Education over the years has been vividly taken to be an eminent thing in someone’s life. Most scholars can attribute this in every interviews they might be called upon to relent. Well the situation has changed a bit for now.
Covid-19 has turned table arounds in Kenya and most universities are forced to adapt to the new technological norms. The physical class attendance that was mandatory to every student is now becoming an option.
In the course of week, the country’s top University, The University Of Nairobi presumed their 2019 intake orientation via the Zoom App. The meeting that was attended with about 3000 students who are undertaking undergraduate and post-graduate courses in the various satellite campuses of UON.
With over 10,000 expected to commence their online learning this semester, the changes are yet to be experienced. This is a new experience to most of the students who have just come from secondary schools where they were used to learning in classrooms.
Challenges Experienced In Zoom Classes
There is constant need to repair, to apologize. People are constantly talking at the same time and interrupting someone else’s signal. I am constantly switching views from one screen to another, to scan the faces (at least those who haven’t chosen to post a blank screen, permitting rest, multitasking or even absence).
In regular classrooms, we notice heads nodding, distracted, gazing in one direction or another.Humans use eye gaze as communicative information; that’s why we have sclera. (It’s not only to look at someone; sometimes looking away is proper.
Many primates, including many humans, see direct gaze as threat.) On Zoom, people may generally nod, but eye gaze can’t be tracked. We seek “joint attention” — that confirmation that everyone is sharing the focus. We get stares, or looking down or away, or watching the image on a screen, which may not even be in the center. What does it mean? We always want to know. Why did they do that?
The new changes are likely to affect some students especially the science students who are use to lab or practical sessions. This might hinder them from being effective once they are placed at their work stations.
It may also encourage absenteeism of learners and one is likely to just post a blank profile or even inform someone to step in when he or she is not available.
Pros and Cons Of ZOOM Classes
With these new transition that is expected to be adapted for some it is a new and a fantasizing method.
The pros and cons are as follows:
- You can interact with the teachers and clear your doubts immediately.
- You can record the session for future reference.
- The chat option lets you ask your doubt without interrupting the teacher.
- You might face some technical difficulties sometimes in connecting on zoom.
- You have to be in a noise-free zone, as outside noises will disturb the lecture. Or, you have to keep your mic on mute until you have to speak.
- Since the teacher can’t see your screens until you share them. It becomes difficult for the teacher to understand whether you are paying attention or doing something else.