In this blog we want to show some common mistakes that we have found in various online education initiatives in Latin America. We know that the situation led to the urgent and accelerated use of online platforms, applications, and other technological tools to continue the teaching and learning process in schools.
The urgency gave little room for teacher training, institutional strategy planning, resource assessment, and socializing with families. In many cases, teachers had to start “with something” and correct on the run. It is important to note that most teachers have put a lot of effort and dedication to adapt to the circumstances and support the learning of their students.
The goal of identifying these errors is not simply to point out the flaws. The purpose is to learn from these mistakes, overcome them and offer concrete alternatives to guarantee a quality online education, where students enjoy their learning and are motivated to be permanent learners throughout their lives.
Mistake 1: Preferring quantity over quality
You surely have various symptoms for this error, here are some:
- Many homework, little learning.
- Lots of content, little activity.
- Long time, little motivation.
Mistake 2: Lack of planning and organization
How to start solving this problem? Some suggestions:
- More testing and preparation are required in the use of technological tools.
- It is necessary to establish routines, schedules and dynamics that provide consistency to online learning.
- Learning objectives and activities to achieve them must be clearly defined from the start.
Mistake 3: Using too many assumptions
Here we share some examples. Do you have others in mind?
- Assume that all students have access to and know how to use technological resources.
- Assume that students know how to behave in virtual environments.
- Assume that technology will not fail or that everything that is online is useful.
Mistake 4: Being monotonous
A concrete example of this error is that there is little variety in the use of resources: a lot of text, little image. In many cases it is about bringing traditional teaching to virtual environments: the teacher transmits, the student receives.
Methodological strategies need to be used to encourage creativity and exploration. Flipped classroom or Project Based Learning are more suitable active methodologies for online education.
Error 5: Little feedback
We can say that it is highly evaluated, but little feedback. In virtual environments, it is necessary to promote formative evaluation with instruments such as rubrics or portfolio assessment; it is necessary to go beyond the traditional exams.
To overcome these errors there are no unique and standardized solutions. The solution is built from each school that must consider its reality, its needs and its priorities. There are essential components that must be addressed, for example: national guidelines, institutional leadership and strategy, teacher training, the curriculum, access to technological resources and connectivity, family participation, digital citizenship and more.
In the next installments we will focus on the work of teachers, mainly on methodological aspects that can be considered to improve the online learning experience of students. This is a path of many challenges and at TBox we are committed to being an educational partner that supports from different elements as each institution requires, such as consulting, teacher training, online platforms and technological training for students.