How to deal with the challenges of distance education

How to deal with the challenges of distance education
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We are currently in the fourth industrial revolution of high technology and the rapidly growing digital era, but the challenges of distance education are still to be addressed. Its effect is not only on the students but also on the teachers. Many teachers face challenges and issues they never thought of before. Although students of this century are digital natives and many skilled instructors are heavily trained in online platforms, the difficulty of “distance” can offer many challenges.

Many institutions are turning to distance education in Chandigarh as an alternative teaching method, either as a supplement to regular classrooms or as an emergency backup plan in the event of a crisis. And while distance learning is better than ever, there are still significant challenges to the adoption of distance learning techniques and technologies.

Fortunately, with the right pedagogy and digital tools such as virtual classrooms, it is possible to overcome the challenges of distance education.

What are the challenges of distance education?

Effect of physical distance on students

There are disparities in the outcome of education in the physical classroom versus the online classroom. Teachers may experience a difficult time expressing instructional material to their pupils, especially long and complex assignments or assessments. Physical distance also proposed a difficulty in achieving students’ level of understanding in terms of course content. Since instructional material is not immediately responded to, instructors may find it difficult to know whether a classroom is too challenging or too easy for students.

Teacher feedback suggests that “accidental opportunities” of communication that exist in a face-to-face class setting do not occur in an online classroom. With feedback delayed, communication through technology can occur as an obstacle to student learning.

Accurate assessment of students’ work

Since communication is asynchronous, expectations may also vary between student and teacher in student performance. The grading of online assignments can be based solely on subjective evaluation of effort and artistry. While such assessment is similar in classroom classes, the difficulty comes from giving the expectations and standards required for each task.

Additionally, online valuations are the most open book and subject to the possibility of fraud in the absence of the proctor. While students can celebrate the lack of homework, the lack of exams is not as exciting.

As one student commented *, the Coronavirus-related closure at the University of Washington in Seattle, “Since the school has closed and switched to online courses, one of my finalists was cancelled. I was counting on the finalists to raise my grade for that course, but I can’t do it anymore. “

Preventing gaps in academic performance during distance education will be a priority for avoidance, especially for instructors according to the parents and students concerned. The number one goal for institutions is to ensure that students are being evaluated in their online classes in the same way as their face-to-face classes.

Time management and workload

Although the convenience of working from home seems like a joyous idea, this idea may prevent teachers from the extra workload of online classroom preparation. At the head of the documentation and different announcements, instructors are responsible for facilitating online discussion boards while promoting participation and collaboration.

Most of the time, moderation involves abundant reading and providing effective feedback to each student. In addition, students’ questions may appear several times throughout the day, making it difficult for teachers to devote time to each student and task.

Solutions to Distance Learning Challenges

However, practical learning still serves as major convenience and efficiency in delivering educational content with no physical constraints, especially in this time of crisis. Along with the added advantages of flexibility and personalized learning, being online means easy access to various media and teaching tools as well as educational content. Education should not be a one-size-fits-all, and technology should be able to decrease teacher workload. Here are some suggestions that would help in your practical classroom:  

Leverage Use of Synchronous Technology

Many challenges teachers face with distance learning are the result of allochronic communication. Having ways of synchronous communication can lessen the troubles of not being in front of students. Whether the class is through web conferences or audio lessons, the problem of distance can be “closed” by receiving live feedback. Instructors can set aside time beforehand for live Question and Answer, or a scheduled live lecture in which students who attend can give immediate reaction to the content.  

Create Schedule for Students to Follow

A schedule is a good way for instructors to fine-tune their objectives and expectations of an assignment. A Schedule can be as simple as a scoring checklist, in which students check off whether their assignment contains each expected item. Alternatively, rubrics can also be designed to formulate standards for levels of accomplishment and utilized as a guide to scoring performance, with standards clear and explicit to the students. 

Peer Review and Delegation of Small Tasks

The workload for instructors in an online classroom may be too much to handle. By boosting peer collaboration and review, it takes the weight of reviewing and feedback off of the instructors in the meantime. A course from a well-known Distance Education centre allowed all grading to be done by peer review, which resulted in higher satisfaction of student achievement and lessened faculty stress on grading student’s work.  

As well, long and complex assignments can be divided into phases for students to submit deliverables in intervals. This permits teachers to make sure each student is on track with an assignment and make instructions simpler. At the same time, having smaller pieces of a large instructional task can be easier to construct. 

Solutions to distance education challenges

Nevertheless, virtual learning still serves as the major facilitator and efficiency in delivering educational content without any physical barriers, especially in this time of crisis. With the added benefits of flexibility and personalized learning, being online means easy access to various media and learning tools as well as educational content. Education should not be suitable for one-size-fits-all, and technology should be able to reduce the teacher’s workload. Here are some tips that will help you in your virtual classroom:

Leveraging synchronous technology

Many challenges facing teachers in distance education are the result of asynchronous communication. Having synchronized communication methods can reduce the hassle of not being face-to-face with students. The distance issue can be “closed” by receiving live feedback, whether through a web conference or through audio lessons. Instructors can schedule in advance for live questions and answers, or a scheduled live lecture in which participating students can respond immediately to the material.

Create a rubric for students to follow

Rubrics are a good way for trainers to fix their objectives and expectations of assignments. A rubric can be as simple as a scoring checklist, in which students check whether their assignment contains every expected item. Alternatively, rubrics can also be designed to set standards for levels of achievement and can be used as a guide for students to score performance with clear and unambiguous standards.

Need more help using effective assessment tools? Go to: How to use the educational assessment tool

Peer review and delegation of minor tasks

In an online classroom, it may be too much for teachers to handle the workload. By increasing peer support and review, during this time the weight of review and feedback from the instructors is reduced. A Duke University curriculum allowed all grading to be done by peer review, resulting in higher satisfaction of student achievement and reduced faculty stress on the grading of student work.

Additionally, long and complex assignments can be divided into phases to allow students to submit deliverables in intervals. This allows teachers to ensure that each student is on track with the assignment and simplifies instruction. Also, it may be easier to construct smaller pieces of a larger instructional task.

What have we learned so far?

Distance education in Chandigarh has been promoted by the Edtech community since the beginning of the century. Online classrooms provide flexibility and convenience for both the student and the teacher, without compromising the quality of the content delivered. The goal of my view board is to help teachers and increase interaction with students in online whiteboarding. By recognizing the impact of the digital revolution and the changing landscape of the education landscape, we can keep up with the tools necessary to adapt to the current environment.

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