Distance digital, not online at JU
Jadavpur University has decided that “online real-time classes will not generally be held” considering the digital divide among “a considerable number of students”, vice-chancellor Suranjan Das said. The preferred mode is “distance digital”.
An official said a central repository was being created on the university’s website, which would have a section where course materials and lectures would be uploaded.
Once the content is uploaded, the addresses of the files — in Word or PDF format, audio notes or video recordings — will be shared with the students. “Teachers will share the addresses of the files with the students through email or any messaging service,” the official said.
The university is also subscribing to online platforms for more space. “The lectures and study materials will be uploaded on YouTube. Students will be given links to view the content,” the official said.
A teacher of the physics department said the advantage of this mechanism was that a student could go through the content at any time of the day. “Then, in consultation with the teacher, a slot will be fixed for clearing doubts through conference calls,” he said.
Parthapratim Roy, a teacher of the physics department, said he had asked students to make conference calls for clearing doubts. “As making a conference call does not require Internet connectivity, those without a smartphone can be engaged, too,” said Roy.
VC Das said: “Real-time online classes will not be held generally. We want classes to be held in distance digital mode. If a teacher wants to hold online classes on a paper that has 10 students, with each enjoying sound connectivity, he is free to do that.”
The departments have been asked to adopt a digital mode in consultation with students, so that whatever platform is used for online dissemination of knowledge, no student is left out,
Classes for the next semester will start on September 14.
The university is raising funds to provide smartphones and high-speed Internet data packs to 800-odd students
with poor connectivity at home. “We are raising a corpus on our own and with the help of willing individuals and business houses,” Das said.