COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational institutions all across the globe and to sustain academic continuity, online learning turned out to be a critical lifeline for institutions.
The forward-driven team of Royal Global University (RGU) explored the best ways to transition towards a comprehensive reshaping in the university’s outlook and approach of imparting education. Employing several online platforms like Zoom, Webex, Google Meet, Microsoft teams, etc, the Assam based University arranged virtual classrooms for its students to be accessed from any corner of the nation.
RGU held a total of 22,975 online classes across all the batches of students in 39 courses during May-August 2020. Apart from classroom teaching, various departments of the University organized over 300 webinars accompanied by 29 online discussion forums.
The swift adoption of technology brought an overnight shift from normal classrooms into e-classrooms. Hence, educators have shifted their entire pedagogical methodology to tackle new market conditions and adapt to the changing situations.
The teaching staff at RGU is oriented to make virtual learning engaging and efficient. For this, they use presentations and videos along with digital boards. To prevent students from any impression of isolation, professors at RGU keep sessions tremendously interactive.
The prevailing pandemic has been unable to hamper the teachers-students dialogue at RGU. Teachers put their best efforts to reach out to every student of the university and solve their issues properly. For students who face technical and connectivity issues; and thereby miss attending regular classes, teachers upload all their lectures on Royal Net and Google Classrooms. Further, classroom notes and lectures are shared over WhatsApp as well for students’ ease of access.
The digital transformation at RGU was not only limited to education but all the process of admission, departmental meetings, Board of Management meeting and Annual Governing Body meeting have been continuing online. Further, the semester-end examinations have been held online and open-text based examinations have been carried as per RBU’s guidelines. On the lighter side; abiding by the new normal, the much-awaited Freshers’ parties, too, have undergone a virtual makeover.
Banani Das Hazarika, Asst. Prof. Dept of English, Royal School of Languages, Royal Global University said, “The sudden shift towards virtual learning was met with apprehension by students. Hence, the University conducted a 21-day virtual orientation program to provide students with a smooth acquaintance to their new chores of higher education and particulars about their alma mater. Further, the Technical wing at RGU inspected each e-platforms as per the university’s requirements to select the most favoured one.”
RGU firmly believes that online learning cannot be the ultimate substitute for face-to-face interaction between teachers and students. However, given the current situation and overcoming the reluctance to change, the University has paced to adapt to new changes in such a short period without compromising its quality of education. RGU now stands stronger than ever before with the claim of a successful transition to a virtual campus. A campus that reverberates with the stories it has to retell through the voices of its classrooms – which are now the virtual classrooms.
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