Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Developing interactive-based learning through online tutoring


Interaction plays a key role in any form of education; more so in online education. Hence, in this blog, I have tried to discuss about different techniques through which online tutors can develop interactive-based learning through novel practice.




I have always wondered how video game developers create such fantastic animations with an in-built commentary that makes it even more interesting for children to play these wonderful games. Now imagine the same creativity in e-learning mechanism. This can be a path-breaking evolution of some kind wherein we understand the limitless opportunities that lie ahead of us in terms of innovation and novelty. I have always been a fan of originality and wanted to do something which was never thought before and can lead to tremendous reaction from critics and observers. It seems that finally the breakthrough is on its way and I am giving you a rough idea of what I presume will be a huge bonus for online tutoring business. So let me cut the suspense and come straight to the point.

In my childhood days I used to play cricket through video games. Not that I was not good at playing it on the field but playing it on video game was a different experience all together. And with the commentary of Barry Richards the playing experience increased by two-folds. That is what I have been trying to understand. If video game developers can use their creativity and understand that without an interactive game it is not possible to get complete attention of their target audience. Then obviously being in a teaching profession, it becomes even more imperative for us to understand that we are talking about children who love playing interactive games and so if we provide them what they crave for then there would be no question of ambiguity. In this case, if we can create courses which are lot more interactive then we find today it would be of great help to the entire online tutoring domain. What I mean to say is that providing online assistance to children is one thing but being there with them at each and every stage of learning has become even more important nowadays. Because now children have become starter they can study at their own pace. They can even opt for multiple courses according to their wish. Hence, it becomes very important to have a constant dialogue with them.

You might be wondering creating a commentary for a cricket video game can be easy because you know the different scenarios that can arise during the game but in real life case, it becomes very difficult to gauge the needs of the children; and provide instant support to them. Now the major question that arises is how to incorporate the changes in the e-learning courses in such a manner that children do not find them monotonous. The answer is quite difficult and many research analysts have tried to find out resolution for this situation but they have not found a concentrate answer for it. The reason being every child is different with a different grasping power hence; it becomes very difficult to understand their psychology and plan the questions with the answers beforehand. Let me give you a blunt example. This will make things clear in your mind: Suppose a 15 year old child has enrolled an online course; and I am the online tutor providing assistance to him. Imagine he sees a math problem with a solution but does not know how did we arrive at the solution? This situation is very bad because the child now knows the answer but is not aware of the method. Maybe he will try to cram the answer for the time being but in tests he will not be able to remember the method. In this situation, we need human commentary of the online tutor to explain each and every step of the resolution to the child so that he understands the method and then try to solve similar problem on his own. Alternatively; I have already discussed that each child is unique with different abilities. So it is possible that he does not understand the method that has been provided in the course. Hence, there should always be a back-up plan available with the tutor; so that they can showcase multiple methods for resolving the same problem.

So the source of the problem that we are currently facing in online tutoring is due to the advancement of technology. The reason for that quite simple; in the past we never had any trouble with teacher-student interaction as education used to take place in a classroom atmosphere; where there was every possibility of one-on-one interaction. But now since technology has grown tremendously, we are seeing children studying independently with minimal interaction with tutors through online medium. That has resulted in lack of interest and poor performance in tests. So what is the solution for this problem? Should we neglect the technology aspect and teach children the traditional way of classroom education? Or should be go for private tutoring? In either of these cases, it would be a backward step; if we opt for it. So the only possible solution is to look forward; and try to create new opportunities by laying innovative strategies for making education an interactive medium for children.

Now let me show you some of the ways through which tutors can build interactivity with the students through online tutoring:

  • Scenario-based learning: When you try to create a course design try to see at different alternatives through which learning can be derived from the subject. For example; if it is English Grammar there are multiple ways of framing a grammatically correct statement. Moreover, there is nothing right or wrong in grammar. It is all about the understanding. Hence, online tutors need to provide multiple scenarios to children so that they can have variety of options to get the right solution for the problem. Similarly if we are talking about a math problem; if a child is facing problem with a particular question try to solve the question using different methods so that the child can have options to learn the easiest of the solutions provided. Also try to include commentary of various steps that you took to resolve the question. This will build interaction with the child and they will have better understanding of the resolution.

·         Teaching through animations: I have already discussed about this in my previous blog titled “Determining a breakthrough teaching mechanism for English online tutors” about the different ways through which online tutors can teach children through animations. You can go through this article by copying and pasting this link on a separate browser:

 

               http://practutor.blogspot.in/2012/08/determining-breakthrough-teaching.html

I would like to conclude this blog by telling a very famous quote from vivliorasis, “Every interaction creates re-interaction." Hence, it is essential for today’s tutors to have healthy interaction with children so that the online education domain can survive the latent affects of boredom and negligence from children!

If you wish to share your views and opinions about developing interactive-based learning through online tutoring; follow us at: http://www.facebook.com/PracTutor,  http://hardik.practutor.com


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