Online Pedagogy and Methods To Accompany Children in Distance Learning

Covid-19 pandemic that strikes the world, including Indonesia, has forced many changes in our ways of life. The people are required to stay at home, with outdoor activities to be done to the minimum possible, as well as carry out Health Protocols for Covid-19. The learning and teaching processes that are normally conducted at school are now transferred to and done at home with parents’ guidance.

The Indonesia Open University or Universitas Terbuka (UT) working together with the Foundation Counselor or Pembina Yayasan Darma Ananda Indonesia (YDAI) organized a webinar on "Pedagogy Online and Methods To Accompany Children in Distance Learning" which was broadcast on Youtube Channel UT TV, Friday (2/10/2020). This webinar invited two presenters or resourceful persons, UT’s Rector and the Counselor of Pembina YDAI, Prof. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., Ph.D., as well as the Chairman of the Senate of UT, Prof. Dr. Chanif Nurcholis, M.Si.

Ojat said that today, the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is massive during the time of Covid-19 pandemic, and yet, the use of ICT for education does not automatically replace the roles and duties of the teachers at school and universities. Ojat emphasized that the on-line pedagogy demands the students to study by utilizing the internet. The on-line pedagogy can transform the learning and teaching interaction which was usually done at school to be brought home without losing the figure of teachers. In order to increase the involvement of the students in Distance Education or Pendidikan Jarak Jauh (PJJ), the teachers may perform the following strategies: facilitating repetitive learning/repetitions, possessing humorous quality, motivating the students to study, providing correct and appropriate learning materials, as well as providing learning guidelines and structures.

In the mean time, Chanif shared the methods for the parents to accompany the students in the study process in distance education. He focuses on the psychological development. Child teaching or pedagogy must be adjusted with the child’s development so the learning and teaching processes would be more enjoyable. He gave an example that the teachers or parents of the students can appreciate the students/children by giving them some claps, patting on their shoulder or giving them stars to be collected until the end of the month for the prize that they can get.

Distance Learning Road Map

For information, a series of webinars have also been conducted by UT in national scale. For instance, the webinar in collaboration with Kompas Gramedia Group having the title of Kompas Talk on "Preparing the Road Map for Distance Learning" which was performed by Zoom platform, last Wednesday (2/9/2020).

Director General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud), Prof. Ir. Nizam, M.Sc., DIC, Ph.D., in such webinar, stated that around 8 million students and 300 thousand lecturers are moved to use on-line learning and teaching processes. There have been rapid transformation and adaptation processes toward on-line learning. Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) and other stakeholders work together to improve as well as to strengthen the learning platform up to network infrastructure.

Special Staff of the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia for Bureaucracy and Education Reforms, Prof. Drs. H. Mohamad Nasir, Ak., M.Si., Ph.D., stated that there is confusion in adopting the concepts of e-learning which is regarded the same as online or distance learning. There is misunderstanding in the use of platform, such as Zoom and Google classrooms which are deemed as e-learning, as, on the other hand, such e-learning is primarily the utilization of Integrated Learning Management System (LMS) as the point of meeting of the lecturers and the students on one platform. Prof. Nasir appreciates the Indonesia Open University or Universitas Terbuka (UT) that has become the embryo for distance learning in Indonesia in order to anticipate the industrial revolution 4.0.

Chairman of UT Alumni Association or Ketua Ikatan Alumni UT, General TNI (Ret.) Dr. H. Moeldoko, S.I.P., who is currently serving as the Chief of Staff of the President of Indonesia Office, shares his experience when he was a student of UT. He was greatly assisted by the higher education using distance learning system since UT provides flexible time of study, and it is easily accessible any where and any time.

UT’s Rector, Prof. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., Ph.D., stated that the Indonesia Open University or Universitas Terbuka UT facilitates a number of institutions and universities that need assistance in providing and organizing distance education in this pandemic situation. UT provides transparency regarding the UT’s sources of learning. Until today, there are 14 universities that have collaborated in providing General and Core Courses or Mata Kuliah Dasar Umum (MKDU).

In distance learning, the students or the Indonesia Open University or Universitas Terbuka are equipped with teaching printed materials which are specifically designed, as well as equipped with self-content and self-instruction materials. Hence, UT’s student would be able to study independently and more effectively. In accordance with the direction given by the Director General, UT also provides the interactive digital teaching materials that can be accessed publicly in