The Role of Teachers in E-Learning
Teachers are an important part of education as they are the ones responsible for imparting knowledge to students. It is teachers who utilize the resources available in order to implement the curriculum properly. Furthermore, it is teachers who design and carry out assessments to judge how much knowledge has been retained by students and how well they can apply it.
It is for these reasons that well-trained and efficient teachers are so important. This is especially the case in e-learning.
Teachers in Traditional Education
In the traditional education model, a teacher has the following duties:
- Teach students according to the curriculum previously designed
- Use effective communication to ensure that the students understand what is being taught
- Use the resources available to ensure that students with different learning styles are able to learn properly
- Make sure that students effectively understand and learn to apply their knowledge, rather than simply focusing on rote memorization
- Assess students to judge how well they’ve learned, and use the feedback gained to modify the teaching style according to the students’ needs.
Unfortunately, in a country like Pakistan, many teachers are unequipped or untrained to perform all of these duties and see their role as merely that of imparting knowledge.
Teachers in E-Learning
The question then becomes how the role of teachers differs in e-learning compared to traditional education. The answer is that the basic duties remain the same. However, there are some differences in the way those duties are performed.
First of all, it has been mentioned that many teachers in Pakistan are unable to properly perform their duties due to lack of training and resources. Since the claim of e-learning is that it is able to impart education at least as effectively as or sometimes even better than traditional education, teachers imparting education through e-learning must have the proper training and resources to be able to fulfill their duties properly.
Secondly, online education teachers must also be adept in the use of technology. In the traditional model of education, teachers simply have to stand in a classroom and teach. However, in online education, teachers have to use a variety of electronic mediums to teach students. This means they must have the knowledge to perform tasks such as using online portals, creating lecture slides, designing PDF handouts, and so on.
Thirdly, these teachers must also be skillful in communication. Once again, the setting of the traditional classroom makes the job easier for teachers. Students are physically present in the classroom, so they are more attentive. However, in online education, students can easily get distracted. They also may not be able to understand the teacher at some points. This is why it is important for teachers to be good communicators. They must be able to attract the attention of students despite distractions, and must also be able to communicate well so that students understand them despite the lack of physical presence.
To sum up, the role of teachers is of great importance in the traditional model of education too. However, it is even more important when it comes to e-learning due to the unique challenges that online education presents.