In comparison to the traditional classroom approach, digital learning provides several benefits to both instructors and students. Teaching and learning may occur whenever and wherever it is most convenient for all parties. Of course, digital learning has a distinct set of obstacles in addition to its benefits. Many students who perform well in a traditional classroom setting will struggle in an online course. Even people who easily grasp the topic might fall behind on tasks and flunk tests.
It is critical for instructors to be aware of these possible stumbling blocks. With a little preparation and organization, you can assist your students in maximizing their time in each subject.
How to Overcome Five Digital Education Obstacles
The Importance of Self-Discipline
In a higher education classroom context, many students struggle with self-discipline. It’s the first time in their lives when parents and instructors are not actively monitoring their progress. They are not grounded if they forego homework in order to socialize. For some, finding the internal drive to buckle down and perform the task takes time. It’s much easier to “skip class” or put off an assignment in an online course.
Of course, you cannot threaten to confiscate kids’ vehicle keys if they do not do their schoolwork. However, you may arm them with tools that will assist them in developing that self-discipline. A shared calendar for the class with due date reminders is an excellent place to start. When students can mark off assignments as they are done, it helps them stay on top of their work.
Simply put, make it as plain as possible what students should be doing right now, how far they’ve come, and what’s coming up next. Calendars, reminders, and organizing tools may help maintain order without being intrusive.
Inadequate Social Interaction
A college is a social event; many of us meet lifelong friends and even our future spouses there. People may bounce ideas off each other, form groups, and encourage one another in a real classroom.
While the in-person connection is difficult to mimic online, group learning, collaboration, and socialization may be. Encourage students to introduce themselves and communicate outside of class. Create a section for non-course-related discussion on your course’s forum.
Then make collaboration a course requirement. Encourage students to form groups and work together on papers (like Google Docs). Allow (but do not require) group projects for evaluation. Encourage students to remark on both course materials and their own work. While some nudges may be necessary to get these dialogues started, collaboration and participation should take off fast.
Inadequate Teacher Contact
On a physical campus, it’s easy to underestimate student participation. There’s also the training time, which includes live Q&A. Online learning does not allow for contact before and after class, office hours, or random encounters in the corridor.
Teachers must work extra hard to be accessible for online courses. Of course, you are not obligated to give youngsters your phone number or friend them on social media. Create a class-specific chat account for students and set up periods when they may expect a quick response. E-mails must also be answered immediately.
Most importantly, be present throughout class discussions. Respond to feedback, questions, and follow-ups. So you can be present for kids while also encouraging them to learn from each other.
Inadequate time management
Although this challenge is connected to the self-discipline section, it is distinct enough to warrant its own inclusion. One of the primary benefits of online education is that students may go at their own speed. However, the same benefit may also be a liability. There comes a time when “their own pace” devolves into “procrastination and a frenzied dash toward the semester’s finish.” It is critical to assist students in managing their time well in advance of deadlines.
It is preferable to allow for some flexibility in the course development while maintaining structure. By January 4th, students should have read X pages, made X forum comments, and chosen a project topic for their final project. The teacher should tell the students that they can work ahead of time, but they will be held accountable for meeting the term’s goals.
We take it for granted that everyone has access to a laptop or desktop computer of the current model. Even then, not every student has had the same level of access to technology, even within a population of digital natives. Many people conduct all of their internet activities via their smartphones or tablet. Some will even have restricted access to the internet or Wi-Fi – their whole data use will be handled by their phone contract.
It is critical that course materials develop away from the early 2000’s PC-centric approach. For the mobile-first generation, downloading files, printing pages, and even utilizing Word documents may become outdated. It is critical to select course materials that are intuitive to access on smartphones and tablets, as well as laptops and desktop computers.
Assist Your Students in Remaining on Track Online
While online education has the potential to make education more accessible and convenient for both teachers and students, there are some downsides to it as well. It is important to think about possible roadblocks and give students the tools they need to get over them. As long as your class is set up the right way, your students will be more likely to do well in your class as well as in future classes.