It’s no news that our nation is no longer as we know it, as all things considered with the world is on the loose. Man as a social being has been compelled to adjust to the new arrangement of “Social Distancing” in all spheres of life. Sectors with the most noteworthy effect are not restricted to yet incorporate; the Health, Financial and Education sector. The effect of the pandemic since its inception cannot be over underscored as we have seen the government set security and safety measures to reduce the spread of the Virus, one of which was the closing down of schools. Ultimately, we begin to search for elective approaches to get pass this obstacle.
Students and Pupils needed to remain at home for quite a long time, deprived of the joy that comes with learning in a classroom. Social distancing became the order of the day.
In any case, as we as a whole know, need is the mother of development and man being a social being, slanted to take an interest in social exercises, an answer for learning and observing the measures to keep the spread of the virus at bay was procured. The solution being: Remote Learning, E-learning, Virtual learning. These are a couple of words used to describe the process.
What is Remote Learning you may ask?
According to Top Hat.com, Remote learning is where the student and the educator, or information source, are not physically present in a traditional classroom environment. Information is relayed through technology, such as discussion boards, video conferencing, and online assessments.
Remote Learning can occur synchronously with real-time peer-to-peer interaction and collaboration, or asynchronously, with self-paced learning activities that take place independently of the instructor.
Remote learning, as a production of innovation and technology has helped in solving the issue of learning in conditions such as we face. Presently, we are not, at this point limited by actual existences to learn, yet we can learn by means of our online presence as expressed above, with different specialized gadgets, for example, cell phones and Personal computers.
This has suspended up close and personal that is face-to-face teaching and examinations also. Aside that, different TV channels have shows and some individuals and bodies leverage on social media platforms to educate.
This new trend has become the new standard as different schools were rapidly adopting this new style. However, for a few, it was absurd and an uncomfortable pattern to follow. There are different concerns, for example, the disturbance of scholastic/ academic calendar. Would the schedule continue as it were during physical classes, or would a new calendar be created? The brief timeframe given to cover up, just as how to guarantee the evaluation’s ampleness to accurately gauge students’ advancement and progress. In this manner, how might lecturers /teachers look at students outcomes on the off chance that they contrast from previous years? On one hand, if students accomplish higher scores than in earlier years, this could be connected with cheating in online examinations or with changes in the arrangement of the assessment/ evaluation tools.
Then again, lower grades could likewise be brought about by the assessment design change or be owing to self-ruling learning as a less powerful teaching technique. This I would state is a significant issue.
Aside the fact that as an third world country, most schools particularly public/government funded schools could not bear and support a remote learning platform to take into account the requirements of its whole students without running at a loss or experiencing barriers. How then would we adapt to this new ‘Normal’?
Another point to this new improvement is the belief that this strategy isn’t satisfactory while taking into consideration persons living with disabilities. That is, people with any condition which make it harder for them to do certain activities. These could be anything from poor vision, to an inability to walk, hear or not see by any means.
Different proposals and rules have been established to guarantee consideration in certain parts of the world. This is the thing that our reality has become, this is the means by which we endure and save mankind. Do we defile all chances and approach our ordinary daily activities or raise above the challenge? The decision is glaring and eventually our own to make. Remote learning is not so different. It is as much the same as the traditional teaching method and has its own positives and negatives. The most ideal approach to transcend our present circumstance is to understand the process in other to plan and pick the most ideal decision of activity, to guarantee a continuous learning experience for students and sustenance of teaching profession.
The Two sides of Remote Learning
I. Effectiveness : Remote learning offers teachers / lecturers an effective method to convey exercises to students . It offers varieties of learning approaches, from recordings, PDFs, webcasts etc Lecturers / teachers can utilize every one of these approaches as a feature of their exercise plans. By broadening the exercise plan past traditional reading material to incorporate online assets, which can in turn make lecturers/teachers more productive.
II. Absence of Limitation to Time and Location: Irrespective of your location, it permits students to go to classes from anywhere irrespective of their geographical location. It also eliminates communication and interactions limited by locations. Also, online classes can be recorded, documented, and shared for future reference. This permits students access learning material during their convenience.
III. Encompasses a variety of Learning Styles: Each student has a unique learning habit and an alternate learning style. A few students are visual students, while others want to learn through sound. Also, another set flourish in the homeroom and different students are solo students who get occupied by huge gatherings.
Remote learning, with its alternate scope, can be customized from various perspectives. It is the most ideal approach to establish an ideal learning space fit to the necessities of every student.
What lies on the other side of the Coin?
These are issues which are fundamentally disrupting and hindering the progress of this new ‘Normal’ learning process especially in Nigeria.
I. Technology and Network Service Provider Issues : A vital test of remote learning is network inadequacies, especially in this part of the world. Network Services are unreliable and with associated with low speed. Usually network coverage is usually bad and unpredictable, this is someway can affect student morale and lead to an absence of learning interest. This is adverse to the schooling cycle.
II. Feeling Of Segregation: As earlier stated, man is a social being who thrive on social interaction. Students can gain so much from being physically present in a defined Location. Be that as it may, in an online class, there is an absence of physical presence among students and lecturers. This regularly brings about a feeling of disconnection for the student since it is a new development and will take time to get acquitted to.
III. Teachers/ Lecturers Education and User guide : Teachers and Lecturers who are to use the e-learning platforms need to be adequately prepared, with essential comprehension of utilizing advanced types of learning platforms. In any case, this isn’t the case consistently. Most times, lecturers do not have in depth knowledge and exceptional comprehension of this innovation. Now and then, they don’t have the essential assets and instruments to conducts online classes.
To battle this, it is significant for schools to put resources into preparing Lecturers with the most recent innovation and technology, so they can direct their online classes consistently.
In conclusion, coronavirus has been a genuine test for advanced education establishments around the world for mostly the tertiary institutions; it has shown how adaptability and flexibility in reacting to comparable worldwide emergencies by these institutions are crucial and has acted as a catalyst of ‘change’ for advancing quick appropriation of e-learning in these traditional learning institutions.
Remote learning under coronavirus came as a response to the crisis, despite the fact that it was first presented as a wellbeing and safety effort to ensure the continued learning. It will in the long run change the foundation of Education and learning at large.