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Challenges and Perceptions of Online Learning in India

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Challenges and Perceptions of Online Learning in India

India is the nation with the largest population in the world and with the rise in its development index, digital technology is highly being utilised and promoted. The Digital India mission has accelerated the pace of online learning in India with the receptiveness towards online learning being higher in urban regions as compared to rural.

However, during the pandemic, the education industry was one of the worst hit. Institutions were finding it difficult to cope up with the situation. It was online learning that with the help of EdTech tools aided the education industry during the pandemic and since then learners’ inclination towards online learning has enhanced.

The positives of online learning are many such as ease of accessibility, portability, greater learning flexibility, lesser expenses, reduced need for physical infrastructure. But there are certain challenges that emerge in online learning.

In a recent survey it was found that more than 60% of students, who had recently shifted to online learning, found online classes to be boring and struggled to pay attention. Such studies showcase the need to understand the many challenges faced in online learning and the requirement to find effective methods to resolve these challenges.

In this write-up we will read about the various challenges that exist in online learning and what are the solutions for the same.

1. Infrastructural Challenge

On-campus learning requires a big building, classroom, chairs, tables, blackboard, chalks, etc. but such is not the case for online learning. In online learning, although there is not much requirement for big buildings and classrooms, there is a need for a computer, adequate software, constant electricity, and high-bandwidth internet, and they all add up to form a big demand.

In many developed nations such infrastructure is available to the public through public libraries but in nations such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal the high-tech infrastructure is accessible to a small percentage of population which deprives a much larger population from the access to online education.

Solution to the Problem

With the internet revolution taking place in India and with private companies now providing high speed internet at low prices, the access to internet has reached even to the remote villages in India.

As the development graph of India is rising high year-after-year, homes in towns and villages in India are getting stable electricity supply at highly subsidised prices. Even homes are being empowered by the solar supply of electricity. The Indian government is supporting learners by providing e-gadgets at economic prices as well.

Therefore the problem of required infrastructure for online learning has reduced to a great extent and learners can now easily enrol and get access to online education from any part of India.

2. Digital Exposure and Technical Issues

One of the major problems that online learners come across is that they should have expert skills to operate technical computer softwares for accessing the learning material. The proficiency required to operate multiple softwares at once to attend the classes of online learning is quite a challenge for learners across the world.

The other major problem that arises during online sessions are the technical issues and interruptions faced both by teachers and learners. These technical issues are resolved with the help of technical experts only. The technical glitches during online classes interrupt the flow of learning during online sessions.

Solution to the Problem

Online classes by most of the reputed universities and institutes are delivered through an interactive Learning Management System (LMS). Online learners can easily access their study material as recorded sessions, even if they have missed it while it was live. And to use the Learning Management System for online education is as easy as using a simple mobile application.

Learners are taught how to use the LMS before they begin their online sessions. Once the learners get comfortable using the LMS, they can easily attend their online classes.

While conducting the online classes, in-case a technical trouble arises, technical support is always available to resolve it quickly so that the online session continues smoothly. Therefore, it can be said that technical concerns are easily handled by technical support and to learn how to use the LMS is quite easy.

3. Course Curriculum and Quality

The course curriculum in online degree programs is the same as that of on-campus degree programs. The modern learning tools and methods were thought to bring modernization in the world of online education however the course curriculum taught in online courses is still obsolete.

They are not adding any new knowledge or imparting skills that learners require to advance in their profession. Infact learners are watching Youtube, and Skillshare videos to groom their knowledge and develop industry skills.

Solution to the problem

In online degree programs of accredited universities, learners get exposure and knowledge not only from the international standard curriculum that are delivered to them by expert faculty members but even guest lectures comprise an important segment of their learning.

The faculty of online learners focus on imparting practical knowledge to learners that can be implemented to solve real world problems.

So to consider online education as old school will be unfair as the reputed institutes ensure that latest and advanced curriculum that match the industry standard are delivered to learners.

4. Lack of accredited degrees from reputed institutions

There are many colleges and universities that run online degree programs which are not recognised and certified by the government. Such institutions scam online learners by posing them to be genuine and they even promise to provide lucrative jobs to online learners. There is no use of getting enrolled in such degree programs as they hold any value in the job market.

Solution to the problem

Learners must be careful while choosing an institute before enrolling for their online education. They must check that the institute they are choosing for their online program are certified and accredited by University Grants Commission (UCG), National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), and World Education Services (WES).

Learners must be sure that the online degree program they are going for has a high market value as employers will scrutinize the degree that they have mentioned in their resumes. Therefore, pursuing an online degree from renowned institutes is wise than enrolling for cheap and recognised online degree programs.

5. Lack of motivation, abundant distraction, and lack of discipline

It has been found that learners get easily distracted during online sessions because they are freely using mobiles and laptops. The lectures are monotonic and boring which withdraw the learners attention from the topic being taught.

Many learners leave an online class session in the middle while it is being delivered which creates indiscipline. Other factors such as old course material and ineffective style of lecture delivery withdraw learners from their online classes.

Solution to the problem

Online educators must ensure that their classes are engaging. By constantly interacting with the learners, online educators make their sessions lively. To enhance focus and increase the learners interest towards their curriculum, online educators give engaging quizzes and interesting assignments regularly to their learners.

To ensure that classes are not monotonic, online educators even give short breaks during the session. Learners are given a set of instructions to be strictly followed regarding their conduct during online classes.

6. Lack of in-person connection

Online classes are delivered through a virtual mode which makes the learners feel the absence of a personal connection and actual guidance given by the teachers in on-campus mode of education. This is a psychological factor that makes the learners feel disconnected from their online classes.

Solution to the Problem

Although learners may feel the lack of classroom setup like a learning atmosphere, online educators of reputed institutions deliver their classes in small batches to maintain an interactive session and to pay individual attention to each learner.

Even interactive tools such as whiteboard and breakout rooms are put to use for an immersive learning experience in online classes. Learners who regularly attend and give active responses in online sessions are applauded and rewarded by educators which motivates other learners to attend online sessions and participate actively in classes.

Educators assign interactive exercises to online learners that are to be completed in small teams. While completing the assignments as a team, there is regular interaction between learners, which gives them a more realistic classroom-like experience.

Conclusion

There may be several challenges in online education but there are many solutions to these problems. The world of online learning is fairly new and there may be technical and psychological challenges such as lack of motivation, inattentiveness, disrupted supply of electricity, and much more but they are getting resolved instantly.

The reach and efficacy of online learning is expanding at an alarming rate and the online degree completed from recognised universities is getting widely accepted by employers globally.

There is a freedom of choice for online learners to pick courses according to their interest. And the expenses for online learning courses are much less than on-campus. The level of online education has improved by leaps and bounds and it is turning to be a new norm in the education industry.

SEE ALSO: Exploring Code Culture and Web Development in Thailand

 

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