Higher education must face the challenges and opportunities of COVID-19

One thing we have all begun to appreciate since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic was the importance of scientists and those who support them. It is clear to the world that there is no real chance of containing the situation until a vaccine is given. Governments have struggled to cope with the need to minimize risk and death, and social distance has become a key aspect of this effort. Progress is underway, but it is often confusing and uneven, and there is always the risk of new peaks of infection if we decline too quickly or simply resume life as it was before COVID arrived. -19. The reality is that behaviors, interactions, and businesses need to change, and there are already signs of a new normal because of the need to be careful, alert, and aware that anyone can contract the disease and that everyone can broadcast it. Despite all this, there is an urgent need to return to a certain form of normalcy, taking into account that the disease remains a very real danger.

One of the areas seriously affected by the Corona virus is higher education. Universities and colleges have been closed, academic and support staff have been left behind for fear of their future, student studies have been interrupted and exams canceled or postponed indefinitely. It is as if the pause button has been pressed throughout the sector, and yet it is exactly the sector which offers scientists and others who will tackle future crises. If you look at the higher education sector, it quickly becomes clear that the current paralysis does not have to exist with a little imagination and that some technical know-how can be learned further. Of course, the traditional face-to-face teaching that we are all used to cannot currently be undertaken, but various technological platforms allow academics and students to interact in a controlled and professional manner. Hundreds of institutions around the world have already recognized that they can justify their existence through online education, with employees feeling the process as a sort of revelation. Sure, there have been technical and start-up issues, but once they are resolved, everyone involved seems to feel that the process is beneficial and that the learning is supported and promoted.

What are the challenges of such a process in India? Well, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome is the psychological problem in terms of resistance to change. Some academics and many members of the leadership and management teams are not particularly tech-savvy and do not fully understand how online learning platforms could work. There are understandable concerns about training needs and the development and availability of appropriate learning resources. Such processes require full commitment, which means that employees take into account the material provided and how the lessons or units are developed as well as learning objectives and assessment tasks. Many employees have little or no experience with such learning processes and are therefore afraid of being exposed to such a process. Everyone has to get involved in heuristic learning – learning by doing, and the ambivalence or hostility towards that learning disappears, and this can often turn out to be an iterative experience. In addition, the institutions note that they can develop units and courses that can be easily offered to students who, for whatever reason, prefer distance education. With proper planning and monitoring and control, as well as, of course, privacy, etc., it is possible to develop a learning method that is growing exponentially in much of the world.

For such learning to be effective in India, it is essential that all students have access to the learning platform. This means that tablets and other devices become standard learning tools that are made available to all students and, if necessary, a fee structure. You should not consider such technology as a cost, but as an advantage to speed up and optimize learning. It is important to improve and integrate your internet connection. This is essential for the economy. With that in mind, here are some questions you should ask for any university agency.

1) What type of learning is available online?

2) What are your plans for developing online learning?

3) How often employees trained to support the introduction of online training?

4) What is the budget for developing online learning? If not, why not?

5) What do you do to ensure that all students have access to the online learning platform?

6) What lessons do you learn from what done internationally?

7) Who is the representative of the institution for online learning changes and does it receive the right support?

8) What are your main interests in online learning and how can it be tackled?

9) Do you consult with various stakeholders so that your system works efficiently and effectively?

10) What is the mechanism for protecting IT systems from viruses and hackers?

11) Can you save more time and resources by holding more meetings through the online meeting platform?

12) How online learning recognized and famous?

There are so many ways to innovate, not just in the current pandemic but in the future. Thinking agencies in particular already know that this sector is a unique opportunity to accept positive changes to ensure both relevance and dynamism. Nobody says it’s not easy, but it can certainly be interesting. Amazing things happen when people accept changes and adapt to them. Now is the time to leverage the country’s significant IT talent to make a difference in higher education and beyond. A calm and constant revolution is taking place. The revolution will actually broaden our horizons for a world of learning. If you look further, you can see that resistance is in vain and changes are already taking place. The situation was accelerated by the coronavirus. Nobody should doubt that there will be a challenge, but the simple fact is that these opportunities are much more important than opportunities.

Author Bio: My name is Amit Kumar Parashar. I am an expert in digital marketing and outreach expert for all category blogs.

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