When most people hear about the concept of remote learning, they immediately assume it’s synonymous with online learning. But these two concepts are not the same and, in fact, they are quite different.
Remote learning and teaching generally occur in emergency situations, such as a global pandemic, and it involves the tutor or instructor teaching an on-campus course in an online environment.
Online learning and teaching involve courses and classes that have been purposely designed for a digital environment and they are usually created using online learning principles and best practices.
Now that the difference between these two concepts is clear, let’s have a closer look at remote learning and the challenges it comes with.
Lack of training
When forced to transition to remote teaching, many tutors are not given a chance to train and prepare with online classes that have been specifically designed to accommodate effective online learning.
Due to the urgent nature of transitions to remote learning, unfortunately, there is no time to prepare when the situation occurs. However, it’s important to acknowledge that we live in a digital-first world nowadays and train tutors to teach online before a crisis occurs. Likewise, online learning is becoming more widespread and soon, the demand for online tutors will increase.
Lack of training on the tutor’s part fundamentally affects how information is delivered, making it more difficult for students to absorb that information and make sense of it when trying to consolidate their knowledge. As such, it’s extremely important to supplement remote learning with online learning via dedicated tutoring programs.
Lack of focus
It’s hard to maintain focus when both students and tutors are swiftly forced to change the way they learn and teach. Transitioning from in-person classroom interactions to online ones is challenging on multiple levels.
Classrooms are specifically designed to encourage student focus. Other environments used for remote learning, such as a student’s home, for example, can be distracting for the student especially if they don’t generally use that space to study.
Something as simple as a pet running around the home or another family member being noisy can be disruptive. To enforce focus, the student must understand that the online session is formal and requires undivided attention. This can be supported by a dedicated, quiet place for studying if possible.
Lack of quality course content
Once again, the urgent nature of remote learning leaves little to no room for preparation. This goes beyond training tutors for online teaching. It affects the very courses taught to students. When transitioning to remote learning, tutors need to adapt their on-campus courses into a digital format that is easy to follow and understand.
Going from blackboard formulae to digital presentations might sound convenient to tech-savvy teachers and students, but for the most part, changing the way one does things from manual to digital is no easy feat and it does not happen overnight. Oftentimes, important information is left out or not properly conveyed.
A level of training and practice is required to become comfortable with technology and this applies to both students and tutors. This lack of comfort may cause frustration and knowledge gaps, so the solution is to fill in the gaps with online tutoring that has been specifically created for the digital space.
Online tutoring programs consist of courses that have been designed using the best tools available for formatting content in a way that conveys all important information while also engaging students through quizzes, interactive exercises, and more.
Lack of support
Tutors who are not trained in online teaching need more time to adjust to remote teaching and realize how to design their courses and adjust their pace. Students need to learn at their own pace and if the tutor can’t see the signs that students are not keeping up in class, it’s hard to take appropriate action at the right time.
Class after class, this situation grows worse and at the end of the term, results will be unsatisfactory. To avoid this from happening, tutors need to perfect their online teaching skills and teach their classes in an interactive way that keeps students involved in a dialogue where they are encouraged to raise their concerns.
Remote learning is vulnerable to disruption caused by technical difficulties. Unstable network connections or software bugs can interrupt online sessions and cause frustration for both students and tutors.
To avoid technical issues, preparation is key. Although not everything can be 100% under the control of the student or tutor, such as unforeseen issues on the part of the internet provider, there are still a few things that can be done to minimize the likelihood of technical problems.
For example, starting the session early can leave some room to address any access issues if they occur. If issues occur while the class is in session, a good online tutoring institution will have a professional available to address these issues and help either students or tutors solve them without interrupting the class.
Swiftly transitioning to remote learning and teaching puts a strain on both students and teachers. Luckily, all challenges remote learners face can be solved through dedicated online programs. Such programs facilitate learning in a digital environment through effective tools, classes, and trained tutors who know how to maintain student attention and address potential knowledge gaps.
Here at OMC, we pride ourselves on our expertly developed online tutoring programs for students who want to become better at math. If you’re interested in knowing more about our programs, please feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you shortly with more information.