The Department of Communication and Journalism at Gauhati University has scored a fine century with 100 online classes in the last one month as the nationwide lockdown to contain COVID-19 continues.
Interestingly, for the benefit of the students, professors and resource persons from abroad also took part in the e-learning classes.
Head of the department, Ankuran Dutta, said that the faculty members including the guest faculty have been trying their best to provide quality learning opportunities through online classes during this pandemic crisis. “We are sharing recorded version of the lessons to around 15 per cent of the students who are unable to attend the classes regularly due to technical glitch,” he said.
The department has around 70 students.
“We are accountable towards our students and responsible for successful completion of their masters’ programme on time. Students are also very much responsive. Already a few academicians have joined in online classes from abroad. In May, we will arrange some classes with the media educators from US, Canada, South Asian as well,” Dutta added.
The students are enjoying the experience as they say that they are learning newer concepts which are keeping them busy during the lockdown. Although they added that because of mobile network issues the experience isn’t smooth always.
Trishna Talukdar, a student of the department who was ‘restless’ during the initial day of the lockdown, said the classes have continued online and this has helped her to keep busy and also progressing with the syllabus.
Manaswita Mahanta, another student, said online classes have paved a way for technology to be a friend in taxing times and aids to prevent the disruption of regular classes which otherwise would have had dire consequences.
“It bridges the gap between inaccessibility of transportation and education, thereby providing an outlet to learn, interact, and disseminate information,” she said.
“In these turbulent times, when the whole world is wishing for a miracle, we students have already found one. Lockdown and self-isolation has taken a toll on us all, but Skype online classes have been really fun and educative,” Partha Baruah, a fourth semester student said.
Syeda Reshma Haider, another student, said, “Though plugging on to online class is very ‘not wanting’, but it triggers to make the other half of the day productive. In this halt of daily life when everything has turned abnormal, online class has been a streamline. We have at least something to work on, make ourselves busy and not void as there is a saying – ‘An idle brain is the devil’s workshop’.”
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