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Goa University explores possibility of taking its classes from real to virtual

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Dona Paula: Goa University has been contemplating various possibilities to take the classrooms from real to virtual, in the days when coronavirus like situation can occur often.

University is working on different models to take the classes to virtual space, to achieve University Grants Commission’s (UGC) target creating 25 per cent digital teaching content.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Varun Sahani has formed Digital Transition Committee, which has been working on various models to take the teachings from real to e-classrooms.

“The committee comprises of Deans of faculties and schools of Goa University. It started evaluating solution for online teaching and conducting of remote examination,” said Ramrao Wagh, member secretary on the committee and director of Digital Learning Initiative of Goa University.

The committee has been working on ‘Learning management System’ on how to officer courses, conduct Power Point Presentations and video lectures online, he said.

Wagh said that the committee has evaluated  whether, it can give the same feel that of a classroom virtually and conduct the examination.

He said that the push for taking classes from real to virtual was given considering the situation amidst COVID-19.

“Coronavirus kind of disruptions can be happen, sometimes affecting the learning totally, sometimes partially. So, moving online is the best solution,” he said.

Wagh also pointed out that UGC has mandated that every teacher has to create at least 25 per cent of the teaching content in digital format.

The committee is working to provide solution for 2,000-odd students who arrive at Goa University campus, located near here. The university offers 34 courses.

Goa University has already announced that its  academic year will start from August this year due to the COVID-19 impact.

Wagh said that in a bid to teach online, the committee has been looking at various proposals wherein the learning management system can include video conferencing of the lectures.

The university has its studio, set up for distance learning, which can be used to generate digital content.

“We will ask teachers to come and do recording of their classes. We have already conducted training for the teachers to have online classes,” he said.

“These lectures will be put on youtube and we will share the link on Goa university website,” Wagh added.

The university is trying to built classroom experience for the students while they learn online sitting at their homes.

He said that the video recording studio of Goa University is fully equipped with ability to create e-content with video lectures.

Wagh said that if coronavirus outbreak create circumstances, then the university may have to go for less crowded classes.

“ One set of student can come to the class, others stay home. We will be having the classes online. Half of the students might be at home, half of them at classroom. In extreme case, it can be totally remote teaching,” he said.

While implementing the e-teaching, the university has encountered problems like connectivity to the students and unavailability of devices.

“We have seen that many students don’t have laptop. We have noticed that it is very difficult even to connect some of the students. Sometimes teachers are not contactable during lockdown period,” he said.

Wagh said that the university is looking at working out solutions for some of the practical problems, which could be hindrance towards shifting the teaching online.

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