TOJDEL - Volume 9 - Issue 1 - January 2021

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ANALYSIS OF CURRENT TRENDS IN DISTANCE EDUCATION DURING COVID-19: A SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHER EDUCATION CONTEXT

Maria Madiope, John Mendy

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This research explores current trends in distance education (DE) within the higher education sector. The first aspect of the study acknowledges the evolving state of distance education by adopting a definitional approach of what has been covered by previous scholars. By presenting a document analysis of the relevant studies in this field, the paper contextualizes distance education from a South African contextual perspective. Such a methodology was necessary in order to not only highlight the gaps but to also present specific up-to-date trends of distance education. This has helped to identify the key research question on what the nature of the trends are and what practical steps are necessary in enhancing quality education within the current COVID-19 situation in South Africa. The conclusion is drawn from a discussion of the major trends that have emerged to characterize the South African distance education context as a result of COVID-19 and to highlight areas for future research endeavours.

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CHALLENGES FACED BY TEACHERS IN ONLINE TEACHING DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Shabnam Gurung

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This research paper present the various challenges faced by teachers in online teaching during Covid-19 pandemic
and also present how this Covid-19 pandemic has changed the teaching methodology of the teachers. The
researcher has collected data from 430 teachers who are working in Maharashtra State. These samples were
selected by Random Sampling Method. Maximum numbers of respondents are conducting online classes for the
first time in their career of teaching due to this Covid-19 pandemic. They are ready to learn new technology and
methodology of the teaching. It was found that teachers used Zoom, Google meet, Whatsapp, Google classroom
for online teaching. While in online teaching respondents faced the number of challenges but among all -
reaching the students in the remote area and teaching numerical subjects was the biggest challenge. Even after
facing all the challenges numbers of respondents were satisfied with online teaching and ready to face many
challenges to make learning feasible for the students.

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CHALLENGES OF USING DIGITAL PEDAGOGY PRACTICES DURING COVID 19 OUTBREAK IN THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS OF SIVASAGAR DISTRICT OF ASSAM (INDIA)

Bikashita Borah

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Digital pedagogy has been arising as a boon for the educational sphere in the modern age of scientific and
technological developments. For every stage of education, digital pedagogy has been contributing immensely in
the present era. However, the application of digital pedagogy practices is not an easy task during the pandemic
period of Covid19 outbreak. The present study is concerned with studying the challenges that are faced in applying
digital pedagogy practices to the elementary schools of Sivasagar district of Assam (India) during the pandemic
situation of Covid 19. The study is based on primary as well as secondary sources of data. The researcher has
collected the required data by using self prepared questionnaire and face to face interviews. The study has found
out that there are enormous problems arising in the way of integrating digital pedagogy practices to the elementary
schools of Sivasagar district of Assam during the critical period of Covid 19.

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EDTECH STARTUPS CAPITALIZING OVER E-LEARNING MARKET AFTER COVID-19 HIT DISTRESS IN INDIA: THE ROAD AHEAD

Anurodh Godha, Anukrati Sharma

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An increasing number of educational institutes have been shutting down worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic
to avoid the spread of the Corona Virus. Classroom teaching has been completely abandoned for protecting students
from getting. The Coronavirus has uncovered major weaknesses in the education systems around the world and India
is not an exception. India is facing uncertainties for the future of education and thus, society needs a varied and flexible
education system that should be revamped according to the situation. This paper attempts to find new opportunities
for the EdTech market in India and E-learning startups. The researcher has reviewed all the current Indian EdTech
startups and their future plans. The perception of 80 students is taken as a strategic tool for collecting the primary data
through online questionnaires or surveys. Purposes of EdTech startups on capitalization of Big E-learning market
,especially in Rajasthan State have also been analyzed. The result here confirms the significance of EdTech startups
in this pandemic situation and even after the pandemic is over. They are found fulfilling the learning needs of coaching
class students also. Online learning has a considerable market to leverage and it has been proved to be beneficial as a
future course of action for EdTech startups in the post-COVID-19 scenario as well. Ed-tech startups have been found
capitalizing on the E-learning market successfully as customers are shifting towards E-learning from traditional
classroom learning.

