How to remain relevant for today’s tech savvy students?
Till a few years ago, classrooms were a place where the teacher taught and the students learnt. But, today with the advent of internet and smartphones, information is no longer a one-way street.
Today, every bit of information gained in a library can be accessed with just a click. For these tech-savvy students, smartphones are an extension of themselves. In such a scenario, how can today’s professor remain relevant in the information age?
While technology has advanced exponentially over the past few years, the academic pedagogy is yet to adapt to these changes. Today’s technology, like the Avagmah Platform, allows for faculty to seamlessly post their teaching content online, not just for students situated remotely but even for the on-campus students. These platforms have become the “Next Big Thing” across leading universities in the world.
The learning process starts much before the classroom session. Students are provided reading material, case studies and online references on the platform, for gaining the required information before the class starts. Classrooms sessions are dedicated for discussions & ideas about the topics of the day and doubt clarifications for individual students. Further, universities like NYU, now record the classroom sessions which are available online as soon as the session has been completed. All tools and documents used for these discussions in class, are accessed by the students directly on the platform, thereby producing relevant content for the students to learn from at their convenience.
Based on a research conducted by the NMC, students, when asked to compare different communications technologies, 52% of survey respondents state that online collaboration tools would make the greatest contribution in terms of improving educational quality over the next five years—the top response—while 48% point to the dynamic delivery of content and software that supports individually paced learning. Sophisticated learning-management systems and enhanced video and presentation tools are among other innovations that respondents say are likely to have a profound effect on the academic experience.
Discussions today are now no longer limited to the classrooms. For the texting generation, discussions with the professors and with the rest of the class can continue, on the online mode using the messengers, forums and much more. Thus, the professors can now focus on gauging the interest level and students’ grasp of these concepts. Students can learn from each other’s queries and refer to threaded discussions at their convenience.
The technology provides the faculty with all the tools to manage administrative processes like cataloging class content, attendance management, grade lists, grade history etc. all from the cloud. Further, these learner friendly platforms are also used for conducting assessments.
The best part is that all of this is available at a single place, thereby allowing the faculty to focus on their main task, educating the students.
To expose their students to different scenarios across the world, professors get subject matter experts across the world to interact with their students. Unlike the previous guest lectures, these webinars are now conducted online, with the experts sitting anywhere in the world and students interacting individually with the experts. The new webinars provide a higher level of interaction and a detailed QnA session with the ability to interact with any of the experts irrespective of their location.
Classrooms with the new academic pedagogy have seen their students being far more responsive than ever before with ideas and discussions flowing across the classroom. Using these platforms, faculty can track individual progress and rework course plans based on their understanding.
Given the results of this new academic pedagogy blended with technology, an increasing number of educational institutions are looking to implement these for their on-campus and off-campus students alike.
In the future, more than two-thirds of survey respondents say that students want to have the ability to design individualized degree programs, either within their own university or by bundling coursework from different institutions.