HYDERABAD, India, Sept. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In order to address the situation prevailing due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the educational sector, the central and state Ministries of HRD, UGC and various state level education departments have started promoting only the eContent repositories and virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams etc. for conducting live sessions. Providing access to eContent and conducting live sessions do not guarantee meaningful learning to students nor track their engagement.
With an intent to prevent academic year loss for students and to continue teaching during the period of global disruption, ICFAI Business School (IBS) has transformed its teaching-learning-assessment processes into more engaging and impactful through an integrated blended online learning approach, i.e. blending synchronous-asynchronous. IBS eLearning Department has taken the following initiatives to make rapid and smooth transition to blended online learning.
10-Day capacity-building programme for 250 ICFAI Business School (IBS) Faculty Members in three cohorts was conducted from April 10 – May 8 in order to equip them with the skills required to continue teaching by blending asynchronous and synchronous technologies. The training helped the Faculty in:
- understanding IBS LMS and its functionality
- creating eContent
- self-recording course introductory video
- self-recording lectures
- converting self-recorded videos into interactive videos with in-video questions for self-assessment
- finding and reusing Open Educational Resources (OER)
- creating a question bank
- administering quizzes
- creating assignments with rubrics
- engaging student in case analysis using forums
- communicating with and alerting students
- creating polls to be used during synchronous (live) sessions
- using Moodle mobile app
- creating group assignments and activities for engaging students in collaborative learning
- conducting live sessions using various virtual meeting / classroom tools
- uploading the recordings to YouTube
- Designing blended online learning etc.
Virtual meeting application licenses were procured in order to conduct the live sessions. The existing servers of IBS LMS were upgraded and additional servers were procured to install and integrate the virtual classroom application with IBS LMS. Lecture capturing software licenses were procured. 7 TB space on Vimeo, video publishing platform was procured to upload the live session recordings. Subscribed to Moodle official mobile app to help students to learn offline and receive notifications and alerts.
Academic delivery in blended online learning mode
Redesigning blended online learning helped the Faculty in developing and delivering induction and semester 1 and 3 courses. While designing the blended online courses, due attention was paid to engage students in:
- pre-live session readings / watching and activities in LMS-enabled asynchronous mode
- in-live (synchronous) session interactions during 45 minutes to 1 hour live sessions
- post-live session reflections, activities and formative assessment in LMS-enabled asynchronous mode
Live session recordings uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo are made available on LMS course page.
Moodle mobile app
Subscribing to Moodle official mobile app helped students to learn offline and receive notifications and alerts. IBS students are using the Moodle mobile app to:
- View and download all course sections’ content and activities for offline learning
- Access activities on the timeline
- Receive instant notifications of calendar events and push (messages, forum posts, submitted assignments etc.) notifications
- Submit assignments
- Attempt quizzes
- Participate in forum discussions
- Connect with Faculty and other course participants
The MIS Reports, an in-house designed and developed application generates dynamic reports from IBS LMS and facilitates tracking faculty and students’ activity. Its drill down functionality facilitates generating reports – batch-wise, semester-wise and student-wise. It generates student-wise activity, namely, resources viewed, assignments and quizzes submitted and forums participated etc. The Campus Heads and Academic Coordinators are provided access to their campus-specific reports, whereas the IBS Head Office functionaries have access to all campuses’ reports.