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EFFECT OF OER BASED COURSES ON THE EMPLOYABILITY OF UNIVERSITY GRADUATES

Manas Ranjan Panigrahi

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Employability as quoted by Higher Education Academy is “a set of skills, knowledge and personal attributes that make an individual more likely to secure and be successful in their chosen occupation(s) to the benefit of themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy”. CEMCA, through its interventions, has engaged in providing support to University teachers for learner development and institutional Capacity development with the help of need based courses as Open Educational Resources (OER). This intervention was carried out in Uttarakhand Open University (UOU), Haldwani, and Netaji Subhas Open University (NSOU), Kolkata. Objective: The main objective of the study was to explore the effect of OER based courses by CEMCA which must be improved in order to offer more employability opportunities to learners. Intervention: The courses were developed based on blended learning approach using OER. This intervention was executed in NSOU and UOU. The university teachers and academic staffs were initially given training to develop e-Content using OER, Online facilitation including student support, Blended learning, etc. The need-based courses were developed as OER and offered using different modalities i.e. video and text medium in a self-learning module style. Methodology: The study follows a quasi-experimental design including mixed method approach. The data was collected using a self-developed questionnaire which was administered through online means and qualitative data was collected from faculty members using the opinionnaire. The data was collected from all students who successfully completed the eight courses during 2015–2018. The researchers included all the students of the selected courses as population, and the random and purposive sampling technique was used. Findings: The intervention given to the University students with the help of CEMCA have tangibly progressed the learners’ engagement in learning and thereby impacted employability. The learners perceived that the modality of course delivery and structure have enhanced their soft skills and digital skills are improved which is helping them in seeking employment. The study also revealed, in certain areas more improvements in the course structure, pedagogy and delivery mechanism is required at the institutional level. 

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E-LEARNING AMID COVID-19 PANDEMIC SITUATION: A CASE STUDY

Debolina Das

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Online teaching platforms have gained popularity as a mode of education, complementary to traditional teaching learning process based on classroom interaction. The teaching-learning process has been categorized into three classes: Classroom teaching, Direct online teaching and Indirect online teaching. All three types of classes have different benefits and limitations. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown and social distancing norms have suddenly forced the educators to consider the online platforms as only teaching option. This work aims at an analytical assessment of the entire teaching learning process via online mode, based on the survey of a group of college students of Undergraduate course. Several important conclusions have been drawn about the potential of online teaching to become the alternative of traditional classroom-based teaching in India.

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E-LEARNING INTERACTIVITY: PERSPECTIVES OF GHANAIAN TERTIARY STUDENTS

Rahmat Mensah, Farouq Sessah Mensah, Daniel Nimo Gyapong, Isaac Bengre Taley

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The study is in response to abrupt movement from the direct traditionally-centered classroom instruction to E-learning instruction in Ghana owing to the Corona Virus (COVID -19) pandemic. The study aimed at exploring the effect of E-learning interactivity on the effectiveness of E-learning in the Ghanaian context and ways of improving interactivity in E-learning models. The positivist research approach was adopted with cross-sectional survey as the research design. Using a web-based survey, a sample of    2,115 students were randomly selected from 194 different tertiary institutions in Ghana. Correlation and regression analysis was used as the statistical tools to answer the research questions set for the study. The results indicated that all the categories on E-learning interactivity (student-teacher interactivity, student-content interactivity, student–system interactivity, and student-student interactivity) correlated with course effectiveness, students’ independent learning skills and student learning behaviour respectively. However, the best predictor for course effectiveness was student–system interactivity, best predictor for students’ independent learning skills was student-student interactivity while the best predictor of students’ learning behaviour was student-teacher interactivity. The study reiterated that the relationship between different forms of E-learning interactivity have significant impact on course effectiveness, students’ independent learning skills and students’ learning behaviour. Practical implications and suggestions were made in order to enhance the levels of interactivity within E-learning models.

