UNLEASHING THE POWER OF NETWORK IN RAISING THE QUALITY OF HIGHER EDUCATION

S.G. Konwar

Pearl Academy (INDIA)
We all are witness to the fact that the environment of higher education is evolving dynamically. In the 21st century, e-learning is being implemented more and more frequently in higher education, creating new and exciting opportunities for both educational institutions and students. The globalization of education has coincided with the development of information technology, so that there are enormous pressures on teachers to get with it and harness this technology in order to improve their teaching. However, as teachers it’s important that we be concerned with educational technology (ET) and not information technology (IT).

Transitioning from the Face-to-Face (F2F) classroom to an Online Course can be an intimidating task. This study explores different strategies on how to make this transition smooth. Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, and Archer (2001) are of the opinion that there are three roles for an online instructor. They consist of social presence, teaching presence, and cognitive presence. They explain that an educational experience is composed of teachers and students and is embedded within a Community of Inquiry. The Community of Inquiry assumes learning occurs within the Community through the interaction of these three key elements.

This study is analyzing results of a pilot study on launching 4 weeks online course on – Introduction to Digital commerce - at Pearl Academy – for a group of 218 students, enrolled in the Business and Technology Department. Presence in the online environment, teacher biographies, adapting activities for online environments, and the importance of a syllabus are explored. Also, motivating students, facilitating engagement, providing feedback, and types of assessments are examined.