The pandemic and the lockdowns have given new dimensions to teaching profession across the world. The advent of technology made possible the scenario of teacher sitting remotely and students distributed across geographic locations; sometimes even across the world. The online teaching with virtual presence of teacher and students on a technology platform enables knowledge sharing and communication possible seamlessly. This experiential insight is based on my own experience of online teaching to professional business graduates. The online teaching bringing some of the advantages, disadvantages, and benefits to all the stakeholders. They are:

Benefits of Online Teaching: First let’s discuss the benefits coming with online teaching using technology platforms such as Google Class/Google Meet, WebEx, YouTube, Microsoft Teams, etc.

  • Class Session can be Recorded: can be viewed by students several times; Instead of classroom teaching, this digital media/recorded video, which student sees and listens repeatedly increases the level of understanding/remembering the concepts more in students.
  • Better Knowledge Sharing: for example, if there are 3 or 4 sections of a class, in traditional teaching, classes are conducted for them separately. In online, all 200 students attend the class at the same time increasing the flow of thoughts, knowledge sharing, increased peer learning with more number of participants, accessibility of faculty to all the students equally (in traditional classroom, teacher may miss some of them because of personality issues, student’s peer pressure or due to teacher’s oversight);
  • Ease in Conducting Research Surveys/Polls: This is the huge benefit online teaching is giving to serious researchers among the faculty community. For example, in 3 to 5 minutes, you can post the Google Forms survey link in your online class chat box, seek responses from students, and in minutes consolidated survey results even with graphs are available in Google Forms/Microsoft Forms. For example, even if you want to conduct a survey for working executives, in an online training session, you can post a survey link; The benefit is if you are doing serious research or doctoral work, data collection, analysis, and interpretation can be done in minutes, provided you have the well defined survey questionnaire with you. Personally, I got benefited with this feature; conducted several surveys useful for my research;
  • Inserting Other Value additions: if you want to show a marketing Ad to students as part of class discussion. Or you want to share a research paper with students, external video you want to show; all this is possible with online teaching;
  • Case Study Discussion: Conducting case study discussion is easy; provided your case does not require group activity (may be my technology knowledge is limited here). Only challenge here is dividing students into groups using the technology and making them communicate in the specific group as part of case discussion. Each group separately working on activity real time collectively is challenge. However, case study document sharing is easy; in traditional teaching; we used to distribute the hard copies to all the students in classroom. A bit time is saved here with online.
  • Conducting Assignments: the benefit here is a digital repository a teacher is getting from the students. The teacher can utilize it in several ways useful for academic learning and research purposes. Monitoring/tracking student submissions is also easy.
  • Assessment: Conducting online test, if it is MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) based test, evaluation can be automated, generating marks, generation of consolidated report, generating class summary can be done in minutes. The teacher will be able to know the level of understanding of the students; at the same time, teacher will be able to know the effectiveness of his teaching in real-time.
  • Other Features: such as chatting, conducting discussion forums, are possible with online tools.

Negative Part: For some of the teachers across the world, online teaching made their life hell. If technology won’t support, following issues/challenges may pop-up:

  • If bandwidth issues are there, audio/video disturbances can be experienced.
  • If congestion, server goes down, slow; in these kinds of scenarios, if you are conducted online test, multiple answer scripts are created for the same student, if he logins in again. For each student login, a separate answer script is created in assessment database every time he logins in to the system. Here you need to have a reliable exam/evaluation software tool. The tool should retain the previous state of exam in second login attempt, in case of app crash/server down/slowdown/congestion.
  • Online teaching increased the number of channels students are using to communicate with teachers. Earlier in traditional classroom, only physical one-on-one communication was there. Online teaching added more channels for communication such as WhatsApp, Phone Call, Microsoft Teams/Google Meet Chat Facility, Email, Online Class session chat box, Comments for recorded videos from platforms such as Microsoft Streams, etc. The teacher has to unify all these communication channels specific to individual student in case of need.
  • Peer Pressure for faculty with respect to recorded videos quality; stakeholder acceptance; pressure to give the quality in delivery, level of standard institute maintains Vs. teacher level of standard, technology awareness/availability/accessibility/adoptability; too many software tools/teaching aids in the market; All these are the challenges with respect to teacher.

Hope I have shared, my little experience in online teaching; hope you enjoy it.

Remember, this is just for learning and knowledge sharing purpose.

All the best.

Dr.Goparaju Purna Sudhakar


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