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FACTORS INFLUENCING ONLINE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION IN THE EMERGENCY SHIFTS OF COVID 19

Sunandita Bhowmik, Dipak Bhattacharya

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Online learning has become the only alternative in this COVID19 pandemic crisis. The present study tries to determine various factors influence online learning in higher education in this emergency shifts. A descriptive survey method is conducted with the university students of West Bengal. Confirmatory factor analysis and correlation analysis are conducted. The result shows that the teacher related factor is positively correlated with institutional factor. Students feeling of isolation with boredom and frustration are found the most influential aspects in online learning. Lack of immediate feedback is the most influential teacher related factor. Infrastructure and examinations are institute related factors which affect students’ online learning. Strengths and weakness of online learning are also evolved as additional findings from learners’ qualitative responses.

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FLIPPED CLASSROOM BASED FRAMEWORK TO REPURPOSE ONLINE COLLABORATION TOOL AS LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR ONLINE EDUCATION

Sachin A. Kadam

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Online Education initiatives of an academic institution are supported by Learning Management System (LMS) software. The services offered by a LMS are in synchronization with online education requirements as it is specifically designed for the same. Learning pedagogies are also taken into consideration by a LMS. As compared to LMS, an Online Collaboration Tool (OCT) is offered as a generic online service with focus on collaboration among its users. This research article suggests that an OCT may provide a feasible alternative to LMS for an academic institution to support online education. It explores this possibility by repurposing OCT as LMS using Design and Creation research methodology. It prescribes OCT2LMS framework based upon Flipped Classroom pedagogy for the same. It also validates practicality of OCT2LMS framework through feasibility and security analysis.

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FROM WALLS TO CLOUDS: SWOCs OF ONLINE LEARNING FROM VOICES OF PROSPECTIVE TEACHER EDUCATORS IN INDIA IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Lakshya Malhotra, Harjeet Kaur Bhatia

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Recognizing the generic and piecemeal approach of the extant literature towards online learning with scant studies in teacher education, the present study was undertaken to improve online teaching-learning practices in teacher preparation programmes catered by the researchers. The single-cycle action research methodology was adopted by the researchers to capture the voices of prospective teacher educators enrolled at a central university in India. An online intervention was designed for the ‘ICT Integration: Methods and Assessment’ course which provided an opportunity to the participants to continue their classes during the pandemic via Google Classroom, Google Meet, WhatsApp, and email. Apart from providing all the relevant content in the form of readings, synchronous screen presentations, discussions, and workshops, the researchers often had to scaffold the incumbents to navigate varied resources available online. On completion of the course, data related to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges of online learning were gathered on an open-ended questionnaire from an incidental sample of twenty-three prospective teacher educators. The data were analysed qualitatively by codifying the responses that yielded three emergent themes viz., humane, technical, and teaching-learning. Most number of strengths emerged under the ‘humane’ domain whereas the ‘technical’ domain contained several weaknesses. ‘Teaching-learning’ domain unveiled the opportunities and challenges of online learning. Findings indicate that, while most prospective teacher educators consider online learning as a panacea for future learning as it could facilitate access, equity, quality, delivery of uniform content, continued learning to a diverse learner base during the pandemic, a considerable strength of participants emphasize on cost and connectivity constraints. Participants also echoed how technologies are laden with hidden designs that carry the potential to hijack attention, harness choices, and subsequently polarises from the real-world. Findings suggest the need to increase awareness of incumbents towards cyberbullying, upscale digital infrastructure, bridge digital divides in terms of access and skill, evolve distinct pedagogy for online learning, enrich learning experience, redesign programmes, teaching and evaluation practices, promote judicious and responsible use of technology, reduce polarization, and remain value-driven. The study carries implications for policy-makers, educators, curriculum designers, and technology experts to reconsider the orientation towards what learning is possible, what learning matters, and how it should be assessed in the online format to prepare an empowered student and educator base. Owing to the research objective, methodology, context of the study, and sample size constraints, the findings are limited to teacher education programmes, and therefore, further research is recommended.

