After the successful completion of its Spring Semester in digital mode, International Institute of Technology-Naya Raipur (IIIT-NR) has yet again conducted its entire Autumn Semester in online mode.
Colleges and universities across the globe had to make a transition to distance learning this spring in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has descended. And with constant spiking in the number of cases and no certainty of vaccine, the situation still very much persists.
Despite the circumstance, IIIT-NR has tried it’s best to strictly follow their academic calendar for the year 2020 and complete the semesters, both Spring and Autumn, as per their predetermined timetable. While conducting the Online semester the faculties were given liberty to pre-define their assessment components for their courses along with their designated marks weightage at the beginning of the semester. The assessment components included quizzes, assignments, course projects, presentations, open book examinations, viva, tutorials, etc.
Since the faculties had enumerated the various components of assessment at the commencement of the semester, the students were informed well in-advance. Apart from this, the institute has set up a digital repository on google drive, where students can revisit the lectures in case they have missed it due to any complications.
The faculties had been taking their classes from the institute campus itself and even though occasionally there were challenges of irregular network connectivity and technical glitches, they had been continuously evaluating the students with various modes of assessments. The faculties however opine that the virtual mode lacks in the interactive discussions between the students and teachers that happens in classrooms between the students and teachers.
It was constantly made sure that there is no deviation from the predefined timetable. The faculties have dedicatedly tried numerous approaches to reach out to the students through various softwares like Cisco Webex, Moodles, Google Meet and Google classroom among others. The challenge for conducting practical classes however remains and with all this increase in screen time there are chances that teaching-learning experience might become a little monotonous, observe the faculties.
Sharing their insights on the Virtual Autumn semester, Vatsala from Electronic and Communications Engineering, 3rd Year says that they were feeling a little lost with the online mode and since there were a lot of digital platforms it became overwhelming and confusing. However, she emphasises that for the most part the faculties and lab assistants were extremely proactive and quick with their responses. She was also appreciative of learning through Coursera, as it helped her get better international exposure and gain through it.
Third year Computer Science Engineer, Anmol while discussing his thoughts explained that initially it was difficult and different but with time it got better and better. According to him the assessments were a lot more convenient to appear and score through and overall he thinks that there was a good balance in the online semester.