Covid-19 affects the whole world from the previous one and half year. 11th March 2020 was the day when the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Covid-19 as a global pandemic. Using masks, using sanitizer, maintaining social distance, and vaccination are some measures to prevent spread of Coronavirus in different parts of the country. Before the vaccine came the maximum government and administration announced a lockdown to maintain social distance. Final objective of lockdown is to reduce the spread of CORONA. India as well as Jharkhand is also not left from the bad effect of COVID-19. From 25th March 2020 central government of India imposed complete lockdown in India. After the announcement of complete lockdown in India by the government of India. Jharkhand as well as Ranchi also shut down. This continues for the next several months. Due to lockdown many sectors are affected due to complete lockdown. It affects the health sector, agriculture sector, industries and so on. The same education sector is also not left from the bad effect of lockdown. Especially the students who live in rural areas or the part of the government school affected more due to lockdowns. According to the census 2011 more than 50 percent of the population in Jharkhand belongs to the tribe’s groups. Even in the capital of Jharkhand in Ranchi more than 50 percent of the population live in the rural part. Their children come to Ranchi to get education. During the lockdown many of the colleges and universities and Ranchi also started teaching online classes to their students. Due to geographic structure and lack of infrastructure and technical support. This is not easy to cope-up with the online classes. So, I am interested to know how these students attend online classes to continue their education. What are their perceptions of college going students during the pandemic in Ranchi. Some major objective of my study is:
- What is the nature of access, availability, quality and stability of higher education technology bundles (devices, learning platform, internet, electricity, etc.)?
- How does the home environment shape access to online technology and ability to engage in online learning?
- How do the students perceive the quality of learning processes in the online mode?
- What is the impact of shifting to online mode on learning outcomes?
Tools and Respondents:
Project on Online Learning: Perception and experience of college going students during the pandemic in Ranchi is done in Ranchi. For this project the total number of respondents was 50. All respondents are from undergraduate and postgraduate students. All students are studying at different colleges/universities of Ranchi. These students are also from different socio- economic backgrounds, gender diversity, students from rural, urban and semi-urban areas. I used a telephonic interview for data collection. Structured and semi- structured interviews will be used. For data analysis I will put all respondents’ answers in an excel sheet for analysis. Content analysis by identifying responses and coding them into an excel sheet. Ranking method for prioritizing problems identified.
Ethics of the Research
I will take consent from the respondent to take participate in the study. I told them about the study and its objective clearly. During the study I will always keep in mind the respondent’s confidentiality. I will never publish their name anywhere. I keep their information in password protected laptops. The purpose of the study will explained to them clearly. So that respondents can decide easily what they want either participates or not. There will be provision that respondent can deny to share information at any period of time.
Result and Discussion:
I had an interview with 50 students. These students are from different universities and have different socio economic backgrounds. From the study I found that respondents are from Rural, Urban and Semi-Urban Area. These Students are from different courses BSC, BA, B.COM and some of the students are also taking some professional courses like Rural Development, Agriculture Rural and Tribal Development, IT, Diploma PG Diploma course MBBS and others.
1.What is the nature of access, availability, quality and stability of higher education technology bundles (devices, learning platform, internet, electricity, etc.)?
From the study I found that a maximum of universities and colleges are conducting online classes in Ranchi. But the problem is that in some universities online classes are going away but students have no information about the online classes. It happens because of the lack of information transformation. Whereas when I asked the students are you participating in online classes? If you university/ college are conducting online classes. Then than 80 percentages student respond that yes they are participating in online classes. In other hand 20 percent students are not participating online classes. The reasons they told that either they are not participating in online classes due to lack of information about online classes or due to lack of interesting sessions in online classes. I also found that from study that students are using mobile phone for online classes. Some of the students are also using laptops to do online classes. Students who are doing online classes have their own personal devices either smart phone or laptops. From the study I also found that maximum numbers of the students are using JIO network to attend online classes. Some are also using Airtel, BSNL and other network for attending online classes. They also told that especially in network is not stable especially during monsoon period. Results of these students are not attending online classes regularly. Students are also using either monthly plan, or three month plan for online classes. According to my study findings results the university and colleges in Ranchi are using Google platform for conducting online classes. Some of the university/colleges are also using zoom application and other platforms for online classes. From the study I also found that students of rural background are facing problems in attending online classes due to regular cutoff of electricity between online classes. Rural residence students are facing more problems from this issue because they didn’t have any back-up plan for power backup. On the other side, students of Urban and semi-Urban areas are using Inverters, power banks for power backup. When I asked them if the college/ University is providing any support to attend online classes. Terms of devices, networks packs, power supplies and others. Then maximum numbers of students said that they are not getting any support from their university/ Colleges to attend online classes.
