1. Title of the practice:
EXTENSIVE USE OF ICT FOR QUALITY ENHANCEMENT OF THE INSTITUTION
2. The context that required the initiation of the practice:
ICT is a recognized means of satisfying the ever-growing quest for knowledge and lifelong learning. In the current educational scenario it has become imperative to look beyond the traditional education systems in order to address the world’s growing and changing needs. Our institution has continuously responded to this emergent need to cater to demands of appropriate technology fostering higher order thinking, communication, problem solving and global competence among students. A combination of traditional and modern learning methods in the classroom incorporates both face-to-face and online learning opportunities for our students. This, together with the use of open educational resources and other technologies can increase educational productivity of the teachers by accelerating the rate of learning, reducing costs associated with instructional materials or programme delivery and better time management. Worldwide library and administration is becoming ICT based; in sync with this development, the institution also has adequate ICT facilities in the library for effective and user- friendly library operations. Smooth and transparent admission procedure has been made possible with the use of ICT. Effective and efficient implementation of administrative processes is also ensured through the use of ICT.
3. Objectives of the practice:
The main objectives of this institutional practice include:
a) to achieve the vision and mission of the institution which is to impart holistic education and enhance the global competence of the students with the use of modern technology
b) to broaden horizons and go beyond classroom teaching for improving knowledge base of the students
c) to enable the students to think critically and work creatively
d) to transform the mode of teaching through strategic use of ICT specially during pandemic times when physical classes are not possible
e) to facilitate swift and smooth functioning of the institutional administration
f) to sustain the increased connectivity with stakeholders and peer groups
g) quick adoption of exclusive ICT based examination and evaluation system during the pandemic.
4. The Practice:
The institution is committed to its mission of using modern technology for ensuring overall effectiveness of its services to all stakeholders. The institution has adopted the strategy of creation and enhancement of its ICT infrastructure which is continuously upgraded with the latest computing facilities.
Important institutional information is disseminated through the college website and through a dedicated online platform. The staff and students have access to technology and information retrieval on current and relevant issues through the e-learning facilities.
The ICT enabled learning environment of the institution is conducive to developing creative and critical thinking as well as scientific temper among the students. Faculty is provided with the requisite facilities for preparation of computer aided teaching – learning material. Both faculty and students have access to the following modern teaching aids:
• The online teaching –learning facility was very much in place with the support of a renowned online platform provider since 2015. The platform has been put to extensive use during the pandemic times when distant teaching-learning became the only mode of communication between the teachers and the students. Regular classes are taken through this on-line platform according to a fixed routine set by the institution.
• Classes are accessible 24X7 as recorded material in the LMS reaching out to the students beyond the regular teaching hours
• Appropriate compulsory computer courses for students like DOEACC- basic computer training, Tally ERP 9, GIS, SPSS and also training by renowned institutions such as Omnifin and NIELIT
• Adequate number of high end interactive projectors and computers for use in seminars and lectures
• Digitization of lessons have been made possible by the recording facility provided by the online platform
• State-of-the-art Media Lab, Computer Labs, Language Lab and Audio-Visual room
• Fully Wi-Fi campus for internet access and sharing intra-institutional information in the classrooms, staffrooms and library
• Smart classrooms with laptops in each desk
• Interactive smart boards
• High end personal laptops and i-Pad minis for faculty
• Students are also able to create and present content using the computer, media and language laboratories. Regular students’ seminars and projects are held using the technological aids in college. Similar programs have also been conducted on-line using the on-line platform especially during the pandemic times.
Thus they can consciously build understanding about how to use technology appropriately and meaningfully.
ICT is effectively used in the examination management process, record keeping, documentation, biometric attendance for all staff and feedback from students.
A well-equipped open access computerized library with internet facility is available for faculty and students. E-resources are available through national networks like INFLIBNET(N-List), Shodhganga, DELNET with both in house and remote access. Provision of OPAC is available.
Transparency in admission process is ensured through:
• Online application based on fulfillment of the notified eligibility criteria
• Index marks is computer generated based on subject-weights set by respective departments
• Publication of Merit Lists in college website
Security services of the campus have been enhanced by installing CCTV cameras at strategic locations.
For good governance and effective administration, the institution has embraced an extensive use of ICT. It facilitates collection, storage, processing, transmission and presentation of information, networking and related services. The institution has centralized IRP software which enables generation of MIS report, digitized record keeping facility, accounts management, library functions, human resource management, and transparent admission procedure.
Thus, in this age of global connectivity, the institution is striving to keep pace with the latest trends which make it stand apart from others of its kind.
5. Obstacles faced:
The initial teething problems encountered in implementation of ICT facility in the institution included:
• Introduction of virtual classroom and online teaching due to the regulations of the affiliating university
• Development of e-content had certain operational hurdles
• Internal assessments could not be taken using online methods under the existing evaluation rules of the affiliating university
However, all the mentioned problems have been overcome successfully with the help of the co-ordination between the faculty, students and the sophisticated LMS enabling dynamic teaching-learning experience. The only hurdle that remains is the digital divide that often presents a barrier in smooth operation of e-classes.
6. Impact of the practice:
Extensive use of ICT in the institution has enhanced digital literacy among all the stakeholders. It has equipped the institution to keep up its academic and administrative standard even during the trying times of the pandemic.
• ICT has offered advantages in classroom management, record keeping, assessment, lesson planning, and lesson presentation. It enables a teacher to accomplish all these tasks and more, in less time than traditional methods
• Technology enabled learning has increased student engagement and motivation and accelerated the learning process. It has also transformed teaching by ushering in a new model of connected teaching
• Blended learning has accommodated students’ diverse learning styles and
enabled them to work beyond regular class hours
• Interactive assignments like student seminars, project presentations and map making have shifted the balance of power towards the learner and given them the opportunities to excel in and internalize information
• Visual and multimedia presentations have enhanced the students’ absorptive
capacity leading to greater learning and motivation for pursuing higher studies
• Use of ICT has rendered the library user-friendly and made possible greater access to e-resources. This has increased the footfall in the library
• ICT usage has enabled optimum use of time and resources and also avoided
duplicity of processes in administrative matters
• ICT enabled security services have resulted in a safe and secured campus
• Online feedback system has ensured more effective assimilation and compilation of data
Adapting to the new normal:
The institution has ensured quick adoption of the exclusive ICT based teaching- learning as per the directives of the affiliating university during the pandemic. All important institutional information are disseminated online through the college website and the robust LMS. In order to make the students globally competent the institution adopted methods to amalgamate the traditional teaching-learning with the technological aids by procuring high-end devices and having a tie-up with a renowned online teaching platform provider since 2015. The platform has been put to extensive use during the pandemic times when the flip classes became the only mode of communication between the teachers and the students. Regular classes are taken through this on-line platform according to a fixed routine set by the institution. The class lectures are recorded and kept for students to be revisited for any kind of clarification. Thus, the students can access their classrooms beyond the limit of time and space. Students’ seminars and similar programmes and celebration of all the commemorative days as per the annual calendar of the institution have also been conducted on-line using the on-line platform especially during the trying pandemic phase.
7. Resources required:
For the purpose of global networking, the institution adopts policies and strategies of adequate deployment of technology and maintenance of ICT infrastructure. The larger vision of the institution on creating a roadmap for enhanced ICT usage has included the introduction of virtual classrooms and online learning, fully online admission procedure, and fully developed e-content for all departments.