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IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS

Manju Jose, Lishamol Tomy, Christophe Chesneau

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Social media open a new world of information and opportunity to each human being. In fact, they are growing exponentially among the young people generation all over the world. University aged students are widely engaged in using social media.  It will affect the student’s personal and professional lives. Social media is booming in India, motivating this survey as an attempt to understand the impact of social media among specific groups of youth, by narrowing down the study in college. The study evaluates the positive and negative effects of social media on family relationships and academics among students.

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INTEGRATING THE EDUCATION WITH THE TECHNOLOGY - RISE IN DEMAND FOR ONLINE EDUCATION IN INDIA

Riidhi Jain, Sushila Soriya

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In the Indian education system, teaching and learning process generally takes place in the traditional classroom setting, where the teacher face to face explains the content to the students. Nowadays, with the combination of innovation with instruction, new framework has changed the method of conveying knowledge. The purpose of learning or education is not only to make the individual literate but to develop rational thinking, knowledge and self-dependency. In the ongoing years, the enlistment of the understudies towards the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has expanded. India comes next after the United States in the number of understudies enlisted for the online courses. The current paper centers on the different foundations of MOOCs in India and attempts to discover the preferences, drawbacks and explanations behind the development of MOOCs or online learning platforms in India from the student’s perspective.
The study further analyses the various factors which are independent of the usage of the online higher education platforms. The factors such as age of the respondents, stream taken by them and current educational qualifications were analyzed using the One-Way ANOVA. 

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OFFERING MONTESSORI EDUCATION ONLINE FOR 2 ½ TO 5 ½ YEAR OLD CHILDREN KEEPING MONTESSORI PRINCIPLES INTACT

Shashi Rekha M

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COVID – 19 has forced preschools to resort to online education. While traditional schools have got adjusted to online teaching quickly, Montessori schools could not turn to online easily. Montessori education is considered to be impossible to offer through online mode to children at home, due to the lack of the prepared classroom, didactic materials and trained parents who could support children’s development. The current research presents an action research with an aim to convert Montessori education to online mode and develop a model for offering Montessori education online to the children between 2½ and 5 ½ years of age providing activity to the hands and senses and discusses the limitations and implications. 

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ONLINE LEARNING EXPERIENCES DURING COVID-19 IN HIGHER EDUCATION SPACE: THE NEW NORMAL

Nishta Rana

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India is facing exceptional difficult times due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic like the whole world. All higher education institutions in India are shut due to national lockdown, so the research and teaching–learning activities have been badly disturbed. In this context, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked the universities and colleges to carry on the educational process making active use of technology and other available possibilities. In Jammu and Kashmir too, most of the universities and colleges have started taking online classes despite of having limited access to internet since the lockdown began. So, it was thought worthwhile to know the experiences of students in higher education space about online learning. The study employed the online administration of a questionnaire on 300 students selected through snowball sampling and focus group discussion on 30 students to extract the experiences of students about online learning. The results show that majority of the students agreed to the statement their teachers are conducting online classes. Teachers are doing their best efforts to make use of technology to continue the teaching-learning process. But they reported that certain problems also emerged in the process of online learning. There are issues of network connectivity, poor bandwidth, lack of availability of advanced technological gadgets and poor ICT skills among others. The students who belong to far-flung/remote areas faced problems in getting connected to their teachers on regular basis or they had to move to the upper parts of hills to have better connectivity.

