Hyderabad

IIIT-Hyderabad to teach its entire Spring Semester online

The International Institute of Information Technology-Hyderbad (IIIT-H) will teach its entire Spring semester online, perhaps a first for any educational institute in the country. Apart from this, evaluation and assessment of the students will be based on their previous semester records with little changes, to lessen the fear of examinations.

Meanwhile, it prepared the faculty to teach online as well as adopting new tools to assess the students, according to IIIT-H Director, P.J. Narayanan. “We are confident that the ongoing Spring Semester will be concluded completely by the end of May. The graduating B.Tech and M.Tech students will have their requirements completed practically on schedule giving them time to attend to other things including remote internships and other opportunities,” he said. The institute started online classes on March 23.

Classes video recorded for access

Prof. Narayanan said the faculty were trained on the various technological solutions, Microsoft’s cloud-based solutions for e-mail and other services that were adopted earlier, including supported version of Teams, a tool suitable to run online classes. “A big plus was the ability to record the classes including audio, video, slides, digital blackboards. Students could access the video later even if they couldn’t attend the live class. The faculty were requested to keep notes and other study material on the LMS platform Moodle for students to access at will,” he said.

The biggest challenge of conducting exams and assessment were overcome with the faculty coming up with different solutions. They decided to do away with formal final examinations; distribute its weightage to less stressful and more hands-on components like assignments, projects, quizzes, and reports, thus reducing the stress on students.

Student-friendly new grading system

Further, a new grading system has been evolved and decided to award only A, B, C, and W grades for these courses, dropping A-, B-, C-, and D grades. The W (Withdraw) grade has replaced the F (Failed) grade as it would hurt students immediately. The W grade students can meet the requirements later, Prof. Narayanan said. “The faculty members are urged to be generous to push those who may have got an A- otherwise into the A range and not down to a B. Students worry about grades and their impact on future prospects in normal and distress situations.”

Moreover, “One step further, each student is given the option to keep the A/B/C letter grade as awarded or replace them with a P (or Pass) grade, after the grade is announced. Pass grades satisfy the requirements of the individual course towards the programme requirements. But they do not count in grade-point average calculations. A student who performed badly due to extraneous reasons can opt for this without his or her GPA being adversely affected,” the Director added.

Finally, for students who cannot take part meaningfully in the online phase of the courses due to poor connectivity, sickness to self or family or other reasons will be evaluated separately whenever it is safe. A combination of alternate evaluation and grading methods will be employed for them with a combination of assignments, projects, oral examinations, reports, etc. They will not be disadvantaged in any manner by this.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2020 7:28:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/iiit-h-to-teach-its-spring-semester-online/article31403720.ece

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