In present day world, the online education is driven by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which according to Wikipedia aims at unlimited participation of learners and open access to course contents via the web. Some famous MOOCs companies are Coursera, Udemy, Udacity and edX. There are a plethora of videos on YouTube that teach you every topic conceived under the sun. A learner has unlimited access to resources to gain knowledge. Most of these MOOCs companies allow you to have access to course contents for free and they charge you only when you want a course completion certificate. They ask you to complete a Capstone project which is a project undertaken with rigorous effort to apply the concepts learnt during the duration of the course.

Various companies have recognized the values of these MOOCs courses because of the academic rigour involved in earning these certifications. The lockdown period during Corona pandemic crisis has bought the importance of online education forefront. Many universities are encouraging their teachers to impart education through online platforms. Online teaching allows teachers to update their course as and when the technology changes.

In Indian context, the government of India under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and central government funded institutions like IISC, IITs, IIMs and others premier institutes has started the SWAYAM MOOCs platform. Top quality teaching materials are made available to every person in India irrespective of his state, race, religion, ethnicity, education background thus enabling equality among masses.
This idea is revolutionary in the sense that teachers from highly sought premier institutes can now interact with learners throughout the country and their teaching is not restricted to a few students who get admitted to these premier institutions. Learners from rural areas get access to these course contents and they need not lament on the poor teaching conditions in their institutions.

Few of the universities in India have recognized these SWAYAM courses and are made as part of their curriculum. Present day Universities should recognize the credits earned through MOOC platforms and they need to enable the smooth transfer of credits from online courses to traditional universities thus facilitating the students to earn their degrees. Many traditional universities in western countries are also offering their courses online that may lead to accredited and recognized degree at fewer cost. These types of accredited online degrees are most sought by the student communities in those countries.

Looking at the current situation, the question that arises is whether the online education is making the traditional education irrelevant. Teachers involved in traditional education need to re-invent themselves as change is the only constant thing. With abundant resources available online, students may not be compelled henceforth to take up traditional classes at all.

The need of the hour for Teachers is to improve their Pedagogy or the way of teaching. Traditional classroom teaching should stimulate and compel the students to attend their classes. We should make availability of prime quality online videos of traditional teaching. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and University Grants Commission (UGC) have embarked on funding to enable infrastructure support for teachers to create world class course contents. Teachers must encourage and engage with slow learners and they should not feel like being left behind.

A drawback of MOOCs based online teaching is it may lead to boredom among students as they might miss the traditional method of face-to-face interaction. Teachers in traditional teaching setup should come up with assignments that challenge the student’s critical thinking. We should give students a choice on how to master their course. We need to make our teaching interesting to students by incorporating novel learning techniques and information and communication technologies (ICT) tools.
Flipped classroom is one of the most popular ICT teaching method wherein students study at their own pace under the supervision of the teacher. Students are given all the course materials like recorded videos, reading assignments before coming to the class which they need to review. In the class, they are asked to discuss the course materials with their classmates and are expected to learn through this process under the direction of the teacher. Many studies have shown that this approach of blending of both the traditional teaching and online teaching has benefited students and has increased their performance.

Teachers in universities should tailor their course to make students industry ready. Recruiters prefer people who have earned their online certifications along with their degrees. Gone are the days when a traditional degree itself would have landed a posh job in a company. Teachers should comprehend that they have to pursue lifelong learning in their quest for excellence and have to update their courses regularly to meet the Industry standards. Stale course contents are a big put-off for students when they have access to newer information elsewhere.

Until now, higher education in the country did not have competition, but disruption is being felt across the education sector because of online teaching. Most of the teachers are still in denial about the influence of online teaching on student community and are resistant to adopt innovative teaching methods to challenge the impact of online teaching. Teachers in traditional institutions need to realise that online teaching is here to stay and if they are not proficient enough to compete with online teaching mode, then they are bound to perish.


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