Aiming for excellence in the online education ecosystem

online learning

Dr Alka Dwiwedi is leading a prestigious David Wilson Award grant project on ‘Improving Teaching Effectiveness in E-Learning Environment’. She aims to introduce some innovative pedagogies for the benefit of students and faculty as well

In recent times of quarantine and work-from-home scenario, technology has become an integral part of the teaching-learning process. Teachers cannot continue teaching through traditional pedagogies. Teaching philosophy and learning principles remain the same, but the student profiles and employment eligibilities are changing with the passage of time.

UPES has always encouraged faculty to explore and experiment modern teaching and learning pedagogies. Online learning tools such as MOOC, Blackboard and now Coursera at UPES have also created the emergent need for reskilling the teachers in educational institutions. These tools have necessitated upgradation of knowledge, aptitude, skills and other characteristics required for effective online teaching.

Dr. Alka Diwedi

Currently, Dr Alka Dwiwedi of UPES is leading a prestigious David Wilson Award grant project on ‘Improving Teaching Effectiveness in E-Learning Environment’. Says Dr. Dwiwedi, “We received 24,096 USD for the research project. Our project stands strong on the never-say-die spirit of four strong woman teammates who have risen above all the challenges of workloads, family responsibilities, health issues and gender bias in our society.”

Dr. Anita Sengar, with her strong acumen in qualitative research methods helped in bringing that sharp edge finesse in planning, Dr. Meenakshi Sharma an expert in quantitative research tools added accuracy and clarity in our research. Prof. Manisha Solanki helped in designing the research. Dr. Giao Reynolds from Torrens gave a strong conceptual base via her extensive literature review and sharing the perspective of Australian students regarding online learning.

The team conducted an extensive research encompassing feedback and data of 1700 students and 25 faculty members through focused group discussions, in-depth personal interviews and well-thought-out questionnaires. This study will benefit teachers using e-learning medium to address their students and ways to improve teaching effectiveness in online classes. The outcomes of the study can be used for identifying needs for relevant training programs for the prospective and aspiring online teachers and thus contributing to excellence in online teaching in higher education. This, in turn, would help the enhancement of the relationship between students and teachers in online education and thus support the online teachers to identify the major factors that determine the satisfaction of online learners.

UPES has been one of the pioneers in the online education landscape in India. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the university has ensured that learning continues at usual. Technology and training are in place so that #learningneverstops. Regular online classes, learning and assessments, are happening via Blackboard Collaborate. Additionally, students have free access to 3800+ global courses via collaboration with Coursera and online sessions are being planned with industry experts and international faculty as well.

For the prospective students, complete selection process will be made online. An exclusive Mobile App was introduced recently which gives all applicants a platform to gain expertise within their domain through inspirational content from across the world, curated especially for them. They can join webinars, connect with faculty, alumni, engage in forums, chat with advisors and be completely updated about their admission process through the same. This will help them take an informed decision while choosing a college. The intenders will also get additional opportunities to attend WEBTALKS- series of webinars with experts at UPES, industry leaders and the alumni.

There are over 500 trained teachers, 4300+ hours of teaching/learning executed so far, 10,000+ students learning online across six schools.

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