatigue and says that time schedules between professional and personal spaces tend to get merged and are not very well-distinguished in the online medium.
Describing the difference between offline and online teaching as vast as the one between the Earth and the sky Prof. Nia (Name changed) from the psychology department questions the efficacy of the online medium. The teachers have done their best to get the concepts across to the students but how can one know for sure if the students are listening at the other end of the screen? She wonders.
Ms. Nia mentions of how the psychology practical exams have become similar to the theory paper and expressed her concern over the hands-on experience the students miss out on when labs are conducted online.
While there exists the comfort of home with e-learning, Mr Vinay teaching at a private college stresses the need to have a physical environment to foster the learning process. Spending time with peers and hanging out with friends is a very important aspect of school/college life.
Vinay goes on to explain the inequality that exists when it comes to the availability of technical facilities in urban and rural settings. Students who come from villages to cities for learning enter a completely different scene. “What happens to those who hesitate to clarify their doubts even in the offline mode when they are online,” he asks.
In conclusion, Vinay says “Teachers can do their best only when they know their students by heart. That can happen only offline.”