Academic Continuity Through Online Teaching
The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon a heightened sense of uncertainty in every aspect of life, and academics is no different. The constituent institutes of Nirma University have made every effort to continue imparting education by adapting to the online teaching method. Several web-based platforms having interactive whiteboards such as Microsoft Whiteboard, Google Jam board, Concept Board, etc, video conferencing applications such as Google meet, Skype, etc, and online teaching-learning management tools such as Google Classroom and other teacher-student collaborative tools have been integrated for learning.
The Institute of Technology have adopted ICT in their teaching learning process long ago, much before the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, the institute was earlier awarded ‘CCI Technology Award’ at the State Level and FICCI Award for Best University in the use of technology at the National level.
Post lockdown all the constituent Institutes of Nirma University have approached eTeaching-learning with a much focused approach. It has been decided to complete the syllabus through online live classes as well as by recording of the sessions and later distributing it. The Institutes have been running their online classes like offline classes, in a very systematic and disciplined way. The practice of flipping the classroom and blended learning came very handy post lockdown time, which was already in use earlier.
Faculty are conducting online assessment using moodle software, google quiz forms, presentation by students, Viva voce, etc. Motivational messages as well as preventive measures considering the COVID-19 pandemic are also shared with the students from time to time.
Department of Design at Nirma University which deals a lot with practical hands-on learning had to adapt to new methods of teaching to continue the learning process. The department tweaked a few assignments and began with Innovation through limited resources. Students are being encouraged to develop observation skills, understand the challenges of limited resources and taught how to turn those limitations into innovative ideas. The students have been working through apps such as Stopmotion Studio on their laptops and phones to learn the techniques of storytelling through objects found in their homes.
Student Mentoring In COVID 19 Pandemic
The student mentoring becomes inevitable in a situation where they have a dream to complete their project to demonstrate their ability, and suddenly a pandemic like COVID-19 brings a pause. Under such a situation, the Institutes decided to get in touch with each and every student. The e-mail communication from faculty mentors, Whatsapp and Google Meet chat with individuals; and group chats for general discussions were initiated. The handholding and refining project scopes to extending help for writing the project reports, soliciting assignment completion, to understand the social challenges, reaching to remote locations through peer are the tasks that mentors met happily.
The mentors also addressed student concerns about summer internships and final exams, helping them with relevant information and guidance. The students have also been advised to avail the counselling facility provided by the University in case of psychological and emotional issues due to pandemic and lockdown situation.
Admission Interviews through Digital Platforms
As we all jointly fight COVID-19 by taking preventive and precautionary measures, maintaining social distancing and staying in the confines of our homes, as a responsible organisation of the country, Institute of Management, Nirma University decided to conduct the personal interviews for the admission to its MBA in Family business and Entrepreneurship programme online through digital platforms. The online admission interviews conducted during May 14 to 20, 2020 have been well received by the candidates and faculty members.