Online Learning in the Next Normal

Online learning in the “next normal”. How Video with EQ can help you.

As Covid-19 precautions become the “new normal”, life is not the same. We have been bombarded by Stay-at-Home campaigns to avoid social contact as much as possible. Furthermore, relationships have been strained to protect public safety. Governments around the world encourage us to stay home and continue with our daily routine relying on the internet and taking advantage of new technologies.

Fortunately, technologies have improved over the last 15 years. We are now able to attend virtual meetings and online classes from the comfort of our home. In the last year, society has been forced to adapt to several measures such as telework, telemedicine, and online classes. Video calls have become essential to our day-to-day communications because we are social beings and we prefer to see each other’s faces when communicating.

E-learning has been the most efficient way to continue school and university classes. Digital learning has emerged as a necessary resource for students and schools all over the world. Due to the impossibility of bringing students together at the same place, teachers have started to group all their students on large video calls to share text, photos, videos, and sound clips to bring the lesson alive. Since online classes have started, a multitude of platforms for e-learning have emerged: Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, UberConference… all with similar characteristics but different interface designs.

It seems online learning is here to stay, and we need to ask ourselves, are some of the benefits of this new teaching method?

  • Scheduling flexibility. Taking classes at home lets students better organize their time. Some students are studying while they work or are enrolled in other courses to enhance their skills. Online classes provide flexibility to combine work with studying for a degree and not die trying.

In addition, no more being late, attending class on time is easier than ever. You only must turn on your computer and connect to the net.

  • Lower total costs. Online learning eliminates the cost of student transportation, meals, renting rooms & other expenses guaranteeing the same education quality but avoiding these high costs.
  • A comfortable learning environment. Having the chance to be at home during class. It is well known that being in a place where you are comfortable helps you concentrate and become more productive.
  • Geographic flexibility. It does not matter where you are, you only need a PC or a laptop and an internet connection to join the class. That means online classes improve student attendance. The possibility of taking a class from home or a location you choose means there are fewer chances of students missing out on lessons.
  • Opportunity to improve your technical skills. Taking online classes require a video platform and a few tech abilities to join the class. You would need to use some software suites, perform in-depth research online or communicate effectively online. Improving your skills is up to you.

Moreover, online teaching can be personalized in many ways by letting teachers adapt to their students and use video, stream content, and display an image in an easier way than a physical class.

But there are challenges to online learning. Keeping students’ attention is a challenge with this new method of teaching.

Last year I attended online classes at the university, and I must admit, as the months go by, it was difficult to pay attention to the professor. It was not the professor’s fault; it was just the novelty of seeing people’s faces through the screen Most of the time students turned their camera off and the professor could not obtain feedback on whether they were paying attention to the lecture or not. Also, many professors seemed anxious and unprepared to face online classes. In many cases, they waited for a student’s response that never came because the student’s camera was turned off. It must be exceedingly difficult to give a lecture to a grid of black squares.

I remember one day when the professor finished a lesson and asked if we had any questions about the material. There was deafening silence and ten minutes later nobody had answered yet. He did not know if we understood his lesson or if we were not listening. He got really upset and decided to finish the class at that moment. He said if we had any questions about the subject, we could ask him by mail, but he was not willing to provide online lessons moving forward.

It was a huge shock because the exam was near, and in my view, what he taught was a difficult course.

With these challenges, there is a need for professors to improve online lessons by capturing the attention and motivation of students while at the same time respecting privacy. MoodMe has enormous significance here MoodMe has developed face recognition software that analyzes emotions on a video call in real-time while respecting privacy. MoodMe uses an algorithm to categorize the six basic emotions: fear, anger, joy, sadness, disgust, and surprise and rates them on a scale of 1 to 100 while also measuring attention, active speaker, gender, age, and ethnicity.

Regarding online learning, MoodMe enhances engagement for teachers, by measuring student’s attention, so they can adapt their delivery to keep students engaged. EIP provides reports with attention score, speaking distribution, participants’ engagement and emotional score allowing teachers to have the most complete information to analyze their student’s engagement. Additionally, it forces students to turn their cameras on and be more involved in online lessons.

Almost ten months have passed since the pandemic and online classes are becoming increasingly critical. E-learning is considered the main solution for education during Covid-19 and MoodMe offers a solution to overcome challenges to e-learning success.

More reading: MoodMe Engagement Insights: Video with EQ.

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