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Continuing adult education online: is it convenient?

Continuing adult education online: is it convenient?

13 April 2020

In the NAO KMU continuing professional education programs also provided in full distance. Web-technologies can change traditional adult teaching and learning fully or partially. Therefore, from March 30 to April 10, 2020, the faculty development program "Effective Teacher" delivered for teaching staff of the Pavlodar Regional Cardiology Center, which is an educational and clinical base for their region. In the training took part 15 physicians with different clinical and teaching experience at a medical college.

Gulshat Kemelova met daily with the learners on the webinar for two weeks. During the meetings, the teacher alternately used the #Myownconference and #ZOOM.  Firstly, this training approach allows simultaneously testing and training learners to use the capabilities of online platforms; secondly, these acquired skills will help them organize their own training courses/sessions in the future. Learners joined the webinar in different: some of them were at their workplaces in clinical hospital (Lunacharsky street.) or in offices, others were connected from the conference hall of the main building (Tkachev street.). Everyone had a good the opportunity to participate in the discussion and receive feedback in a timely manner.

In the end, all learners noted in a questionnaire online the high the trainer's professionalism, the high organization and effectiveness of the program, and the applicability and usefulness of the knowledge and skills of all topics that discussed in the program.

This teaching experience allows noting the advantages and disadvantages of organizing distance learning in continuing education.

The disadvantages of online learning:

1. Low speed of the Internet. Video speed during video broadcasts may depend on changes in weather or other factors, on the operator’s service conditions, or on environmental conditions. The video may “hang” even with light rain or the light may turn off at the most inopportune moment.

2. The lack of direct contact between the teacher and the learner. During regular teaching in classes, the teacher can take notes on the board or flipchart to explain the topic in detail. In the broadcasting, the teacher can show written through the camera, but there are could be a loss of time due to the speed of the Internet or other “barriers”.

3. Attachment to a physical location can affect the effectiveness of training. Students have to sit for an hour or two, looking at the screen of a laptop or computer, resulting in fatigue and distance learning makes technology dependent.

The benefits of online learning:

1. Availability. The teacher contacts the learners when the need arises for this according to a pre-agreed schedule of meetings, even if the student is outside the country and the teacher - in Kazakhstan. Online lessons can take place in two formats: a pre-recorded video lesson or a live webinar. At the same time, live broadcasts do not differ much from the usual meetings with the teacher, and at the same time, you can see the presentation, ask questions, and communicate with other students. Training can carried out from anywhere, but always look professional.

2. Flexibility. In the distance learning, most of the material students learn independently, respectively, the listener is free to choose their own time for learning. This format of training goes well with work and is easy to adjust to any work schedule.

3. Saving money and time. Distance education is cheaper than full-time study. Employers do not require additional expenses for business trips of their employee, and organizers do not require special facilities for the cycle. In addition to transportation and material costs, distance education allows you to save a lot of free time.

4. Specific knowledge. Distance learning gives the listener a specific set of knowledge and skills.

5. Self-discipline. Distance learning requires strong motivation and strict self-discipline.

6. The reviewing of classes. The advantages of online training for the organizer are that presentations, tests, videos, chats, broadcasts can repeatedly reviewed.

Thus, this online training course "Effective Teacher" allows concluding that distance learning, like any other method of teaching and learning, has advantages and disadvantages, but the advantages of web-based technologies crowd out the disadvantages of distance learning if used effectively. There are required high speed of the Internet, the presence of headphones with a microphone and dedication to their work for effective teaching.

Gulshat Kemelova,

Director of the Center for Simulation and

educational technologies NAO KMU


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