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The concept has become popular amid the Covid pandemic as it can help avoid large assemblies on campuses

IIM Calcutta has decided to create hybrid classes, allowing some students to attend the lectures in person, while the others will have the sessions live-streamed to them.

Students will take turns in attending in-person classes.

The concept has become popular amid the Covid pandemic as it can help avoid large assemblies on campuses.

The proposal was approved by the digital transformation committee of the institute last month. It will take IIMC about a year to install the facilities.

Manish Thakur, dean (new initiatives and external relations), told The Telegraph: “The institute will now follow the due procedure.... It could take us a year or so to operationalise the facilities.”

In a letter on IT infrastructure woes addressed to the previous director (Anju Seth) on February 16, Yash Verma, the IT representative from the students’ council, had stated: “We don’t have the required infrastructure in our classrooms to conduct hybrid classes.”

An official of IIMC said the institute would invest a sum Rs 45 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for setting up the facility.

“Institutes are being forced to recall students encountering resource constraints and connectivity issues to campuses so they can attend online classes using the connectivity facilities available at hostels. In such a situation, hybrid classes are emerging as a viable concept,” he said.

Hybrid classes require the physical presence of both teachers and students to the extent necessary.

Lectures delivered in classrooms are streamed live so that online participants can view the blackboard and classroom activities on their devices and get a feel of classroom teaching.

In recent times, institutes like IIMC and IIT Kharagpur had to recall students because an unstable network at home and resource constraints, in some cases, were coming in the way of attending online classes.

“It is suitable for the concept of blended learning, a combination of online and offline teaching being advocated by the UGC...,” said an IIT Kharagpur teacher.

A former IIMC teacher said the pandemic was redefining teaching methods across the globe and it was not only restricted to institutes of higher learning.

A rising number of elementary and junior high schools in several countries are embracing the hybrid model.

“No one knows when Covid will cease to exist. Since we are staring at an uncertain future, it is prudent to adopt the models that can ensure continuation of studies effectively. But in a country like India, the Union government is required to invest so that elementary schools or upper primary schools can set up the costly facilities,” the former IIMC teacher said.

Government schools will, however, struggle to implement such a model though. One because of the expenses involved and two, because it would require access to expensive technology for those attending lectures from outside classrooms.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Subhankar Chowdhury

Quelle/Source: my Kolkata, 04.09.2021

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