The global pandemic of Coronavirus or Covid – 19 is unprecedented in its scale and propagation. This has upended many industries in the way they work. Multinational corporations to mom and pop shops, have had to change the way they work, almost overnight. Even with a cursory glance of the various daily publications around the world, we see phrases like “Abnormal is the new normal”, “Agile workplace” among others. Education has certainly not been spared the effects of this pandemic.
Educational institutions around the world have adopted online live lecturesand Learning management systems. Primary schools are using tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts to teach 1 st Grade students and using tools like WhatsApp to send homework and assignments to students. Institutions of higher education who have implemented Learning Management systems like Moodle to share e-resources with students, have quickly developed capabilities to also facilitate student collaboration and administer assessments. Institutions and faculty who have not previously used Instructional Technology are now facing an uphill battle to learn and use these tools effectively.
We at Sri Vishnu Educational Society (SVES) had initiated a teaching learning center way back in 2016 as a forward thinking initiative to train faculty in the use of research guided pedagogies, technologies and best practices to efficiently navigate the ever changing world of accreditation. Vishnu Educational Development and Innovation Center (VEDIC) has been instrumental in training and facilitating faculty to use various Instructional Technology tools integrated into pedagogies or as hybridized courses for its 1600 odd faculty.
Many of the faculty at SVES are already adept at using Instructional technology at the course as well as the session level. VEDIC has facilitated training and follow up support to faculty in the use of Learning Management Systems (Google Classroom, Edmodo, Moodle), Conferencing Tools to conduct discussions and live lectures, (Google Hangouts / Team, Zoom), Productivity Tools and Classroom Apps to conduct formative and summative assessments (Forms, Mentimeter, Plickers, Kahoot, Scorative, Freemind, Quizlet, Vizia, Edpuzzle) among others. In addition, faculty use and encourage student use of open source tools such as Geogebra, Scilab, OpenSCAD, Elmer (Finite Element Analysis), ASCEND and Tigris among others to help students run lab simulations at home. With these efforts, the faculty and leadership of SVES have effectively mitigated the effects of nationwide lockdown on students’ learning and ensured that, when they come back to classes, they have not missed out on any learning opportunities.