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ONLINE LEARNING INITIATIVES AND ITS EFFECTS ON TEACHING-LEARNING PROCESS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Faiyaz Ahammad

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 Introduction: Online learning is a technologically facilitated learning process using web sites, personal computers (PCs), tablet, cell phones, learning management system (LMS), televisions (TVs), radios, computers, mobile phone, laptop, desktop etc. from a remote distance. Online learning has changed the learning experience for many learners. Rather than sitting on traditional classroom and taking notes, learners are taking advantage of online classes and other forms of online learning. Online learning allows the widespread distribution of electronic learning materials to many learners simultaneously anywhere and anytime from a remote location. Materials and Methods: This is a questionnaire-based study on online learning and its effects on the teaching and learning process during the COVID-19 pandemic. Investigators collated the samples from different teachers and students with regard to their gender, age, community, location, working streams, qualification and experiences. Results: Based on the results obtained, online-learning has a positive effects on teaching-learning process of the learners. Conclusion: Overall, traditional learning is expensive and takes a long time, and the results can vary. Online-learning offers an alternative that is faster, cheaper, and potentially better. Online-learning has to be implemented and made available to everyone easily.

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PEDAGOGICAL USE OF ICT IN SCIENCE EDUCATION IN THE LIGHT OF TECHNO PEDAGOGICAL CONTENT KNOWLEDGE (TPCK)

V. S. Sumi, Shaheen A. Shaikh

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To improve the opportunities for learning, a classroom is now turned into a well-resourced smart classroom. Integrating technology into teaching-learning maximize students' understanding of the related concepts and therefore makes it concrete. Researchers found that meaningful learning takes place where there is engagement from the part of students is more. ICT makes it possible for the students by giving those hands-on experiences through virtual reality, simulation, 3D experiences to support their learning. In this context, technology is much more important in Science Education, particularly in providing practical experiences. The core of good teaching with technology are three core components: content, pedagogy, and technology, and their relationships among and between them. This paper tries to explore how science teachers' understanding of educational technologies and Pedagogical Content Knowledge interact with one another to produce effective teaching with technology. This study adopts a descriptive survey method with a sample consists of 52 secondary school science teachers from Hyderabad. The random sampling method is used to collect the relevant sample. The questionnaire on TPCK based on understanding, integration, and assessment is used to collect the data required for the study. Percentage Analysis and Pearson’s product-moment Correlation is the statistical technique used to analyze the data. The results of the study throw light on various technological, institutional, and professional factors that require attention. Findings of the current study indicated that teachers have very little knowledge about the various dimensions of TPCK. The study also throws light on the relation between teaching experience and technology integration. The results show that the more experienced teachers have a feeble connection with technology integration. Some suggestions to improve the practice is put forward in this paper.

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THE ATTITUDE OF LEARNERS OF PRACTICAL BASED COURSES AND LEARNERS OF THEORY BASED COURSES TOWARDS DISTANCE LEARNING SYSTEM

Tapan Kumar Basantia

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The distance learning system can be successful and rewarding to many extents when the quality of the system can be improved and a positive attitude can be formulated towards the system among the learners who pursue different types of courses including both practical based courses and theory based courses in the system. For formulating positive attitude among the learners towards the distance learning system, at first, there is need to study the attitude of the learners pursuing different courses in distance learning system towards distance learning system. The review of the studies in the field of distance learning system indicates that rare investigation has been carried out to study the attitude of the learners towards distance learning system. Hence, in this research, an attempt was made to study the attitude of learners of practical based courses and learners of theory based courses towards distance learning system. This research was formulated to achieve these four objectives: (i) to compare the attitude of learners of practical based courses and the attitude of learners of theory based courses towards distance learning system; (ii) to compare the attitude of learners of practical based courses and the attitude of learners of learners of theory based courses towards distance learning system with regard to their background variables(i.e., gender, age, employment level and rural- urban level); (iii) to compare the attitude of learners of practical based courses towards distance learning system with regard to their background variables(i.e., gender, age, employment level and rural- urban level); and (iv) to compare the attitude of learners of theory based courses towards distance learning system with regard to their background variables (i.e., gender, age, employment level and rural- urban level). The research falls under the scope of survey-cum-comparative type of research. The participants of the research included forty learners of Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) course and forty learners of Bachelor of Arts (B. A.) course in two Study Centers of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) Regional Center, Bhubaneswar ( i.e., IGNOU Study Center, Khalikote College, Berhampur, and IGNOU Study Center, B.J.B. College, Bhubaneswar). The data of the research were collected personally from the participants. Basically quantitative methods of data analysis were used to analyze the data of the research. The results of the research identified the difference in attitude among learners of practical based courses and learners of theory based courses towards distance learning system. The research recommended viable strategies for creating a strong base of motivation and favourable attitude among learners as well as other personnel of distance learning system towards distance learning system.   

