About 40% of the students of IIT Bhubaneswar are now on campus and these students are attending classes in Hybrid Mode. A hybrid mode of lecturing can be used running classes simultaneously for both, the students attending a class in-person and those attending in virtual mode.
Those who are physically present in the class can as usual attend a lecture and interact, while those who are away can participate remotely in virtual mode accessing the live stream of the lecture.
The institute devised a mechanism of holding its classes in hybrid mode, equipped the newly constructed Pushpagiri Lecture Hall Complex (PLHC) with electronic gadgets for facilitating hybrid mode lecturing and realized the same.
On 20th of the last month, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education inaugurated the PLHC and the addition of the complex has facilitated the institute to run classes distributing the students so that each classroom has less than half the strength and full social distancing, followed. The institute could quickly equip the complex to facilitate running lectures in Hybrid mode.
Speaking on the initiative, Prof Raja Kumar, Director said, “for those students who are attending the lectures in person, these are like any modern lecture halls with facilities for multimedia projection, document camera, power point presentations and use of other gadgets like a tablet.
Now in order to facilitate live streaming of the lecture, the board work and the faculty member giving the lecture including the interaction, video and audio capturing and streaming facility is used.
This will facilitate streaming of the lecture live to a remote student including on an interactive or one way streaming session. We use MS Teams running on a laptop for the same.
A faculty member can also interact with a remote student in the streaming session. On top of this, the faculty members are encouraged to use own innovative methods over and above this basic mechanism”.
Prof Raja Kumar further added, “the institute has a well-designed SOP which has been is strictly followed and the same has been responsible for the outstanding way the institute could protect the campus from Covid-19.
Apart from following the SOP which needs class room seating as per the social distancing norms and wearing of a mask, the institute adopted the following additional mechanisms for Safety:
- The class room and seat of a student is fixed and a student is discouraged from switching seats,
- All the windows and doors of a lecture hall are opened fully for ventilation,
- The students are encouraged to avoid public transport like buses and use own bicycles in the campus.
A large class is split into 2/3 groups occupying different halls, a faculty members is made to give a lecture physically in the hall of one group and the same is replicated live into the other groups.
A faculty member divides his/her physical presence taking turns across the 2/3 groups, for fairness. In the recently arrived batch of nearly 480 students, about 95% have got vaccinated at least with one dose and the institute will be arranging the 2nd dose vaccination for them (so far the institute organized 13th vaccination drives).
It is heartening to note that the students acted positively on the instructions from the institute, got themselves vaccinated and prepared themselves ready to come to the campus.
None of them arrived Covid positive and not even one case surfaced even after completion of the quarantine period, after which they were safely mixed with the mainstream students of the campus.
“The institute carried on several developments in its commitment to offer uncompromised education during the pandemic, and has been successfully conducting full laboratory hands on to all of its students. I am confident that within the coming 1-2 months, all of the students will have classes running with full physical presence or hybrid mode in the campus. The IIT system has peer learning by students as an important integral part and I don’t think we will meet the situation of sending the students back to their homes, given the holistic vaccination drive the institute has taken up with the support of the central and state governments’, said, Prof Raja Kumar.