MCS-015: Communication Skills Assignment Questions (IGNOU MCA New Course Sem-1)

MCS-015 : Communication Skills

Assignment Code                  :           MCA(1)/015/Assign/09

Maximum Marks                  :           100             

Weightage                              :           25%

Last Dates for Submission    :           15th April, 2009 (For January Session)

                                                            15th October, 2009 (For July Session)


This assignment has eight questions. Answer all questions.


Read the following passage carefully and answers the questions that follow:


A generation growing up on the Internet may now get their formal education there – from new schools offering kindergarten through 12th grade online. Backers of education technology say the internet can help children isolated from traditional school houses by distance or disabilities. Online education can also benefit children to be schooled at home by their parents.


“Education is what America cares about the most and technology is what we do best,” said former education secretary William Bennett.


As a past critic of education technology, Bennett once gave schools’ efforts to increase the use of computers in teaching an F-minus. Yet, he is joining companies and schools willing, even eager, to sail into uncharted cyber-space, despite sceptical child development experts and the spiralling business failure rate in the dotcom world.


There’s no exact count of public and private elementary and secondary schools that have followed the lead of web-based colleges. The non-profit, Orlando-based Florida Online High School has offered online courses since 1997 for grades 9-12 nationwide. Public charter schools from California to Pennsylvania teach children online. At the state-funded Valley pathways, online school based in Alaska, roughly 300 students take 1-6 courses a semester on the web.


“We wouldn’t do it if we did not think it could produce quality education,” said Pathways teacher Kathi Baldwin. “I know my students online and in detail. They tell you things in writing they would never tell you face to face.”


Classes are held by computers, teachers and staff work from a central office, and students sign in from their home desktop or laptop computers. Standards for teachers ideally are the same as those of traditional schools.


It’s not all reading, writing and arithmetic. In gym class over the web, pupils keep daily logs of their exercises. They learn music theory online and then go to a designated campus for piano or guitar lessons. They can fax, email or bring in art projects completed at home. Parents even dial in for online PTA meetings. Linda Deafenbaugh said online schooling has filled a void of her son, a third-grader with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Each morning, despite his behavioural disorder, Douglas Meikle, 8, signs onto the Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and downloads his reading, science and math assignments himself.


He completes the lessons, working with online teachers, who include a special education expert, to keep him focused. “He definitely had a bad school experience to the point that teachers were not letting him in the door of the classrooms” said Deafenbaugh, a cultural anthropologist who works for the federal government. “Not only was his social life falling apart, but his academics were too.”


The going has been bumpy for some online schools. Teachers have to keep up students’ interest with interactive lessons, guard against student cheating and do without body language or verbal clues to tell them whether students understand lectures.


And in October, one 15 year-old in an online charter school in California hacked into the system, knocking the school offline for two days and destroying homework assignments, lesson plans and attendance records. “There simply is not enough research”, said William Rukeyser, coordinator of the non-profit Woodland-based Learning in the Real World. “Too often, people say let’s spend money and may be the wisdom will miraculously transfer from the computer to the child.”


Schools spent more than $5bn on education technology last year, and a Congressional panel concluded last week that 70 per cent of America’s classrooms are connected to the web. But the marriage of education and technology is needed, say educators who believe teaching is becoming more difficult in today’s environment. Growing enrolment and shrinking budgets are leaving less room for one-on-one, hands-on-learning at the side of an attentive teacher. “We should not be stuck with one model,” Bennett said.


a          Answer the following questions briefly

i                How does online education help children?                                                         2 marks

ii              How does online education system work?                                                         2 marks

iii            What are the various subjects or assignments offered online?                           2 marks

iv            What are the shortcomings of the system?                                                         2 marks

v              Despite the shortcomings, why is online education catching up in USA?

2 marks

vi            Which type of student is this system especially useful for? Why?                     2 marks

vii          Give the passage a suitable title.                                                                              2 marks


b          Find one word from the passage which means the same as each of the following:                6 marks

i                doubting

ii              filling in an empty space

iii            a person who studies people, society and culture, especially pertaining to the past.

iv            not smooth and easy

v              something remarkable, contrary to what’s expected

vi            dwindling


Write short notes on the following:

i                What are the macro functions of communication? Which of these functions are required in your particular context? Give examples from your life to support your answer.                                                                                                                                    10 marks


ii              How can the barriers to communication be removed? Discuss giving examples from your life.                                                                                                   10 marks



Use appropriate modals (Shall I……, Could you please ……, Would you ….., May I …….., etc.) to make sentences in the following situations. You may use any modal you wish.                                     10 marks

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