Switching to the virtual mode of learning during the pandemic

Imparting formal education has been traditionally conceived through a single-mode within a close setting. Within this concept, the learning and knowledge are possessed, selected, structured, and transmitted by a teacher to students. This mode does not provide an opportunity for the formation of a dialogue between a teacher and students. Though this mode is rationalized as the finest, the present scenario calls for constructing an alternative virtually based mode.

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Virtual or online mode creates a co-constructed approach in learning and facilitates the development of online learning communities. This approach allows students to engage actively in the discovery of alternative forms of knowledge and denaturalize the assumptions of a subject. This paradigm shift in pedagogy transmutes the usual transmission of knowledge into cooperative learning, assists in neutralizing the power relations between the positions of instructor and student and brings them together and elevates their creative potential.

In the context of higher education, this shift embraces constructivist pedagogy and technology. The philosophical assumption in constructivist pedagogy is the learner constructs a version of reality that is situated in a context of social interactions with other learners and institutions. As the shift promotes collaborative learning and enhances reflexivity, an action extends thought — reflection shaped by the consequences of the action. It allows learners to actively engage one another in ideas and perspectives they hold to be educationally valuable, exhilarating, and stimulating. It is through the design of the online learning environment, with an emphasis on shared educational goals, support, collaboration, and trust that these processes can be most effectively and functionally activated.

Dr. Rahul Ashok Kamble

Assistant Professor

Organizational Behavior & Human Resource

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