Increasing the student-teacher bond in the virtual learning ecosystem is vital, writes Professor Alok Rai, Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University
The current pandemic has taken its toll and shattered societies around the world in virtually all spheres of human life. Almost all aspects of human life have been severely affected, especially in the second wave. The repercussions of the pandemic have had profound consequences on the social, economic and personal aspects of human life.
Education, being a sector of particular importance and an inseparable part of modern civil society, has also been seriously affected. Everywhere on the planet, the sector is renewing itself, marked by an incessant use of technology. The overhaul can be evidenced by the increased use of digital technology, multimedia, augmented reality, online study materials and online assessment in education, which has transformed the space model. duster learning into a virtual learning ecosystem.
Benefits and challenges
The virtual learning mode has improved the efficiency of the education system with its underlying advantages viz. increased accessibility, inclusion, flexibility and convenience. But the distance learning method has floated in new challenges which are behavioral, psychological and infrastructural in nature. The reason for the difficulties encountered by education actors could be attributed to the human tendency to resist change, the inability to manage a new mode of learning, the limited availability of required software and hardware. , to the increasing pressure on parents for their increased role in learning their neighborhoods due to distance learning and in part because parents are unfamiliar with technology and / or facing financial difficulties and above all, students lack interest in online learning, as their social need is not taken into account in this non-personal learning mode.
Indian society is a collectivist society and the need to belong is rooted in individuals through social institutions. Distance teaching and learning limits relationship building, which is an essential attribute of our culture. Additionally, the use of an online teaching platform restricts the display of spontaneous emotions for meaningful implicit communication.
The main challenge facing teachers as a result of the rapid shift to distance learning modes is managing their relationship with students, as the dynamics of student-teacher interaction are being redefined. Disruptions to the learning process can be overcome with a thoughtfully designed strategy to facilitate the smooth transition to a new learning ecosystem and enhance collaboration between students and teachers for a high learning experience.
Doctors and neuropsychologists unequivocally establish that learning abilities are directly proportional to the satisfaction of social needs, instilling a sense of security, belonging and comfort in children. For a balanced psychological growth of students, social support, especially from parents and teachers, is essential. Socialization has many benefits for adults, such as improved mental health, belonging, confidence, and security.
After appreciating the importance of the student-teacher relationship for effective learning, certain strategies can be defined to increase the student-teacher relationship and design a learning environment focused on characteristics, skills, resources, content and learner assessments.
Virtual mentoring involves the virtual implementation of the mentee-mentee concept, ensuring that teachers stay in touch with their mentees and try to uncover issues that students ignore, find difficult to articulate, or are too shy to discuss in classrooms. virtual. Comforting students with a tailor-made solution to solve their problems will undoubtedly take the student-teacher relationship to the next level and develop a deeper trust between them. The constant support offered can reduce the likelihood of any psychological distortion in students and provide feedback to the system to make essential changes.
Virtual learning requires hardware and software support, which financially vulnerable groups in society may find difficult to access. Educational institutions can help by sharing data and devices with students in neighboring areas. When educational institutions go out of their way to support students, it increases the student-teacher bond, as teachers are synonymous with institutions from the students’ perspective.
Virtual learning is a new way of learning and teachers who are not used to it largely ignore the technical, social and personal aspects of distance learning methods. Teachers need to acquire expertise and practical knowledge regarding virtual teaching methods and materials and, more importantly, the applications of various digital virtual platforms to effectively impart knowledge during virtual lessons. Teachers can enrich themselves by attending virtual conferences and seminars. Reverse mentoring builds a unique relationship, in which the student qualified in the use of digital technology supports the teacher. The exchange of technical skills and understanding can be essential in building trust, trust and a system of mutual support.
Superior learning experience
When academic delivery is combined with engaging projects and assignments as well as interactive learning methods, the result is a superior learning experience for students, which ultimately strengthens the student-teacher relationship. Creative support for student feedback encourages their participation and inclusion. The varied nature of classes, both synchronous and asynchronous, can help reduce stress caused by continuous online activity and problems due to internet availability. In addition, collaborative group work in a remote setting can strengthen the student-student support system.
The teacher-parent relationship is important for understanding developments or gaps in a student’s learning ecosystem, especially in distance knowledge sharing, where the personal interface between teacher and student s ‘is lost. The valuable feedback received from parents can be used to manage the dynamics of the virtual relationship.
Organized cultural and academic events virtually address social and emotional distress by enhancing students’ interaction with their peers and teachers. Participation in non-academic activities helps control behavioral problems in students and breathes new life into the teacher-student relationship.
In the process of creating an effective learning environment based on online education, the role of culture cannot be avoided. Therefore, the choice of pedagogy and strategies must be aligned and adapted to the beliefs and assumptions of the stakeholders. An engaging and rewarding collaborative relationship between students and teachers is a prerequisite for teacher job satisfaction. In the broader interest of education, efforts should be made to nurture this relationship into an ecosystem that is non-personal in nature and character.
The writer is vice-chancellor of the University of Lucknow