Digital Classrooms will be a norm and not an exception in the near future. The imagery of a 'Classroom' immediately conveys the impression of a teacher or lecturer in front of a blackboard, chalkin hand giving instructions to a group of captivestudent audience who are present. The measurement of success is on attendance rather than 'attention' in the class. Indian education system has remained unchallenged for decades.
In India it is only over the last 3-4 years that digital classes has shown acceptance by the student community and parents. However, like everything else in life, it has its advantages and disadvantages.This article explores three key advantages and disadvantages of digital classroom.
The feedback from the early adopters is highly encouraging. As a leading online learning platform, we have seen a large number of students not only adopting but also benefitting immensely using digital learning. The flexibility offered coupled with enhanced effectiveness of convenient learning clearly demonstrates that classroom will not remain the same for long. It is bound to change and that too quickly.
In this background, based on actual experience of training over 25,000 students online, a few advantages and disadvantages are outlined here.
1. Student Centric Learning
It is clear that different people learn differently. While individual customization is close to impossible in a physical classroom, digital classes enable such customization. Not just the way one learns, it also provides other flexibilities like ability to learn at one's own pace and to attend same sessions multiple times and at own time. All this adds to the personalization of the learning experience.
2. Experts Teacher for every class
Good teachers make a huge difference. Thanks to being digital, large number of students can attend a single class thereby enabling institutions to field the best teacher to do the teaching. With a short of good faculty it is becoming imperative to look at digital teaching for reach to a larger audience.
3. Tech-savvy young learners find it natural to learn digitally
The younger generation is largely taking digital classes like fish to water. With a large part of their interaction being with smartphones and tablets, digital classes become a natural choice. Also, it is being discovered that the natural inhibition of asking questions in a classroom is no longer an issue in the digital platforms. This enables better understanding and higher effectiveness.
1. A key disadvantage that the digital platform has is the ability to service students who are not self-motivated. Being digital in nature and not being in the same place where the teacher is, sometimes reduces the seriousness. The low completion rates in MOOCs is a clear indicator of this.
2. In the physical classroom, the presence of a teacher and a rigor of calendar based scheduled classes drives in some discipline. This helps the lesser interested students to learn, which may not happen in digital classes.
3. LIVE interactive classes, gamification, community teaching, assistants to support the learners have to some extent improved this area, but a lot more needs to be done to make digital go all the way.
Question yet to be answered
While these advantages are clear and the disadvantages are being worked upon by the industry, there is a question which still remains unanswered. Will digital classroom work for all types of learning requirements?
While digital classroom is effective for certain types of learning, it remains to be seen if comprehensive experiential learning can be imparted through digital methods.
Advantages of digital classes far outweigh the disadvantages, so digital learning is here to stay. However, it may not fully replace the physical classroom structure. Both will co-exist. However, the digital part of the cake will grow fast. It would not be a surprise if a 50:50 mix between digital and physical classes happens over the next 6-8 years.
With over twenty years of experience in the Financial Services and Capital Markets in managerial positions, K. Sridhar is the Chief Digital Officer at TalentSprint.