Technology-based Teaching: Article 5

Online Teaching

Online teaching, teaching via the Internet was boomed with the Covid-19 since everybody has to stay home to prevent stopping the virus. Sri Lanka government has requested from all the Internet Service Providers to allow free access for the e-learning sites of all the state universities. (https://bit.ly/2JkjVXC

There are many teaching methods which are practising these days. But when it considered online teaching, we can deliver the content mainly through the following methods.

  • Asynchronous
  • Synchronous

Asynchronous online teaching

In the asynchronous online teaching, the teacher develops the course materials and populate to the learning management system or share with the students. The students access those materials at their pace. This method forms a student-centred learning environment, and it is very convenient for the teacher and students. Different types of learning tools and materials such as videos, audios, presentations, web-pages, notes, assignment quizzes etc. can be added to your asynchronous teaching based on the teaching platform you are using. The asynchronous teaching can be practised in two ways;

  • Creating Self-learning online courses

Self-learning courses have minimum interactions or no interactions with the teacher. Students have to follow the learning materials using their schedule and time frame. A teacher has to develop these courses with full instructions and guidelines. 

  • Creating teacher-led online courses

The course materials are available in the course-page with the teacher support via the LMS, email or by telephone. A lot of access information and guidelines are not necessary for these courses, but some communication channels are required to establish to support the students to post their questions. Teachers should attend the students’ questions within a reasonable time.

Synchronous online teaching

In synchronous online teaching, the teacher and students should meet through a specific software/tool which allows video/audio/text-based real-time communication. This method is very similar to a face-to-face classroom, but the teacher and students are not physically available in one place.  

Most of the LMSs are having the options for establishing text-based synchronous discussions (Chat) but for audio and/or video-enabled teaching a third-party web conferencing software (Ex: Zoom, WizIQ, Adobe Connect)  is required. Most of the web conferencing software do not available for free use but offer restricted version or free trial.

However, to have the synchronous classroom session through any of these web conferencing software, a good Internet connection is needed to have the online synchronous sessions without any interruptions. Also, your Internet data will be deduced very quickly after one online session than you expect. 

More importantly, since the teacher has to combine the technology, pedagogy and content (TPCK model) correctly for online teaching, competence on educational technology is obliged to practice the online teaching successfully.

References

https://www.open.edu/openlearn/ocw/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=77528

https://www.easy-lms.com/knowledge-center/lms-knowledge-center/synchronous-vs-asynchronous-learning/item10387

picture from: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/conference-video-web-webinar-4087444/

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