By Siddarth Bharwani, VP – Brand and Marketing, Jetking Infotrain Ltd
Education plays a key role in shaping a person’s life. The concept of education, the kind of lessons taught and the skillsets that are needed have evolved continually over the years. In the competitive world that is the 21st century, simple theoretical knowledge is not enough. Focus has shifted from the student’s learning capacities to the teacher’s teaching methodologies bringing the Teaching Pedagogy to the spotlight. Teaching practices help shape the learning experiences of students and motivate them to imbibe more information. Teaching pedagogies have now grown into more than simple exchange of information to interactive immersive experiences.
REASONS FOR CHANGE IN PEDAGOGY
21st Century has brought into focus the importance of skills outside of theoretical knowledge and into the practical applications of concepts learnt in a classroom. From interpersonal skills such as conflict resolution, negotiation and Team work to intrapersonal skills like initiative and flexibility are now integral characteristics to possess to survive in the industry and these skills today makes a student JOB READY. Other important skills that need to be acquired along with formal education are cognitive skills such as critical thinking, reasoning and innovation that will help an individual go beyond his described job role and prove themselves as a true asset in an organisation.
These skills cannot be taught within a traditional classroom using conventional methods. Student engagement has become an integral part of teaching pedagogies across subjects to instil these skills. Interactive sessions like group discussions and brainstorming sessions beyond the topic has allowed room for students to imbibe important communication and creative thinking skills. Further, teachers now prefer imparting more hands-on and peer-based learning, i.e. group projects and assignments which urges students to think out of the box and learn important interpersonal skills like team work and leadership skills.
Additionally, it is important to note the constant evolution of technology which has brought in new mediums to not only share but also create knowledge. Students have grown up in this lap of technology and therefore, expect to be well versed with the latest advancements to seem more job-ready in the industry today. Such advent in technology has led students to demand for better learning experiences and for teachers to introduce innovation in their methods.
CHANGES IN TEACHING PEDAGOGY
Traditionally classrooms were teacher-centric with communication happening only one way, i.e. from teachers to students. However, with new technologies now in place, there exists a form of hybrid or blended learning where faculties in leading institutions now use a combination of teaching mediums through technology like learning management systems and digital resources as well as interpersonal means like discussions, case studies and lab works. The idea of “Flipped Classrooms” is being adopted where students read up and learn the concept beforehand and the students and teachers in the classroom then communicate openly and equally for facilitation of learning rather than one sided teaching.
There is now a clear distinction between lessons that need to be taught face-to-face and ones that can be made more interactive and require experiential learning.
Lectures are often recorded and uploaded online so students can have access to the class for revision at a later date or catch up on what they missed in case of absence. Something as simple as the layout of a classroom has gone through transformation because of this concept wherein, the physical distance between teachers and students has been reduced to motivate more active discussions. Learning sciences have let teachers to study the psychology of learners and garner insights to their behavioural tendencies therefore, creating a way to modify their teaching methods to suit students better.
A considerable change has also taken place in the forms of assessment of students by the teachers. Traditional exams and marking systems have been replaced by more comprehensive and elaborate rating systems which judges a student holistically instead of on simple ‘book knowledge’. Activities like presentations, group projects, role play simulations, etc. have provided teachers to assess behavioural qualities of students and tailor ways to improve them. The power of assessment has also been shifted from residing on the teachers’ shoulders to the peers of a student. Peer assessment has become an active part of assessment mechanisms in many institutions to understand the interpersonal capabilities of a student and provides valuable feedback on students when communicating in a relaxed environment. With digital learning being such an integral part of the ecosystem today, it has become easier to track the participation of students and has also paved the way for the utilisation of learning analytics. Learning analytics is an excellent way to track the progress of a student over a course of time and identify important weak points to work on at the end of the course. It provides a holistic understanding of a student not only to the assessor but the student themselves and therefore, a way for them to focus on their weak points.
Lastly, the most important factor that has been noted in the evolution of teaching pedagogies in educational institutions is the importance it lays on self-learning. Through the availability of lessons and assessment systems online, students are now able to garner higher productivity through self-learning. Not only are they now able to learn anywhere and anytime but also have a grasp of the progress of their education. Such opportunities for self-awareness have slowly become integral to a student’s learning process and institutions are forced to adopt such technological advancements and create these as opportunities to attract more students.