With COVID-19 pandemic forcing a global lockdown, the education sector is the worst hit along with other sectors. Since March 14, classes were suspended in all colleges in Telangana and students were sent home. This lockdown came at a crucial juncture where the students are preparing for the final exams and other competitive exams and had thrown their academic progress to uncertainty.
Keeping the above in mind, the Forest College and Research Institute (FCRI) Hyderabad has initiated to adopt e-learning tools like- online classes through Zoom, digital assignments and online assessment of students progress etc. – so as to keep the students engaged at home and ensure that their academic progress is on track even during the lockdown.
“Both the faculty and students of FCRI were given orientation on using various e-learning tools and digital platforms to continue academics from home. Last 3 weeks of lockdown has been effectively utilised for completion of courses within the academic year” says Dean FCRI G. Chandrashekar Reddy.
Some of the highlights of the Web-based learning @ FCRI for B.Sc. Forestry students are hereunder:
1. Mid-semester exams for second, fourth, sixth and eight-semester students were completed through digital mode.
2. Submission and Evaluation of Project Work of final semester students through digital mode.
3. Now, the B.Sc. Forestry final Year students have completed all their academics except the End-Sem exams and hence they are being offered online guidance for M.Sc. Entrance exams, as this is the first batch to pass out from FCRI
4. Online coaching classes are being conducted to the final year students to prepare them for the Civil services Preliminary exam scheduled to be conducted in May/June this year. A total of 21 FCRI students are appearing for IAS/IFS exam this year.
5. The next 3 weeks of lockdown shall be utilised for completion of syllabus for students of other semesters to some extent to make up for the time loss due to lockdown and see that their academic calendar is not delayed much.
6. About 12 faculty members are conducting online classes for students of each semester and the respective Batch coordinators are scheduling the online classes. Online attendance of the students is recorded.
7. A recorded version of the online class is sent for those could not log in due to connectivity issues or otherwise.
8. Also, review meetings on the progress of academic and research work are being done by Dean, FCRI through ZOOM Video Conferencing tool. All the effort is to complete the formalities of the semester within the academic calendar.
This is also helping students to get familiarised with technology for distant learning and students are also encouraged to enrol in free online courses/certifications offered by various e-learning –ICT initiatives of MHRD and UGC like- SWAYAM Online course, e-Pathshala, CEC-UGC YouTube Channel, Shodhganga, e-Shodh Sindhu etc.