NRCLC PROJECT ON E-LEARNING AND ONLINE TUTOR COMPETENCIES
Hirday Nath Pandit
recent evolution of the Internet and other technologies like the use of whiteboard,
videoconferencing and multimedia have fuelled the growth of new
opportunities in teaching and learning away from classroom-centered and
textbook-based traditional learning environment. The Internet has helped to
introduce new modes of delivering subject content and provided a creative
learning environment, now known as ďe-learningĒ. According to the
current research, the total market value of online education (e-learning) world
wide is expected to grow to 21 billion US dollars by 2008. In
NRCLC Project on E-Learning
Modular Based Content
NRCLC, the contents for English, Mathematics and Computer Science for
students from age 5 to 18 are presented in a modular form. Each module is
designed keeping in view the difficulty levels of individual students. The
tutor can choose to develop individualised instruction/learning module by using
the subject material bank on various aspects of the three subjects within the
frameworks of the educational programme of
Modes of Learning
At NRCLC, students can choose to communicate with their tutor synchronously or asynchronously. The synchronous form of communication helps students to communicate with their tutors on a real-time basis. It includes chat rooms, whiteboard, videoconferencing and teleconferencing. Under the alternate arrangement of an asynchronous communication mode, students can email or post a question on a bulletin board and their responses are emailed to them within few hours. NRCLC also provide the Interactive environment with simulations and educational games to help student learn while they have fun.
Continuous Assessment of Studentís Achievements
NRCLC has developed several online self assessment tools to measure the studentís achievement level so that the tutors and the parents can identify the strength and weakness of the student. This way the tutors are able to modify the content and individualise the programme and delivery method to serve the needs of the individual student to help them overcome their weaknesses.
Tutor Competencies for Online Teaching
The experience at the Center has revealed that the online teaching cannot be organised in the same manner as classroom-based teaching. The tutor should possess variety of skills and experiences to make online teaching a success. The role of a tutor in online education is a very crucial, and† that before participating in an online teaching programme, a tutor should be equipped with following competencies:
The technical skills include:
1† Ability to use .search engines like google, yahoo, askJeeves, altaVisa etc to access additional learning materials on the Internet
2. Ability to† upgrade the content consistently and be able to assist the students to different websites for more information;
2. Ability to use Online communication tools such as whiteboard, online chat, broadcast videoconferencing, teleconferencing to be able to demonstrate† ideas to the student;
3. Ability to undertake resolution of the technical/operational challenges faced due to failure in the communication system on a real-time basis;
4. Ability to use Word processor and†† basic typing†††† skills;
5. Ability to develop† multimedia presentations with embedded audio and/or video to demonstrate his or her ideas to the students.
Management skills include ability to:
1. Establish† the rules of communication with the learners;
2. Develop a harmonious professional relationship with the learners;
3.Guide the learner by helping him/her to set challenging but achievable goals;
4. Provide† encouragement to learners to sustain their interest on a continuous basis;
5. Develop† and monitoring† the learnerís plan to complete the learning material for the course;
6. Enforce controls to keep the learners on track.
Subject Content Specialisation Skills
Subject content specialisation skills include:
1. A† deep understanding of the subject, so that, he/she is able to generate content to supplement class-room materials, to fill in any gaps, and†† to clarify any misunderstandings.
2.† Ability to supplement and act as a backup to content that is presented elsewhere.
Teaching skills includeability to :
1. Develop† capacity in learners to solve problems, generate creative thinking and help in conducting research to avoid† from becoming completely dependent on the online instructor;
2. Ask† the right questions that stimulate learners to think for themselves, lead those to more powerful insights than could ever be obtained from regular teaching methods;
3. Help† the learners achieve their learning goals by challenging, encouraging and providing constructive feedback;
4. Respond to questions received in email, chat sessions or the practical assignments based on multiple choice questions.
Communication skills includeability to:
1. Handle children from different culture, accent, ethnic and religious backgrounds;
2. Be sensitive† to the linguistic background of students, under go accent neutralization process;
3. Initiate discussion topics and questions to get things going;
4. Control discussions so that students donít digress from the objectives of the course;
5. Encourage all members to participate in the discussion;
6. Be† articulate in responding to the question posed by students and deliver in the format acceptable by them;
7. Be a good listener and respond to the question asked by the students.
Assessment skills include ability to:
1. Assess the learning outcomes and ensure that the learners are able to master up to 90 per cent of the learning objectives of the course.
2. Provide the learner with objective and constructive feedback based on specifics and not based on his/her personal opinion or values.
The Center intends to conduct more and more research and experimentation with respect to material development, online-tutor training, choice of appropriate technologies for delivery system and interactive teaching-learning strategies so that online education becomes more interesting, creative, cost effective, functional and can be made available on a universal basis.