Hyderabad: In view of the nationwide lockdown, the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad (JNTUH), has asked the principals/directors of constituent and affiliated (autonomous and non-autonomous) colleges to explore suitable online methods to help students and facilitate the faculty members accordingly.
The university has asked the college managements to use various online methods as the university may conduct examinations after the lockdown. All the college principals and directors have been directed to facilitate the faculty members, both regular and contract faculty, to conduct online teaching. The university has also asked all principals and directors to submit a report on the measures taken in their colleges regarding online teaching activities by 10 April.
The university has suggested some methods for online teaching and learning, including e-mail groups where the faculty can share reading materials and PowerPoint presentations (PPTs) through e-mail group IDs and video lectures where the faculty can record their lectures and share it through Google drive, e-mail, and Whatsapp or upload it on the website. The teachers can also deliver their lectures through Skype or ZOOM, jitsi meet where lectures can be delivered through PPTs and handouts. MOOCs available on NPTEL and SWAYAM platforms will help the faculty members identify teaching materials from the above sources and recommend them to the students. The university has also said that the teachers can use any other means and ways that can help them take online classes and allow students to complete their assignments/projects.
Professor G.V.K Reddy, a member of the Telangana Engineering College Managements Association, said, “Due to the lockdown, colleges have become creative in engaging students/faculty in teaching and learning process. The colleges have adopted some methods like conducting online lectures using ZOOM. I personally used this application to conduct guest lectures for different colleges. It’s very effective and easy to use. Many faculty members are sending reading materials, PowerPoint presentations, PDF documents, and class notes via email groups and WhatsApp.”
He further said, “Some colleges have received free packages from COURSERA. This enables students to take several courses offered by top universities, which otherwise would have cost a lot of money. Some college managements have taken it a step further by encouraging faculty members to enroll in advanced courses offered by COURSERA.”
Autonomous colleges like Vardhaman are using learning management tools like Byndr, Edmodo, and moodle, while others are using NPTEL and SWAYAM platforms. In addition, students are being asked to do assignments and work on their projects, he said.
Dr V. Balakrishna Reddy, president of Telangana Technical Institutions Employees Association (TTIEA), said, “Faculty members are trying to conduct online classes even though they are not provided proper facilities like laptops and data cards by the college management. Reportedly, some students are not showing much interest in these classes. TTIEA has requested faculty members to make quality online classes available to students in this critical situation so that interested students can benefit from these classes because the university may conduct exams soon after the lockdown ends.”