• Salony Gupta

Educators During the Pandemic: A Closer Look

Updated: Apr 10

Doubtlessly, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has tremendously affected almost all the sectors of our country. The education sector too. Within a short period, the educators were forced to discontinue in-person teaching and adjust to new technologies. Different technologies were integrated into the education sector through digitization in education, which automated the manual tasks of educators. Most of the educators transitioned smoothly, but they had to spend long durations of time scheduling examinations, proctoring them, evaluating answers, preparing lessons, and attending faculty meetings.

These added responsibilities ended up adding more hours to the day of educators, leading to a reduced sense of productivity among them. According to a “2021 Teacher Survey” report by SYKES, 73.13% of K-12 teachers considered leaving their job at least once during the pandemic due to the increased workload. They had to spend additional 5 hours per day instructing the children. As per the report from Fidelity Investments and The Chronicle of Higher Education, about 55% of faculty members at the college level considered changing careers or retiring early due to the overwhelming work they had to do during the pandemic.

But, what if the staff members and management are equipped with a platform that exactly suits their and learners’ needs? That way they can achieve a lot more in less time, thus positively impacting the productivity of each stakeholder in their institution.

However, the challenges of remote learning do not end here. Classroom and examination etiquette has also been compromised due to the remote learning setup. Furthermore, many institutes conduct assessments on platforms meant for video conferencing. As a result, learners find it easy to engage in fraudulent activities such as cheating and plagiarism. According to the research conducted by Cerebranium on the “State of Digitization in Education and Examinations- India”, 54% of students feel that there are high chances of malpractices during examinations.

Educators can prevent this kind of academic dishonesty only up to a certain level with the live supervision method. Moreover, supervising exams for long hours is redundant, time-consuming, and does not ensure a reduction in fraudulent practices. With that, there has been a drastic decline in the engagement of learners.

To combat this issue, educators are constantly trying to deploy more creative methods to boost learner engagement and retain their attention, but despite numerous efforts, they are unable to monitor the performance of each student and determine what is causing the hindrance. They are ultimately the closest observers of what the learners face and therefore, the responsibility of addressing their social and emotional needs falls upon them, resulting in an emotional toll.

Thus, it is pivotal to make the voice of educators heard, as their experience during this time provides an insight into the present state of education and helps academic institutions in deploying the right technology that is compassionate, engagement-driven, and simplifies daily work processes.

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