The entire world remained in a moment of awe until one started to get back towards learning avenues. One of the new normal is now online classes across the world. Due to the emergence of COVID – 19 and its persistence in Pakistan too has caused all educational institutes to shift their convention approaches towards distant learning. The governing bodies are also of the view to conduct online examinations for the first time, in addition to that, universities are planning to conduct online entry tests. Nevertheless, few of the primary and secondary schools looking to open up their operations are stressing on the implementation of Social Distancing Protocols. The distant learning has to be coped up well otherwise all the stakeholders will be at a risk of burning out.
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New normal has to be made effective by all its stakeholders, however, ones in the position of authority are the ones which can have long lasting impacts on distant education. The existing learning system can be made effective by reviewing what has worked, leaving behind what hasn’t worked and then moving forward in a positive direction. The main purpose of distant education shall be to provide best available resources to our students in these challenging times with keeping our well-being checked at the same time. However, the distant learning can be made effective in following ways:
1. Setting Boundaries around the time
Logging into the digital classrooms is just few clicks away but it shall not be a 24/7 service like relaxed working from home lifestyles. This is working harder than ever before and therefore, an effective work-life balance is pivotal for maintain energy and setting a specific timeframe. Adherence to clear and realistic working hours shall be maintained so that students know when to contact with teachers and this will also make students available during a scheduled time. In the free time or off-hours, teachers and students shall also urge themselves to exercise, do things of enjoyment and don’t think about online classes or teaching. It will be better in shifting back to classes with a new energy.
2. Refining the learning platform
Educational institutes shall have one broad base online learning platform in which all the information is available to student under one roof. If a student has to login different platforms each time, it can cause hustle and can be antecedent towards a troublesome situation. HEC has taken the lead in such an effort as it has advised all the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) to develop their own Learning Management System (LMS) for maximum facilitation of the students.
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3. Implementation of lean teaching
Teaching is now distant learning, therefore, one has to take smarter approaches rather than goin for the hard work. It can be done in numerous ways by replacing long online teaching videos to concise videos not longer than 30 minutes. Taking feedback from students via an online platform rather than long typing, replacing writing assessments with project based tasks and using peer assessment and self-reflection techniques for the students. Parents can also be engaged in the tasks as they shall be briefed about their importance with regards to distant learning. Institutions shall provide strategies that parents can use for supporting learning from home.
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