Online classes have become a primary resource in the coronavirus quarantine period so that teachers and students can continue their studies remotely, without hampering the progress of the school year. In this context, some changes are necessary to maintain the pace of classes, whether in teaching didactics, or in the behavior of students, who need to be more focused to avoid the many distractions in the digital environment. Below, understand how online classes work, the tools needed to participate in the courses and the advantages of studying at home.
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Online classes became common during the pandemic Photo: Divulgao / Creative Commons
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How do online classes work?
Online classes are taught by teachers in their own homes and broadcast live over the Internet, so that students can monitor and participate in real time, also in their respective homes or anywhere they have Internet access. This model was adopted by most colleges and universities during quarantine, in the teaching of undergraduate and graduate courses.
Unlike the traditional distance learning model, in which face-to-face and virtual meetings take place less frequently, online classes held in the pandemic tend to maintain the schedule that was in force before isolation. That is, classes are usually held every day, at the usual times, while also maintaining the horrific burden of each discipline.
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Differences between video lessons and videoconferences
Video-lessons, a model commonly adopted in online courses and in distance learning, are classes previously recorded by teachers, usually in studios, which are stored in a specific environment so that students can watch when, where and how many times they want. In this format, students basically watch the video without being able to interact live.
In the model of online classes adopted by institutions in the pandemic, classes are taught by videoconference, in which everyone can interact. Classes take place in real time, so the teacher broadcasts his explanations live, giving the opportunity for students to participate. In this case, it is possible for students to communicate by video, or send questions by audio or text to clear up immediate doubts with the teacher.
Zoom is one of the most used videoconferencing tools in online classes Foto: Divulgao / Zoom
Another crucial difference is that, because they are broadcast live, classes must be accessed at a predetermined time. This also impacts the student's frequency of classes, as in many cases, teachers request the enrollment number or nominal confirmation of each student to identify those who are present and those who are absent.
What are the most common tools in this class modality?
Some institutions have developed their own virtual environments for classes, which must be accessed, usually, on the institution's own website with login, password or student registration number. However, most teachers use common videoconferencing tools, such as Zoom, creating private rooms and inviting students to join the agreed schedule. In all options, the teacher can use slides, videos, Internet pages and other audiovisual resources to make the class more dynamic.
Google Classroom has also become an option for creating virtual teaching environments, especially for managing classes, organizing the disciplines of each class, creating murals, making documents, teaching materials and extra content available. In addition, the platform also allows you to interact directly with the teacher at other times of the day, not just during classes.
Google Classroom allows you to manage all online classes Photo: Divulgao / Google
How are students evaluated in these cases?
The tests are carried out online. In some cases, the institutions provide questionnaires on their own website, with deadlines and time limits for responses, in addition to barriers that reduce the possibility of consulting Google, such as the impediment to copy the proposed texts, for example. The questions can be multiple choice or textual.
Other institutions also use free resources, such as Google Forms. In these cases, teachers can create a test for each student, in order to avoid the exchange of information. In other scenarios, the teachers only request the sending of papers by email.
Advantages and disadvantages of online classes
One of the main advantages is the possibility to attend classes in real time and anywhere, on the computer, mobile phone or tablet. Although the live classes are more interesting, another benefit that videos are usually saved to be watched later, which guarantees the student the possibility of visiting that content in the future, without losing the details.
EAD classes have weaknesses and strengths Photo: Carol Danelli / dnetc
The possibility of having several didactic elements on the computer screen can also facilitate learning. In addition to the resources offered by teachers in class, students have access to the Internet and the materials made available by institutions to reinforce subjects.
To concentrate on classes, the student must work on focus and discipline, which can increase his autonomy as a student and professional future. In addition, home study can be more economical, since the student will not have to travel and eat outside the home.
One of the biggest disadvantages of this model is the lack of physical proximity and social interaction with colleagues and teachers. Even with the possibility of virtual contact, some details perceived in face-to-face classes can make a difference in absorbing content. However, in the context of the pandemic we are experiencing, this is the closest solution to a real classroom found by most institutions.
it is important to avoid distractions when taking online classes Photo: Pond5
Some tips for studying at home
To ensure that online classes are used in the best way, the student must initially maintain the study routine he or she has before social isolation. Especially if the classes are being held at the same time, plan for that task so that the brain understands that, even outside the traditional physical environment, that is the time to concentrate.
At your home, look for a quiet room, with good lighting and with minimal noise or interference from family members at that time. Turn off your cell phone or block the sending of notifications from social networks during the study period, and also avoid other distractions, such as connected television sets, for example.
Look for a pleasant and peaceful environment to attend classes Photo: Zngara Lofrano / dnetc
In addition, it is necessary to invest in a quality Internet and use the most comfortable devices, as classes can take time. Priority is given to the use of the computer to attend classes, this will guarantee access to a better quality Internet, faster interactions, as well as being more physically comfortable.