2. How does the home environment shape access to online technology and ability to engage in online learning?
To know about the role of family environment during online classes. I also asked the students about their family occupation. In this study student’s parent’s occupation are Agriculture, Daily wages labour, and private job employee, government job seekers, businessman, Teachers and others. When I asked them if your family occupation affects your online classes study. Then I found that students who belong to Agriculture and agriculture labour are affected more due to family occupation. They help their parents in their occupation. This category of students said that when they have in person classes their parents allow them to go College. Where they easily get space for study. But in the case of online classes their parents feel that study is not happening in the proper way. On the other hand, students whose parents are doing government jobs or private jobs affect less. In terms of location/ space I found that students from semi-Urban and urban areas have separate rooms to attend online classes. Even students of rural areas also have separate rooms to attend online classes. But due to bad network coverage they participate in online classes from open places also. The size of the family also affects the online study. Because families which have small family members are engaged more in domestic work. Large family member’s students engage less in domestic work.
3. How do the students perceive the quality of learning processes in the online mode?
When I asked students to know about the quality of learning processes in the online classes. They respond that around 80 percent of the classes consist of live lectures, around 20 percent covered by PPT and PDF and other forms of documents sent to the students. According to the students, live lectures along with study materials in forms of PPT, PDF, documents, etc are more effective in the learning process. Other than live lectures and documents shared students told that extra doubt clearing sessions, live interaction and discussion downloaded self materials, self paced e- learning should be must. Which universities are adopting this for quality education. Students from that university are very interested in online classes. Which are not following that. 60 percent of the respondents said that they are maintaining classes’ notes between the classes for future references. Whereas 40 percent of the students are maintaining notes some time. From the study I also found that students who maintain notes in regular basics revise the notes before coming in next classes. On the other side students who are not maintaining notes in regular basics are asked for help from their friends for the same.
4. What is the impact of shifting to online mode on learning outcomes?
From the current study till now I found that sixty percent of the respondents are in favour of in person classes in future. On the other side forty percent of the students want hybrid mode of classes in future whereas Online as well as in person classes both will be run together. Students who want hybrid mode of classes are in favour of this because they think they will get more time for general competition preparation. These categories of students are students who take admission in colleges only for degree and their objective to clear competition jobs. So according to them in online classes they will get more time for preparation of government jobs exams. Especially students who have more practical based study in their syllabus think that online classes are not suitable for them. Whereas students who have theory classes more said that they are suitable with hybrid mode of classes. Reason behind this is they have some extra time for preparation of general competition. Now again the result is the same in terms of effect in their study due to online mode of education. Students who have more practical classes are affected more due to online classes. Because they said that in online classes they don’t have field exposure and if we don’t have field experience we suffer in future when we will work in future.
Challenges during Online classes:
●Students are new with technology. Before lockdown maximum numbers of students from my study did not have prior experience to attend online classes.
- Electricity cut-off during the classes is the major challenge of online classes.
- Unstable networks especially in rural areas are also a big challenge.
- Due to lack of power backup like power bank rural students suffer more.
- Family occupation also affect the specially students from an agricultural background.
Some Benefits of online classes:
- Benefits of online classes’ students spent fewer amounts in study. Because they don’t need to pay accommodation and travel costs during online classes.
- In online classes mode students can join another course other than the main course.
- Due to Online classes now students have better understanding of technology means online classes options.
- Students who are preparing for government job competition have more time to focus on competition exams because due to online classes they don’t have to go colleges/ university.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic and result of lockdown Perception of online classes in Ranchi changes. Before the lockdown students of Ranchi have less information about the online classes option and benefits. Online classes also depend on technology access, home environment. It is also a fact that the quality of education decreases specially for students who have more practical based classes. But one reality is that now they have better understanding about the online classes’ platforms. So that we can say that online classes during lockdown will somehow change the culture of the study. Even after the in person classes start students adopt online classes especially for preparation. Also for extra courses related to their courses. If proper workshops and sessions will be organized in future with the objective of improving the quality of education in online classes. That will be good for the future. So even though students can’t afford to study in colleges and universities due to high fees and expenditures, they can also read through online classes. If online classes will continue with some improvement in future then it will be more helpful for competition students. So I can say from my study that the future of online classes in Ranchi is available.
Future Research Scope
- Study can be done of Schools students also.
- Comparative study between Rural and urban Students.
- Comparative study between Private and Government school/ College/ university Students.
- Study can be done at state as well as National level.
GRAMIN BHARTI SEWA SANSTHA