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The future is virtual: Virtual internships & digital cassrooms

Kalpana S Kumaran, Associate Professor, HOD – Digital Marketing & Transformation, ITM Business School

The pandemic has compelled organisations to take up ways to conduct a fulfilling virtual internship at the same time providing a holistic work experience even in a remote working set-up. The office environment is dynamically changing, and organizations are re-thinking ways to function in a post-COVID world. Organisations have moved from office space to a virtual space, such as projects and internships have now seamlessly integrated into new ways of working. Best practices to keep in mind, while conducting a virtual internship are – identifying tools for online collaboration, mentoring virtual teams through clear communication, assessment and course-correction, and the flexibility in internship duration.

As organizations moved to new style of functioning and having remote internship, students learn to balance between personal and official life as they are connected to the outside world 24/7.Lots of time and fuel get saved as there is no travel to office. Students can perform well in their internship as they get trained from the experts through on-line mode like google meet and zoom setup. In the upcoming years, universities and colleges will continue to adapt to be able to offer in-person instruction and further enhance virtual learning in ways that will keep students’ fraternity safe. Digital courses and online collaborations platforms are the only possible options for students to continue their studies. Regardless of the short-term and long-term disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Higher Education will adapt and innovate to come out of this crisis stronger and with new models. 

There are numerous benefits students get being in digital classrooms. Access to coursework from anywhere at any time, structured way of learning – the study material and relevant case lets are very well organised as per the syllabus, instantaneous feedback on tests – every online exam platforms has the candidates response form ready attached to get their view on the exam what they attend , sharpened digital and technology skills- as you continue to learn in an online world students become confident and highly prolific using interactive online tools such as collaboration tools, online tests, and classmates drop boxes for homework, , and video presentations by the tutor. Effective time and money management -online education provides balanced work and family and save time by not having to commute back and forth to school and home. Expanded world view -Online education attract students from across the world and opportunities to work on collaborative environment with international classmates. Students get insights into global culture, attitudes, problem-solving approaches, and asynchronous discussions with classmates.

Schools, colleges, and universities have benefited by transferring to the online examination mode. Online test can be evaluated effortlessly, and it comes with auto evaluation feature. Digital evaluation improves the accuracy of evaluation and makes it easy for educators to submit test faster. Students can appear for the test through web-enabled device from any location. The online examination features are – 1. Improved security – Students appearing for the exam can be verified using biometrics-based authentication features and auto detectors in case if there are any malpractices. 2. Cut costs on paper – papers in educational institutions can be reduced drastically by conducting exams online. 3. Rationalized exam delivery process – Online examination platforms come with features to help educators streamline the examination process and overcome the hurdles in the administrative process of examination and provide security and bias-free evaluation.

Universities provide digital library facilities on subscription basis, utilize tech platforms to track student’s co-curricular activities. Technology becomes an integral part of the learning process through various ways like blended classrooms and online learning, collaborative online tools like Wikis, Google Docs, Social Media sites, game-based activities and learning, education through handheld devices, instructional tools like interactive whiteboards, web-based projects, student-created media like videos, podcasts, and slideshows. 

Also read: How remote education is impacting students and teachers

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