It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has taken over the world. It has definitely disrupted your plans of experiencing the b-school life. The in-coming batches, as well as current students, have been thrown into a new form of the education system - online education - which they hardly have any grip on. How does one attend classes, do group assignments, solve case studies, etc in virtual classes? Yes, it is kind of unfair. However, COVID-19 is not going anytime soon (at least until the vaccine is out) and we have to learn to live with it, and make the best of the current conditions. Let's start by learning everything about virtual learning right from what it is, it’s mediums, benefits, tips for seniors, etc. Read the full article to know everything about the online classes and more.
What are Virtual Classes?
The virtual class is the process of imparting and gaining knowledge through a digital/online medium. Just like a physical classroom, a student in a virtual classroom also participates in the synchronous instructions given by the teacher, sharing study material and giving projects during these online sessions.
Different Mediums of Virtual Classes
- Video Conference - In this setting, both teachers and students log into an online portal. The teacher presents you with various topics and information live during the session. Further, the topic explanation can happen through screen sharing. In most of these classes, there is also a doubt clearing session where students get to ask questions at the end of the class. It is the most interactive form of virtual teaching. These classes are more or less scheduled for a particular date and time.
- Online Videos - These are pre-recorded classes. Here the teacher records the entire lecture series into one or two hours. Students can start or end classes with a simple pause and play. These are student-friendly classes since the students have the ability to take such classes based on their own pace and time. The only drawback is that they are not interactive in nature.
- Textual Classes - They are simply reading material, PPT, lecture notes shared to students by the teacher/lecturer. This medium is good for those who don’t have a steady internet connection to stream online classes. If you are someone who is good at self-study, this type of learning may be your thing. However, they are also very non-interactive in nature.
Virtual Classes - The Benefits
- Flexibility - The biggest boon of studying online is the increased flexibility in learning. You as a student have the ability to choose the where and how of your studies. This does not mean that your workload will be any less, it just means that you now have more control over your studies.
- Increased productivity - While the traditional studies in management institutions are very enlightening, engaging and interactive, they are also distractive. Often in the classroom, teachers and students (deliberately or non-deliberately) deviate from the topic discussions. Even outside the classroom, we often engage ourselves in more extra-curricular activities that can take away the focus from our studies. This will happen less in online teaching. Apart from other virtual classes, the amount of self-study that you do can help get more out of your MBA studies.
- Accessible - All you need is a computer with a stable internet connection. All of your study materials, lectures and assignments are sent to you via email or some kind of file transfer system. You don’t need to depend on your memory to recall a lecture; you can just open a recording and listen to it.
- Cost-effective - Studying online can help you dodge many financial bullets that you may have to bear the brunt of in a normal situation. Transport costs, the prices at the cafeteria etc., can be crazy and the cost of textbooks can set you back even more.
Tips That Will Help You In Virtual Classes - From B-School Students
- “Treat your virtual class as a real class. Keeping the camera on will help to stay more focussed and disciplined.” - Nikita Tayal, IIFT Delhi, Class of 2019-2021
- “Do the sound and video check before attending the class. Just like the regular classes, sit for online class 15 minutes before it starts and do all the sanity checks.” - IIM Ahmedabad Student, Class of 2019-2021
- “Have a separate study space and disturbance-free environment during online classes. Avoid using your phone, as it is very easy to get distracted when you feel that no one is watching you.” - Ritu Shukla, IIM Kozhikode, Class of 2019-2021
- “Use to-do apps or any other reminder apps to remind you of your online classes. You are at home and might easily forget about and lecture and lose attendance.” - Rishi Kumar, IIM Calcutta, Class of 2019-2021
- “While going through cases, keep the cases open on multiple tabs. It's difficult to scroll up and down to refer to the exhibits and then again the case facts. Better to keep it in 2 tabs and switch from exhibits to case facts for reference.” - Ananta Chhajer, IIM Ahmedabad, Class of 2019-2021
- “In online classes, it is easier to lose attention and focus as compared to regular classes. So, for that aspect, you should go back and view the recordings of classes to see where you have missed out. If possible, put time stamps. For example - I zoned out at 2 min 45 seconds. That way you know where to hit your recordings and can easily access it afterwards.” - Rishabh Singh, IIM Kozhikode, Class of 2019-2021
- “Whenever the lectures are on, just pin the professor's video, and don’t opt for a gallery view option. If you do gallery views, you are also able to see your classmates' faces and expressions and they can be distracting. Also, during class participation make sure not to cut anyone while they are speaking, and don’t repeatedly ask questions like - can you hear me or see me. Professors get annoyed when you do that. Ideally, checking microphones and cameras should be done before class.” - Rudra Nikam, IIM Ahmedabad, Class of 2019-2021
- "While online classes allow you a room for multi-tasking given its setting, it hampers the focus. The importance of self-discipline in such a situation cannot be undermined. If you want to make the most of your class, attend lectures as you would normally do and take notes." - Ashi Jain, MICA, Class of 2019-2021
Hope this article helps! If you want us to answer more questions around online classes, or want to make us add your suggestions or tips in this article, please comment down below.
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