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THE USE OF D2L’S VIDEO NOTE TO PROMOTE ENGAGEMENT IN ONLINE GENERAL EDUCATION COURSES

Pamela Wirth, George del Hierro

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This study examines faculty use of D2L’s Video Note as a tool for increasing student engagement. Instructor-created videos were used in online general education courses to promote student engagement at a fully online university with a predominantly adult, active military, and veteran student population. Upon course completion, students were asked to complete a survey on their perceived effectiveness of these instructor-created videos. Participating faculty were also surveyed about their experience with video note and its potential to increase student engagement. Student participants felt the instructor-created videos had an overall positive impact on their learning experience. Faculty indicated Video Note is simple-to-use and may contribute to greater student engagement; however, the purpose and placement of instructor-created videos needs further consideration. Keywords: instructor-created video, video note, D2L, general education, student engagement distance education, online learning

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UNDERSTANDING SCHOOLS IN THE CONTEXT OF CLASSICAL AND NEO-CLASSICAL THEORIES OF MANAGEMENT

Prahallad Majhi, Ashok Dansana

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Theories of management came into existence in different contexts and there is clear evidence of the development of neo-classical theories by challenging classical theories with the emphasis on human factor into management. Yet, there are instances of unexpected outcomes of management in public administration in India today. In the recent time some researches strongly uphold that classical theory of management still has relevance in process of management. On the other hands, it was found that much importance is given to human relation factor in management. In this context this study was undertaken in Nuapada District of Odisha. The population of the present study was consisted of all elementary schools of Nuapada District. It is located in the western part of Odisha. For the purpose of this study Komna and Khariar blocks were purposively selected where 40 teachers and 10 Headmasters from 10 different schools were interviewed.  The purpose of this study was to examine the application, effects and challenges of classical (scientific, bureaucratic and administrative) and Neoclassical (human relation) approaches of management in the functioning of school. Thus, keeping in view the requirements of the study exploratory design was adopted. The findings of the study suggest that there is comprehensive application of the major propositions of both classical and neoclassical theories in school management. It is undoubtedly established that neoclassical theory of management has provided acceptable and sustainable paths in management but cannot be afforded to substitute it with the classical approach to management in totality. Rather the blended approach of classical and neoclassical theory of management can bring success in the form of effective and smoother management of school as productive social unit.  

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VALIDATION OF ONLINE LEARNING READINESS SCALE IN INDIA: A STRUCTURE EQUATION MODELING APPROACH

Gautam Huidrom

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This study examines the reliability and validity of Online Learning Readiness Scale (OLRS) in the Indian context. The instrument consists of 18 items capturing the latent construct of student’s online learning readiness scale. The assessment of the scale was done with sample collected from a university in India. The study indicates a multi-dimensional construct of five latent variables, namely Computer & Internet Self Efficacy, Self-directed Learning, Leaner Control, Motivation for Learning and Communication efficacy. The items of each factor is significantly loaded. Confirmatory factor analysis indicates model fit of the OLRS scale in Indian context. The composite reliability and construct validity of the scale was found to be within acceptable range.  

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