Early years are geared on education and most people, if not all, went through the traditional method – a curriculum taught in different face-to-face mediums. In today’s changing world where people are busier and technology is exponentially increasing, education evolved giving rise to online teaching. Online teaching provides alternatives to the traditional 4-cornered environment.
There are many advantages to online teaching. “Students need not go to their schools daily to avoid traffic,” said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino on recommending on a possible shift from traditional to distance learning. He mentioned online teaching will definitely curb the traffic congestion problems in the Philippines, specifically in Metro Manila. Traffic decongestion is one of the great things resulting from online teaching but more than that, there are more advantages to it.
One of the advantages of online teaching is that it allows instructors 24/7 access to digital resources, classrooms, and discussion. This allows instructors with full-time jobs to perform their online duties at their convenience. Unlike face-to-face teaching where exchanges happen only in classrooms, online teaching enables instructors to have that convenience of teaching wherever they are. With the advent of smartphones, instructors can facilitate teaching on the go.
The connectivity through the internet allows the instructor to conduct classes with students across different continents having multiple time zones. This enabled offshore students to gain enriching programs without the necessity of having to travel. Students in the distance learning environment actually saved money from possible costs associated with traditional education such as dormitories and travel.
The online environment aids the instructor in classroom administration. Gone are the days where instructors manually check papers and manually compute for grades. Another advantage of online teaching is that the distance learning system has the capacity to do just that, with servers archiving forums, resources, examinations, quizzes efficiently. This reduces the pains associated with traditional instruction and frees up time for more productive activities.
Online instructors can have access to the e-libraries of Open Universities containing digital resources such as business research, journals or e-books, apart from the traditional library that houses hardbound books. Though these cannot directly improve course delivery, the libraries offered by open universities enable personal enrichment and other professional endeavors of the instructor.
Open Universities offer tuition fee discounts to their academic staff, which empowers their academic distance through continuing education.
Meet-and-greet forums exist to promote socialization among students and instructors. Social interaction, both for academic and informal purposes, can easily be achieved in the cyber world. Categories such as marketing, finance, operations management, agriculture, etc., allow instructors and students to share ideas. E-learning environment also promotes collaboration among students and a source on how to improve future course offerings.
Online teaching is structured to promote self-discipline from students. Instructors can immediately see students’ progress through the various reports generated from the distance learning system. Swift notification, if not corrected, can easily be made in just a few clicks on the computer. This feature spells the difference in bringing students back on course. In traditional teaching structure, this kind of problem is only uncovered until the students have failed after a major activity.
No lesson plans are needed in the online teaching environment. There are modules prepared that are specifically designed for online teaching. In most cases, modules for each class are standardized for efficient online teaching. These modules are carefully studied to consider the capacity of the students in relation to the course contents and the time needed for effective comprehension. This simplifies the non-core tasks of instructors and puts more focus on the important mission of every academic instruction, which is to make students learn.
Online teachers have the best of both worlds. They enjoy the benefits of cyber teaching while still having the upside of the traditional educational system. In the Philippines, the population is increasing exponentially making online teaching a sustainable solution for empowering all Filipinos.