Dear Students, Parents and Faculty members,
We hope you are staying safe and healthy. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak has globally affected everyone’s life. In view of the government directives suggesting a complete lockdown including closing of educational institutions as a preventive measure to stop the spread of the deadly Covid-19 virus, it is the need of the hour that we all as individuals and collectively as a Nation should support the government in this war with the virus to quickly come out victorious.
It’s crucial during this time of uncertainty with the virus spreading menacingly, we are faced with the vital task of protecting our students and employees. In times of significant disruption, our key goal is to help students get the support they need to meet the most essential course objectives. “No teaching on campus” challenge for the faculty in times of disruption may involve thinking creatively about how to build up students’ knowledge and skills in different formats to satisfactorily complete the course work and assessment.
Some of the Covid-19 initiative taken by the University are:
- On Government directions, the on-campus classes were suspended, and the faculty were permitted to work from home. The University circulated an advisory, covering modalities for “no teaching on campus”, including, suggestions to use Google tools/ online Apps to cover the remaining theory courses syllabus and completing the internal assessments and also Studios, project training, and Internship etc.
- Right from the first day of closing down classes, the CMR University has proactively planned and organized itself to reach out to students through firstname.lastname@example.org and subsequently through online classrooms for teaching and internal assessments. Online teaching- learning entails the faculty and the students interact synchronously. The faculty and the students are logged on to a virtual room where one can see and hear each other. It is a classroom in a virtual environment, for which we are receiving excellent feedback from the students and the parents. To take care of the students located at disadvantaged places, where bandwidth is not stable as expected, the faculty alternately use flipped learning environment. Here the faculty and the students interact asynchronously. The faculty upload the course content for the students to view/ read, ask questions, which can be answered by the faculty. Giving assignments, their submission and evaluation, student seminars etc. are also done in this mode. A judicious use of the combination of online and flipped tools provide a rich teaching learning experience, so also reaching out to all of our students.
- Course Planning is carried out from the University until the May end, expecting the worst case under the current context and hope to complete the academic requirements on time to the best satisfaction of all the stakeholders.
- Teaching from home clearly requires a different approach to blackboard teaching at classroom. All the faculty have been reoriented to use Zoom and Google Classroom tools for teaching and evaluating the students.
- To boost the morale of the students at this time of crisis, the faculty are informing them about arrangements made for completing the syllabus/ internal assessments and promptly responding to the phone calls/ messages/ email from the students and parents. I personally advise the students to remain calm during this period of crisis and take care of the self and the family, not worrying about the Semester End Examinations. The SEE will be held only after the normalcy returns, providing them sufficient time to settle down and ensuring that the students are imparted sufficient training to face the examinations.
- As the country is also going through an economic trough, the University faculty have joined hands with the University Management to contribute a days’ salary to the Karnataka Government Chief Ministers’ relief fund to strengthen its hands to fight the Covid-19 virus.
- Spending quality time at home is also a blessing in disguise for the students, faculty and researchers to positively engage in exploring additional avenues of knowledge and benefit academically. There are several ICT initiatives of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), University Grants Commission (UGC) and its Inter University Centers (IUCs) – Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) and Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC), in the form of digital platforms which can be accessed by teachers, students and researchers for broadening their horizon of learning. SWAYAM online courses, UG/PG MOOCS, e-PG Pathshala, SWAYAMPRABHA DTH channels, CEC-UGC YouTube channels, National Digital Library, Shodhganga, e-shodh sindhu, and Vidwan etc. are a few platforms which are freely accessible.
- As and when the Government notifies the lockdown withdrawal plan, the University will inform the students about the reopening date, standard operating procedure (SOP) for in the initial days, plan for tutoring to complete the syllabus, examination schedule and also help them to settle safely and comfortably.
We shall firmly resolve jointly to combat this pandemic by sternly following the directives from the Government, advisories from experts, taking all possible preventive and precautionary measures to overcome this tough time and emerge victorious very soon.
Wish you all the best.
(Prof. M. S. Shivakumar,