Muted mics Never thought we would long to hear statements like, “Is this a fish market?” “This is the worst class I’ve ever taught” seems to echo in our hearts but instead, all we hear is “Students, am I audible?” and “Please mute your mics, everyone.” It seems as if decades have passed since we’ve been scolded for creating havoc in the classrooms and have placed our notebooks under half the pile so that our notebook wouldn’t be the first one to be checked. The ‘blessed’ arrival of Covid introduced the concept of online classes in every nook and corner of the world, which now seems the new normal. The students who were never allowed to access even their parents’ devices now own their own PCs, tablets and mobile phones for there hasn’t been introduced a single alternative yet. Accessibility, flexibility, adaptability- these three factors are the core reasons why the majority of students would choose online learning over offline learning any day. Sleeping in between the classes tops the list of factors, of course. Although snacking and resting have been categorized under “comfort”, such multitasking whilst attending classes leads to very short attention span and rather makes an individual lazy and leads to worse health impacts. This is where we spot the major reason why online teaching is being drained into the dumpcart as there aren’t many brains which value it and hence, fail to absorb the precious knowledge that is being given out. The faculty goes phut when it comes to assessing who pays attention during the lectures and who doesn’t. Even if the students are somehow made to pay attention by making them switch their cameras on, collaborative learning stays at naught. At the end, it all comes down to an individual’s learning techniques, adaptability and suitability. However, online examinations still would hold little to no importance because there is supposedly no end to unfair means and practices while taking up exams. Albeit, as and when online learning was introduced, all of us knew that it’s here to stay. So, rather than debating on what’s better and more impactful, the steps of the institutions should be to take significant steps towards banning unfair practices so that students either start taking studies seriously or at least start attending the classes with full interest, attention and the willingness to ‘learn’ and not just get up from their beds to say “present ma’am’ and doze off, yet again. If we try to listen closely to students’ opinions of online means of learning, we won’t be able to come down to one proper conclusion because all that rules the world are muted mics.
Author : Kavya Bansal