With the Coronavirus pandemic rapidly spreading across the globe, educational institutions have suspended campus learning in order to curb the spread of the virus. In the wake of institute shutdown due to the COVID -19 outbreak, many progressive universities like World University of Design (WUD) – India’s first and only university dedicated to education in the creative domain has shifted to online-mode to ensure continuity of teaching-learning process.
WUD is using technology enabled AI, Supervision Technologies and Video Conference and other tools to enable virtual learning. This includes a mix of online platforms for sharing files, conducting meetings and lectures in association with online services & resource providers like Coursera, Bloomsbury, EBSCO etc as partners in its strategy. Apart from the classes, the performance assessment is also being done in online mode with the AI-based platform. University has also made significant investments in the server capacity, broadband connectivity, a photo/videography studio & has equipped the faculty with high-end laptops equipped for online teaching and interactions.
Speaking on this Dr Sanjay Gupta, Vice Chancellor, World University of Design said “This is a unique situation in design education and WUD was the first to take lead so that studies are not compromised, and students do not fall back on their curriculum. WUD has been working on assimilating online learning across its courses for over a year so the preparedness was there. The COVID 19 outbreak has just hastened the process and were the first to switch to online mode, that’s not only benefitting students in India but also students abroad. It is the first university in the design community to embrace digital tools and adapt pedagogy to continue guaranteeing the best quality learning journey for our students.
Online participative learning has been a norm at WUD for quite some time. WUD has been hosting Global Goals Jam since last three years where over 40 groups around the world connects online to research jointly with other universities and NGOs towards finding solutions for Sustainable Development initiatives. It’s ‘Design Across Culture’ program has students teams connecting & working on projects online across different continents. The faculty has been adequately trained in the latest technologies an skillsets needed to adapt to modern technology, tools and software.
Mr. Gupta further added, “Design education is essentially ‘working by doing’. Barring a few specializations online education is not exactly tuned for teaching design as yet. However the main qualification is just having an open mind therefore we were able to take this forward is a very short time. We have a unified campus where faculty work across specializations and in teams. This makes the adoption and transition to online teaching easy as help each other adapt and fill the gaps.”
Further elaborating on the situation and measures WUD has taken he added, “WUD had taken the necessary precautions to keep the international and Indian students in their hostels safe and comfortable till they made safe arrangements to go back home. The idea was not to create a panic situation but to be sensitive to each other’s burdens in this situation and make accommodations where we can. Unlike some Foreign Universities, WUD realises that moving out of campus within a matter of few days poses a problem for the boarders, especially international students and students with special needs. Therefore, no student was hounded out of the hostels, adequate food arrangements were made and steps taken to keep the premises sanitized with the help of a team of skeleton staff” he further added.