IIMC Dhenkanal releases Standard Operating Procedure for conducting and attending online classes

Dhenkanal: Most of the institutions across the country have switched to online classes or webinars during the Covid-19 lockdown. When on the one hand it has gained momentum, on the other, the students and teachers are facing a lot of technical and non-technical difficulties. To ease the process of conducting and attending online classes and sessions, Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Dhenkanal has come up with a Standard Operating procedure (SOP) for the teachers and the students.

The SOP was e-released through a Facebook Live session by Dr Mrinal Chatterjee, Professor and Head of IIMC, Dhenkanal on Monday. It has been released simultaneously in five languages including English, Hindi, Odia, Bangla and Telugu.

On releasing the SOP, Dr Mrinal Chatterjee said, “As a national institute of the country, it’s our mandate to facilitate not only media teaching but also the teaching in general. As the face-to-face teaching-learning process has been impossible during the Covid-19 lockdown, online mode of education is the only option available. Since it is the ‘new normal’ and we think it is going to stay even after the lockdown is over, we thought we should come up with a guide for the teachers and students on what to do and what not to do while attending an online class.”

The SOP contains guidelines for the teachers and the students separately on what technical and non-technical things to check before the class, how to present oneself and what are the etiquettes one needs to maintain when the session is on, how to do power point presentations and hold question-answer sessions among other points.

Dr. Jyoti Prakash Mohapatra, Assistant Professor, IIMC Dhenkanal, who translated the SOP into Odia said “During the initial days of lockdown, teachers, students, and their parents were concerned about how to continue with the teaching-learning process. Then the universities and the primary and higher educational institutes have announced that they are switching to online classes. However, many of the teachers are not trained to conduct such classes. Most of the students are also not familiar with the online digital platforms. This SOP in regional languages will help them to tide through these difficulties.”

The SOP also suggests certain alternative ways on how to reach out to the students through various measures when there are problems of connectivity or other digital logistics.

“We know the internet penetration is still not high in our country and there are problems of connections and data usage. There is an apprehension that online classes may increase the digital divide. That is why we have suggested some alternatives to live online classes which can be adopted by the teachers and the students when such problems come on the way. We should use technology according to its availability among the target audience,” said Sambit Pal, Assistant Professor, IIMC, Dhenkanal.

This SOP has been designed in such a way that this will also help those participating in any kind of online seminars or webinars.