All India survey on Preparedness of Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2020)
The present survey is designed to assess the preparedness of Indian Higher Education institutions for online education as well as developing an understanding about the needs of the institutions in terms of infrastructure, pedagogical reforms, professional preparations of training of faculty members and desired policy measures as well. It has become essential in view of the fact that higher education is considered to be the economic engine of today’s knowledge driven society. It is expected to play a key role in the economic transformation. Although, the need of technological applications and online education for enhancing the effectiveness and efficient delivery of higher education was felt long ago, the unfortunate situation created by COVID-19 has placed an additional obligation on higher education community to shift to online mode. As such the higher education institutions in most of the countries are grappling with several issues in catching up with the trends of rapid developments in the sphere of technology. The Indian higher education is under enormous transformation in all fronts. Under the situation, assessing the needs of the institutions for shifting to online education becomes all the more important to sailing through the crisis of global pandemic which has forced the shut down of educational institutions and disrupting their normal and conventional functioning.
The AIU-QASPIR online survey on assessing the prepared of Indian Higher Education Institutions for Online Education has achieved unprecedented success as a sizeable number of universities have responded to our call for participation. We have planned to publish the report on the Preparedness of the Universities in the first phase, which will be very soon. The second phase of the report is on colleges and will be available shortly after we finalize and publish the report of the universities.
It is encouraging to note that along with universities a good number of Colleges in India have shown their interest and have filled the survey. The seriousness and interest of the colleges are well reflected in view of that since the launch of the survey we have received a large number of queries seeking clarifications on several aspects including the items, content and the technical/procedural aspects of filling the survey. This has given us a great deal of enthusiasm for moving ahead with phase two of the process. At the prima facie, it gives us an impression that the colleges are very keen to go for online in transacting their routine activities of teaching, learning, etc.
Although we have received good responses from colleges, an initial scrutiny of the survey indicated that the responses received so far is disproportionate to the number of 46,000 colleges existing in the country. In order to enhance the reliability of the report we need more and more colleges to respond to the survey. We do understand that due to COVID-19 impacts such as lockdown, discontinuity of physical functioning of the institutions and other reasons, many colleges have not been able to take part in the survey. Their representation in the process holds enormous significance. For giving them anopportunity, we have extended the deadline for filling of the survey for colleges to September 15, 2020.
We expect and urge the colleges to participate in the survey in huge number so that the representativeness and data reliability can be enhanced and it will enable us to produce the report establishing and ascertaining the reliability and reasonableness.
Association of Indian Universities, a 95 year old association of more than 800 universities is an apex representative body of higher education and a ‘think tank’ organisation of the country which has been assisting the Government of Indian in policy formulation in Higher Education by providing research-based policy inputs.
Quality Assurance Strategic Planning and Institutional Research (QASPIR), an educational Consultancy organisation in UK, which has established its credibility in helping a large number of higher education institutions in many countries in professional development of their faculty, developing quality assurance mechanisms and contributing to promote institutional research.
Why is the Survey Important
COVID -19, the global pandemic has paralysed almost all sectors including, economy, industry, health, transportation, etc. by striking hard.
The worst causality has been the higher education sector arising out of unusual disruptions of their normal functioning. India, an emerging knowledge superpower has to find some viable alternative strategy to counter the situation.
To keep its educational institutions going, the only alternative in sight is to shift to the online mode. The diversities with respect to technological infrastructure, geographical location of institutions, preparedness of faculty to teach online etc. pose a formidable challenge in this direction. Therefore, an assessment of the current situation and readiness of Indian institutions becomes essential.
AIU and QASPIR have come together to launch this survey with an objective to present a realistic and complete picture of the digital infrastructure availability and preparedness of Indian Higher Education sector for going online.
The survey is expected to provide ample insight for the higher education policy planners and Government to take requisite policy measures. We are sure that the survey will help the stakeholders, especially the educational institutions in having a stock taking of their strengths, weaknesses and hindsight for identifying areas that need improvement. the universities are also requested to encourage their affiliated colleges to participate in the survey.