Learning Rebooted at ADYPU during COVID – 19

The COVID 19 Pandemic has significantly impacted the higher education system and students worldwide. If we talk about India, the HRD ministry has postponed the exams for the students. But does this solve the problem; should the learning stop; students and faculties should remain idle during the lockdown period?

In response to these tangled and unprecedented times of COVID-19 outbreak, Ajeenkya DY Patil University has embraced new technologies so the learning can continue uninterrupted. The current lockdown in India has shaken the education system and has realized the need for robust tech-enabled infrastructure and connectivity to carry out online classroom learning.

Coronavirus has significantly affected all of our lives, but it is also challenging our ability to adapt and be resilient. It is reviving the need to explore online teaching and learning opportunities. ADYPU stands with its students to brace the impact of the situation with preparedness and commitment.

How is ADYPU keeping up with the current lockdown?

At ADYPU, academic engagement was our precedence. Our strategy was aimed at the continuity of the teaching-learning process. We devised a three-fold strategy to ensure the smooth flow of teaching-learning engagement between the students and faculty. These include online instruction, blended learning through online resources and online faculty development programs.

How ADYPU is dealing with the Learning Conundrum?

At ADYPU, we believed in experimenting with innovative solutions in our teaching-learning systems through the power of technology. Hence, the process was pretty smooth-sailing for us in terms of academic engagement. During our regular academics, we always encouraged our students to leverage new digital learning technologies to explore and learn what they love.

As a University, we encourage our students to seek advantage of online national and international learning platforms like MOOCS and online certification programs. On a timely basis, we have created and shared online resources with students via our in-house intranet systems. In this competitive job market environment, we encourage our students to upgrade their skills by procuring different online certificate courses to gear up for their placement and internships.

How Technology supports the Teaching-Learning System?

We have successfully experimented with different digital tools for online instruction. We have given ample academic freedom to our faculty to adopt any platform as per their user-interface. Currently, for online instruction and communication, ZOOM is the popular most online instruction platform for both the students and faculty. We have partnered with edx for MOOCs. The faculties are also experimenting with digital learning management systems like Google Classroom, Moodle, etc.

In addition, we have customized our University Intranet Platform where we upload and share all digital resources as well as share assignments and projects.

How is student response to online learning?

To date, we have received a good response. For our online instruction sessions, there is an average of 75 percent of the students attending the online sessions. As usual, in the early days of lockdown, there were numerous challenges in terms of execution. In fact, the lockdown paved the great learning opportunity for both faculty and students to upgrade and reskill themselves to become tech-savvy.

How are education providers and management responding to the current scenario?

Across all departments, we have customized our learning process by way of research-based projects & assignments on the current theme of COVID-2019 Pandemic. For which, our faculty shares digital resources to keep them engaged during the lockdown.

For instance, At the School of Engineering, the students and faculty have designed Vent Spitter, Low-Cost Alternate Ventilator and Face-Shield for healthcare professionals, which is currently in the testing stage.

At the School of Film & Media, students have come up with a short film on the theme of ’21 Days in Quarantine’. In addition, the students are coming up with social awareness video on COVID – 19 and contributing to the general awareness of the people through social media. The hotel management students are not far behind and are experimenting as well as enhancing their culinary skills from their kitchen through digital modes.

Apart from learning, our faculty and staff who reside in and around the University have been Samaritans to all our hostel students. In the initial days, they were in constant communication with them in terms of food arrangement and medical support. In short, they have been around making their lives comfortable with basic essentials and helping them to be emotionally strong.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has paved the way for the management, students and faculty to experience a sense of oneness and attachment with each other. It has taught the spirit of team-work and has given a platform to contribute his/her best ideas in the new teaching-learning environment. Moreover, we all are 24 hours connected with each other, which makes us more jolly and happy.

Is ADYPU is prepared for unprecedented situations in the future?

For all the stakeholders in our University, it was a great learning exposure. It has boosted our confidence and morale in overcoming all our difficulties. Post COVID-19, we shall create many best practices. In short, we learned that we take each situation in our stride by way of exploring new solutions to all kinds of problems.

“If Challenge exist so must the solution” – Rona Mlnarik

In addition with 5G technology becoming more prevalent in countries such as China, US and Japan, we are also preparing ourselves for embracing the ‘learning anywhere, anytime’ concept of digital education in a range of formats. In future, traditional in-person classroom learning will be complemented with new learning modalities – from live broadcasts to ‘educational influencers’ to virtual reality experiences. Being an Innovation University we are geared up to accept the latest technology which could make learning, a habit that is integrated into daily routines – a true lifestyle.