Is Online Education Preparing Students For The Professional World?

Online education has required students to collaborate with teachers virtually, thus making them more responsible and accountable and better preparing them for the corporate world.

The sudden outbreak of a global pandemic has led to the temporary shutting down of educational institutions all over the world. There has been a paradigm shift from classroom education to online learning during this period. Academicians are trying their best to make the process of online education easier and more interesting for the students. Students, on the other hand, are trying hard to get acquainted with the process. Since online learning is at a nascent stage in India, many parents are still sceptical about the process. One of the major questions raised by many is, 'Does learning through virtual mediums prepare students to face the challenges of the professional world?'

Employability can be defined as an individual's skills, knowledge and attitude that help the person become successful in the chosen professional field. Institutions across India are constantly trying to impart the requisite theoretical and practical knowledge to students through different online platforms. The most effective tools of e-learning used by colleges and universities, like online virtual labs, animated demonstrations, lab videos, doubt clearance sessions, video and audio lectures, classes with guest faculty and webinars by industry experts make sure that the knowledge imparted to students is future-focused and relevant at the same time. Also, institutions are trying to ensure that the online assessment process is impartial and trustworthy. Some of the steps taken to ensure the integrity of online assessments include creating questions that require a higher order of thinking, using varied question types, prohibiting backtracking, restricting testing window, setting up the exam in such a way that it shows one question at a time and finally politely reminding the students about academic integrity policies. However, all these approaches have their obvious drawbacks.

Institutions are tirelessly trying to make sure that education and placements don’t receive a backseat during the pandemic. Being the largest educational conglomerate in eastern India, the core objective of JIS Group has always been to ensure employability among students. At the advent of lockdown, JIS launched a Digital Student Academic Resource Portal that is a repository of online lectures, virtual labs, and relevant study materials through LMS (Learning Management System) that consists of 45,000 digital content and numerous lab videos, professionally designed by the faculty members. Staying ahead of time, JIS has been providing Flipped Learning to students for the last 4 years now and has gathered considerable expertise in the same. Recently, they have tied up with Coursera to provide the students with an opportunity to access lectures by world-class professionals. In other words, JIS is evolving every day to meet the challenging needs of the time.

Institutions across India are preparing students virtually before placements. Online sessions on soft skills, aptitude, reasoning, group discussions and mock interviews are regularly held by institutes to make sure that the students are prepared to face a world beyond classrooms. Though a relatively new concept, online education has been a growing trend for the past few years. It requires students to collaborate with teachers virtually, thus making them more responsible and accountable thereby preparing them for the corporate world. Another very important aspect that online education teaches students is communicating with their teachers or peer groups through emails or virtual platforms. This is a valuable skill for future employment and makes the students familiar with the technology that they will certainly have to use in their workplace in the future. Online and classroom education are different in certain ways but are similar when it comes to the end goal, which is to prepare students for professional life by imparting the necessary academic and practical knowledge. With all the uncertainty in the education sector right now, we need to give ourselves and the institutions adequate time before actually getting completely acquainted with the process of online learning and its benefits.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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