COVID-19 has forced universities, colleges, and schools across India, and the world as well, to make a shift from physical classrooms to online classes. Whilst this transition is happening smoothly for most institutes, some are still adapting to the new normal. But in the case of the Hyderabad-based Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM), as soon as the news of COVID-19 crisis broke out in India, the institute was quick to announce the suspension of classes and shift to the online mode in order to remain unaffected by the nationwide lockdown.
The faculty members that spent hours and days making research-based presentations for classroom lectures now had a different task of conducting sessions online, sharing study materials, and importantly, audio files over the web with the students. In fact, the transition to digital took place in two ways – one, through live online classes conducted on platforms like Zoom or in the form of webinars and second, by the use of recorded classes, which remain accessible for a longer duration for future reference. Furthermore, to ensure that the students are well-equipped with resources needed to avail education, the learning resource center at VJIM has ensured giving free access to e-books, e-magazines, management software, and many other things, in times of need.
What seemed challenging for other institutes was seamlessly attained by VJIM – be it hosting webinars, online tests, or having placement interviews conducted virtually. Amongst other B-schools in Hyderabad, VJIM proved to be the first one to have sourced e-internship and placement opportunities for a majority of the batch, so as to make sure that the students had jobs in hand whilst graduating at the end of the semester. Moreover, the institute’s objective to have the curriculum running smooth and effective without delays got fulfilled in the form of online proctored exams wherein, the students were given the chance to appear for tests remotely with the help of AI-backed monitoring tools. And now, very many tests later, it seems like virtual assessment has become a part of the pedagogy for both the faculty members as well as students. The institute considers this feat as just one of the many innovative ways technology and advanced processes can be leveraged for the right use.
Lastly, considering the present market scenario, to add value to the time bestowed and help students benefit in some or the other way, VJIM, along with the professor of Saint Louis University, Dr. Sridhar Condoor, has undertaken the task of establishing a python course this year, that aims to cover subject areas of entrepreneurship and the tricks of the trade when it comes to launching new ventures. Through this course, VJIM is hopeful that the students are able to see a ray of hope amidst all the adversities and have a broader perspective on the world of startup. Though the academic year seems to have been upended due to the global crisis – the institute and its members are focusing on accomplishing what’s possible!