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The Moral Dilemma From Online Classes, Case Study Example

Pages: 3

Words: 953

Case Study

The advent of the global Coronavirus Pandemic has led to the closure of most learning institutions in compliance with the need to restrict human interaction. Consequently, most of the activities that would be done on a face-to-face basis such as teaching have been channeled through the online platform. The pandemic happened at a time when there is increased internet connectivity across the globe, hence the apparent ease of executing this recent learning model. Universities across the world have implemented the full learning processes through the virtual learning applications available in the commercial space such as Zoom, Big Bluetooth and Webex among others (Adnan & Anwar, 2020). However, the real quality of learning available through the physical platform has not been replicated virtually.

There is a moral dilemma as to whether schools should continue charging the usual amount of fees in this new learning arrangement. Arguments to justify the reduction of school fees has only succeeded in the deduction of boarding and room service charges but all institutions still charge the full tuition amount. Students have raised concerns that the quality of teaching they receive from professors is way below what is offered through a physical class. First, students are assigned tasks that to a large make them self-teaching. The level of research done by students on their own has rendered the professors mere guides in the entire learning process (Adnan & Anwar, 2020). Secondly, the contact hours between the students and the teachers have significantly reduced in the online classes’ option. Finally, students no only enjoy the benefit of group-work done out of class which would always enrich the learning process.

A utilitarian approach to this dilemma would dictate that action be taken that leads to minimal loss. Students are justified to argue for a review of the tuition fees. The fact that students have to engage in deeper and extensive research and lecturers doing less of what they ought to do strengthens this proposition. Secondly, the professors now spend less time with their students hence have more hours to engage in their other activities. This seemingly gainful arrangement on the part of the professors has to be compensated to the students in the form of reduced tuition fees. As regards the quality of education, students have argued that they do more of the teaching work hence their effort should be rewarded (Adnan & Anwar, 2020). However, their petition for a commensurate cut from the tuition fee in place of the effort they put in is unjustified. There is no clearly defined role of a student in the entire learning process as regards how much a student should commit. The contractual relationship between the teacher and the learner is made vague to give room for either side to exert themselves fully in this endeavor.

The learning institutions have held the position that the tuition fees should remain constant at all times. The justification for this position is that amounts are solely used to run the mandatory administrative functions of the institutions that include payment of salaries for the professors (Bączek, Zagańczyk-Bączek, Szpringer, Jaroszyński & Wożakowska-Kapłon, 2021). In this dilemma, the administrations seem to ignore the fact that their clients are getting a lower value for their money compared to the moments before the online-learning practice. Learning in schools has become less enriching on the part of the students while giving more time to the teachers to spend on personal affairs.

Labour protects the employees of most institutions from unfair wage practices. It is from this provision that learning institutions are finding it difficult to reduce the professors’ salaries in response to the changing working environment. Consequently, the administrative costs seem static even as the institutions downscale all the other expenses.  Schools have the burden of meeting the basic costs while maintaining the staff motivated to work.

Educational institutions should address this pertinent issue currently faced by students across the world. Given the prevailing circumstances and the realities on the ground, the biggest burden of accountability lies with the institutions. The institutions should seek to meet the students’ demands by enforcing adherence to quality standards of teaching at schools. The professors should be held to account for their time with the students with a clear demonstration of compliance with the teaching obligations. Understandably, the full impact of a professor’s effort might not be transmitted through the digital learning space. However, there is a need for a demonstration of commitment to their job and minding the students’ welfare.

The dilemma posed by the online learning policy can only be addressed with some level of compromise from all the concerned parties. Students ought to understand that the professors have lost an essential part of their natural habitat to execute their lesson plans. Further, there is a need for the learners to accommodate the fact that learning through the online platform is inevitable given the changing times. The professors on the other hand should be emphatic of the student’s predicament occasioned by this change in the mode of learning. Consequently, they should compensate for their physical absence with more contact hours teaching online as well as play a closer guiding role in the student’s research work. The school administrations on their part should play a mediatory role between the two parties. Most importantly, the administrations should enforce the adherence to quality teaching standards by the tutors. Therefore, this moral dilemma can only be addressed through a multi-pronged approach where each party plays a role while accepting the minimal allowable loss.

References

Adnan, M., & Anwar, K. (2020). Online Learning amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Students’ Perspectives. Online Submission2(1), 45-51.

Bączek, M., Zagańczyk-Bączek, M., Szpringer, M., Jaroszyński, A., & Wożakowska-Kapłon, (2021). Students’ perception of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: a survey study of Polish medical students. Medicine100(7).

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