The history and usefulness of online teaching in India

first_imgWith the lockdown situation as a result of COVID-19 academic activities of every educational institution come to a halt and the adverse effect of the same is widely visible among the learners. Fortunately, the technology advancement of 2020 provided the scope for creating the virtual classroom by making a bridge between the teachers with learners from their home. It is a big challenge now towards the teaching end to make online teaching more useful.The online teaching in India has got a long history with broadcasting space provided by the All India Radio and the Doordarshan for telecasting recorded educational programmes for not only higher education but also for school-going children. Though many educational institutions including UGC, IGNOU and NCERT using the services provided by All India Radio and Doordarshan still there was a need for interaction from the learners to be fulfilled since all these broadcasting was in recorded form.In 1994 there was a paradigm shift as the ISROU provided the teleconferencing facility at IGNOU headquarter in New Delhi for the first time. It was a one-way video and two-way audio communication through phone line providing scope of live interaction for the learners. The teleconferencing facility was a booster for a large number of online courses like management studies, computer science and especially for teachers training in India. For several years a large number of educational institutions and various government and private organisations utilizing the service of teleconferencing provided by ISROU at IGNOU headquarter. In the year 2000, the teleconferencing got the recognition as an official education channel under the Gyandarshan platform.  Along with other channels of Gyandarshan it was then made available in the DTH as GD-interactive channel.There was still the need for two way video communication to be fulfilled. In 2005 an effort was made by ISROU in collaboration with MHRD and IGNOU in this regard with the launching of EDUSAT satellite designed by late “APJ Abdool Kalam” during his tenure as President of India. Despite all efforts, EDUSAT could not fulfil the need as expected as the communication technology still to be developed to support such an initiative. In 2020 one may find it very easy today. But it is a fact that even 15 years back from today it was a big challenge to establish a two-way video communication between one to many.Today in 2020 both the teachers and learners must be fortunate to have so many apps developed for two way communication even in mobile. Now the challenge is not with technology but with ideas that how to make the online teaching more useful. I have been associated with online teaching for more than 25 years as a service provider and during this period I have observed a few things which could help the online teaching more useful.One of my observation is that in every online course the learners already receive the study material either in printed form or as e-content. So no point in reading a lesson which is already available with the learners wasting the valuable time of online teaching.In the limited time frame of online teaching where a teacher has to address a large number of learners and it may not be possible to respond to the queries of all of them and many of the learners may not get the chance to ask their queries. Hence online teaching must supported with some other mode of communication such as Email, Wats App, etc. through which learners can send their queries prior and at at the same time the teacher must be prepared to answer those before going to the online classroom. Many times the teacher may find similarities in the queries received from the learners and get an idea about the common difficulties of the learners. In such a situation separate session needs to be organized to address such issues.Finally, it must be taken for granted that the future mode of teaching will further develop with more and more scope with online learning. But the most important thing we should keep in mind is that the usefulness of online teaching always depends on live interaction rather than silent participation.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>