According to statistical research, a student tends to learn better if he interacts more with his teacher. ‘But if a student feels a need to interact with his peers, one-on-one sessions may not do him any good,’ opines Anu Giri, an education consultant. A student of the tenth grade, who has taken close to thirty online sessions says that he doesn’t understand much as there is a lot of disturbance in group online sessions. ‘I feel shy to even ask my doubts. In a classroom setup, I could understand as there used to be pin-drop silence when a teacher gave classes, but in online sessions, there is always some background noise. Nobody is even able to figure out who the culprit is,’ he explains. This problem, he says, is encountered only in group sessions. ‘I have taken a couple of on-one-one sessions as well, and they turned out to be great. I felt quite comfortable,’ he adds.
All students don’t feel the same as this tenth grader feels. For example, Anurag Alosyous, a college student who has only recently enrolled for an online course, says that he has always preferred group sessions over one-on-ones. ‘There is a reason. Attending group sessions makes it easier for me to learn from the mistakes of others. I also get to interact and make friends,’ he says. ‘But now, I’ve been taking one-on-one sessions. I find them boring,’ he complains.
A few teachers admit that group online sessions are a headache. ‘But we have to manage if there is no option. Not only does a group session save time and effort but it also facilitates the exchange of ideas. But managing such a session on an online platform is a big task,’ says V Manikandan, a professor of Business Studies. His colleague, a professor of Economics, seconds his thoughts. ‘I have made small groups of students to ensure my lessons get delivered effectively. I’d be glad if more teachers started giving one-on-one sessions instead of a handful giving group sessions,’ he says.