Online learning, driven by interactive learning, can generate critical thinking and problem solving, draw diverse perspectives, and foster decision making.
The role of interactions has been central to the learning process in terms of commitment, experience, and outcomes. A classic example is that of traditional classroom education where a teacher interacts and interacts with students, asks questions, gives comments, and even personalizes interactions to some extent. These interactions (or interactive pedagogies) have been an integral part of classroom learning.
On the other hand, for e-learning solutions, the general lack of these interactive capabilities has been a limiting factor and has therefore remained far from becoming a general trend or a formidable alternative. in traditional classrooms.
Then came the pandemic, and this new reality brought challenges for teachers with no prior experience in conducting online classes or in the virtual teaching of lessons. Many students had difficulty staying focused on the screens for a long time, due to the lack of similar classroom interactions with teachers and peers. The pandemic revealed the importance of interactive learning, while highlighting this vulnerability of e-learning solutions. The verdict is clear. Online learning cannot be the solution unless it is re-imagined to achieve meaningful interactions between teacher and student.
Interactive pedagogies can help simulate real-time teacher-learner and learner interactions for a richer online learning experience. This can be achieved through human interaction or even by machine with students. Gamified learning is a good example of student-machine interactions where, at different times in learning, the student must choose from several options before moving on. Similarly, interactive videos and simulations can be leveraged to attract online learners. Applications such as augmented reality (RA), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) can attract students by simulating a multisensory immersive learning experience.
Online learning has not yet reached its full potential, and this is reflected in the (low) online course completion rates, which are estimated to be around 10%. Student commitment and experience are factors that are critical to the conduct and effectiveness of online courses.
Technology has a lot to offer to transform online learning into an attractive experience for students. It should be used to catalyze commitment, collaboration and personalization through a series of interactive pedagogies such as the ability to brainstorm in groups, study according to individual learning styles and instant feedback, such as physical classrooms. Interactivity can be enhanced by applying various concepts that are critical to learning, such as interactive digital narratives, meta-cognition (or self-awareness), challenging learning (as in games). , as well as social thinking and behavior. Here are some technology interventions that can help transform the network:
Gamification: The goal should be to make learners learn without being aware of teaching.
Social tools: True interactivity is when the world becomes a classroom and each student has the opportunity to interact with their friends from around the world. Careful integration of social tools will allow this.
Next guide: A teacher should be available when needed so that an apprentice can ask for and get guidance. One-on-one interaction will give them confidence that teachers are readily available to clarify doubts.
Virtual world: Learning becomes fun when someone creates content in a virtual world. Current AR / VR technologies with 3D objects allow the student to be transported to the virtual world, learn and return. This takes interactivity to a higher level and makes learning impactful.
Tomorrow’s online education driven by interactive learning can sow critical thinking and problem solving, draw diverse perspectives, and foster decision making.
The writer is Global Head, TCS iON