Online Classes An Answer to Lockdown For Students at DBC Panjim

Disha Mashelkar
28 Apr 2020
Don Bosco Panjim

DBC students participating in online classes

Lockdown! When India faced one of the most unexpected pandemic of Corona Virus Disease also known as COVID-19, there was an immediate lockdown announced in the third week of March, 2020. The state of Goa was no exception to this lockdown and soon everything was at stand still!

Educational institutions are one of the most affected sectors as teachers were on the verge of wrapping up the syllabus while on the other hand, students were all gearing up to answer their final exams. With the announcement of lockdown there was a major question put forth in front of the teachers and college level professors as to; how to face this challenge of teaching amidst the crisis? Replica Handbags

Thinking of solutions, many teachers and professors sort to the idea of conducting online classes and that was one of the ultimate ways to overcome this critical period. As the famous proverb says, “Where there is a will there is a way!”
The faculty at Don Bosco College Panjim-Goa (DBC) is no exception to this proverb. When it comes to the perfect amalgamation of technology and innovation in the teaching methods, the professors of this college are in the frontline!
Principal Dr Cedric Silveira says, the lockdown of all schools and colleges across the country, certainly had an effect on the students. Our teachers however were quick to start online classes using WhatsApp and mobile conversations to impart education as well as solve queries. The physical presence may not have been there but at least the students were reassured that the teachers were there for them and they were not left by themselves.

Concept of Online Classrooms
Online classroom is a novel concept. It is widely used in India as well as in different parts of the world.
Asst Professor, Alisha Souza says, The widespread access to the internet has made teaching during this lockdown period much easier. Whether it is conducting presentations or explaining topics, the ability to share PPTs and discussing them with students at the same time, just like you would in a classroom, is now possible. Overall, online classrooms have enabled us to complete the syllabus, conduct assessments and more, from the safety of our homes.

Moodle Platform for Online Teaching
Coordinator BCA, Jovi D’Silva has helped the faculty to use the Moodle platform for teaching as well as for collecting feedback from the students. He says that his department always takes assignments over Moodle and online grading is done with this platform. He also adds that this video over Moodle is available for the next seven days to access even after the session is over. Teachers can also use virtual white board, take attendance and the whole session can be recorded.
That sounds interesting right? Valerie Carvalho e Abreu, faculty of BBA department also made use of online platform called ‘Moodle’ to deliver her lectures. Sharing her experience she says, the only barrier to this mode that I currently face is the non-availability of fast and continuous internet connectivity at home. However with the use of Moodle, I have made sure that the students receive their study material for their continuous learning.

Steffi Dias, Coordinator of BBA Travel and Tourism expresses on how she and her department made the best use of Moodle. She says, Moodle was very beneficial and it allowed me to share data right from pointers to links to actual PDF documents. Moodle allowed us to better keep track of submissions, the students got verifications once submitted so it was a black and white system of being fair.

Use of Google forms, Google Classroom, Emails and Zoom App
Faculty BCA, Shreesha Sudeep says, well I have asked for assignment submissions over Moodle and students are given assignment to conduct survey using Google forms which will be submitted as assignment.
Asst Professor and founder of Ecotiva club, Glenda Mascarenhas says, she has been taking the submissions through emails and Moodle and is sending presentations through the same. While Alisha Dias, faculty of Department of Social Work, made use of ‘Zoom app’ to cover the syllabus. She also mentions that this app also faced network issues.
Visiting Faculty Zaneta, sharing her experience using Google Classroom says, I use Google Classroom mainly to upload notes and reference material. And now because of the lockdown I am using it for online assignment submission as well.

Use of Skype and WhatsApp for Teaching
Asst Professor BBA Nigel Barretto says, It definitely has been quite difficult with the lockdown but despite that we used many online platforms like the Moodle site of the college where you could have a live interactive session with all your students.
He further says, this helped immensely, but later on due to the poor net connection throughout Goa I decided to upload recordings of the explanation of the topics to the students through WhatsApp. I found that using digital platform to teach was very useful and time saving.
Asst professor Social Work department Anaita D’costa says, Ever since the lockdown, completing the syllabus has been a tedious task for all faculty members especially when exams are round the corner. But I have been keeping in contact with my students by circulating notes through social media. I have constantly been in touch with them through regular phone calls, Whatsapp texts and calls. I have prepared Question Banks to help them prepare well for exams and focus on the subject matter that is important.

Once upon a time, Skype was used as a connecting platform for people to stay in touch through video calls with their relatives settled abroad. Today, Disha Mashelkar, faculty Dept of BA Mass Communication used the same platform to record her online classes, to teach the concepts and to conduct live online presentations with the students. Talking about her experience she says, “It was one of a kind experience. We never expected a situation like lockdown before and when it happened it posed a challenge to the teachers. But as the proverb says, necessity is the mother of invention, I immediately chose Skype as the teaching and learning platform. It allowed me to conduct a class up to 20 students in a session, and I could easily send notes, question bank without any limit.

Shaping Future with Internet
Coordinator BA Mass Communication Nikita Chodankar Dhuri says, I believe the future of education is a networked future. People use Internet to make a global learning society by creating and developing new ways of teaching and learning. Today Internet has dropped communication barriers. Mobile internet/communication is a revolution. It is one of the key factors driving today’s economy. Innovation is shaping and will continue to shape the future she quickly adds.
Social Media is turning into a Learning platform
There is no doubt that Youtube has become a major learning platform for thousands of students. With the rise in online learning apps and classrooms such as ‘Unacademy’ with their official pages available on Facebook, it can be said that the social media is not limited to only passing time.

Beneficial Big Blue for Online Learning
Many a times on Youtube for educational videos the laptop screen is shared with the students. Ever wondered how that is done? Asst Professor BCA Shantanu Arlekar talks about the benefits of the Big Blue button on the Moodle Platform.
He says that it helps him to share his laptop screen with the students. In addition to this, it has a good capacity to teach multiple students at a time and take their queries via chat-box which comes with this technology. But can online teaching method replace the classroom teaching? To which he replies, No, Teaching in class cannot be replaced by technology he adds.

Barriers of Online Teaching
According to Professor Ajith Gopi, coordinator department of physical education at Don Bosco College, they faced a difficulty with teaching as their course is more on practical grounds. He says, we have given them a few assignments and notes online. But our program is more practical oriented therefore the possibilities of online classes are fewer. Apart from this, network and possibility of non-continuous flow of Internet is another challenge which most of the teachers faced. Attendance is an issue confined not only to regular classes but also to online classes as very few students take it seriously. Moreover with the availability of notes and other matter post the online class makes it an advantage to the students who chose not to attend the explanations from the teachers.

There is no guarantee that the student is focusing on the teaching during the online class. There is a potential that the student might prefer to do other activities such as replying to texts from friends when an online class is going on.
Artificial intelligence, virtual online ways are the new trending methods for learning and teaching. Despite the surge in technology, nobody can replace the teaching in a classroom setting as human interaction plays a very important of not just passing on knowledge but also the value system which is an integral part of an all-round education system.

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