Published: 15th April 2020
What COVID did to my lectures: How this lecturer is trying to compensate classes 'virtually' during the lockdown
In this series during the lockdown, we look at how the life and times of Gulshan Banu, a lecturer, who has been impacted by the extended closure/surge in her lectures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
On a weekday morning, Gulshan Banu prepares her notes, places them on her table and sets her laptop on her desk. As the clock strikes 11, she sends a link to her students who quickly connect virtually with her to attend an hour-long lecture on Data Structures. Taking a break from conventional classrooms, the life of a lecturer never comes to a complete halt, she says. According to Banu, only the modality of teaching has changed during the lockdown and nothing else. "We conduct video lessons using Hangouts Meet. The students are given a link during a specific time and are asked to join the lecture. Though the attendance is comparatively lesser than conventional classes due to unavoidable reasons, we are able to prep them for their upcoming exams," says this lecturer at Sri Ramakrishna Polytechnic College, Coimbatore.
But what are those unavoidable reasons for a student sitting at home all day, we ask. "Many students complain that they do not have an active internet connection, while some might not know how to use the software. These are some of the major reasons why a percentage of students tend to miss the online classes," shares the 22-year-old. So, what do they do to catch up with the rest of the class? "We prepare notes, PPTs and so on and these are sent to the students. The purpose of conducting online classes is to help the students revise the portions," she informs.
Discussing her work-life balance during the nationwide lockdown, Banu tells us that she works around the clock but she is content doing it for the sake of her students and considers it her responsibility. "Most of our handwritten notes are in our cabins back at college. So, to conduct these classes, we have to prepare the notes all over again. It is a tedious job to rework on this stuff but we do it for our students. Also, when we have conventional classrooms, we work only during that prescribed time. But now, students may approach us anytime to clear their doubts. So, we have to make ourselves available for the students at all times," she shares, "But the relationship between the staff and students has increased because they feel comfortable to clarify their doubts virtually than approaching us in person."