COVID-19 and Introduction of Online Mode of Teaching in Degree Level Education: A Study of Rural Areas in Assam

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Dr. Anjan Kumar Rabha, Mrs. Junu Rahang, Mr. Sipankar Das


Education in a traditional form involves classroom teaching by the teachers to their students and with the global developments in digital and information technology, the role of online mode of teaching in education has become more significant. The recent Covid19 pandemic compelled the education community for online mode of teaching-learning using various digital platforms such as Google meet, Zoom, Webex, Microsoft teams, etc.The government of India has given emphasis on online mode of teaching, online enrollment and in addition had introduced several online courses with the help of various digital media. Online mode of learning being a part of distance education involves technology applications and learning processes through computer-based learning, web-based learning, virtual classrooms and digital collaborations. The online mode of teaching has become an important and popular way of teaching learning, globally. To maximize the teaching learning process during the pandemic situation, there was an ardent need to make classes lucid and accessible among the student community and so higher educational institutions around the world have undergone transition from face-to-face classes to online mode on various online digital platforms. The online teaching learning offers newer and improved avenues for students to adapt to the gradually changing situations. Recently, although many educational institutions have implemented the online mode of teaching which is comparatively expensive than its traditional counterpart, it has several merits as well as demerits. Advantages of online teaching includes easy access for students, flexibility in teaching-learning mode, better interaction, a collaborative approach, improved digital literacy rate, broader national and global exposure of the students, to generate technically sound students and development of professional online teaching institutions. The demerits includes issues related to medium of instruction, reduced eagerness of students to participate in the teaching-learning process, poor network connectivity, unfamiliarity with digital forum, affordability, the poor role of parents, non-conduct of practical classes and the affect of natural calamities. The lockdown period severely affected the students of the rural areas than the urban areas of the country. This paper studies the effectiveness and prospects of online teaching learning in rural areas of three districts of Assam, viz., Kamrup, Chirang and Bongaigaon and also discusses some steps to tackle the obstacles and demerits and ways to improve this online process.

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