Apr 03, 2020 / 14:39

Challenges of online classes during Covid-19 pandemic

The Hanoitimes - The biggest shortcoming of online classes is how to test and evaluate students.

Online lectures are the first choice in the context of long-lasting and complicated Covid-19 pandemic given their advantages. However, teachers say distance learning has many issues which need to be solved to achieve the set goals.

The biggest advantage of online classes is that all materials, discussion questions and tests are stored on an online platform, therefore, students can easily access these contents anytime and anywhere.

Lectures will be broadcast live for many students at the same time and could be recorded to be replayed.

 Dao Van Diep, a teacher of Lomonosov My Dinh Primary School in Hanoi, is teaching online. Photo: Nguyen Ngan

Nevertheless, talking to Hanoitimes, Dao Van Diep, a teacher of Hanoi-based Lomonosov My Dinh Primary School pointed out some disadvantages of online classes.

The most outstanding one is that in the online environment, teachers cannot remind their students, and there is not any specific timetable so that students can follow, Diep said.

In addition, there are some other barriers such as equipment, transmission lines, interactions between learners and teachers. As students are not familiar with the online method, it's hard to get their focus on the lecture which sometimes is interrupted due to poor transmission speed.

“The biggest shortcoming of online classes is the way of testing and evaluating students. I am struggling to find out what kind of test should be used to best assess my students. When we let students take the test from a distance, it is very difficult to ensure they do the test honestly. We need the instructions from the Ministry of Education and Training on this matter,” Diep said.

In a phone interview with Hanoitimes, Tran Thi Hai Yen, managing director of Alpha School in Hanoi said that her school has made a big investment in online teaching infrastructure and developed an online teaching plan during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, since the municipal Department of Education and Training has prohibited schools from collecting tuition fees, it is difficult to implement because schools with paid education do not have a backup funding for free teaching.

She added that besides a lack of legal basis, a lack of equipment and understanding from the people hinders the proper implementation of online classes.

"Many issues arise when implementing the online learning method, and the crucial one is that there must be solutions for teachers to control their students and schools can control teaching and learning quality," Yen said.

In an interview with Tuoi Tre Online, Dr. Le Viet Khuyen, an advisor to the Vietnam Association of Universities and Colleges, said that closing schools does not mean stoppage of learning and teaching. The Ministry of Education and Training needs to be more specific so that schools can flexibly apply appropriate teaching methods.