Salem institutes migrate all classes online and even placements are facilitated digitally
Salem/IBNS: Long before the Covid-19 lockdown began, the digitally savvy Sona College of Technology, Sona School of Management and Thiagarajar Polytechnic College at Salem had with great forethought migrated their classes online.
Not a single class was missed at the Sona group institutions as faculty members without missing a beat began engaging with students on platforms like Blackboard, lecture capture system, and Microsoft Teams or Zoom instead of the physical classroom.
At the Sona College of Technology, schedules are posted on the college’s learning management software platform Blackboard and online learning facilitated through Moodle and lecture capturing systems. The Blackboard content is updated by the faculty periodically to ensure that the learning outcomes are met. Assignments, Mini Projects, Quizzes and online internal assessments are conducted at appropriate intervals with faculty intervention.
Of course, it can get depressing being cooped up at home for a long time. For students who feel stressed being indoors for prolonged periods, the college has arranged online counselling.
Well before the Corona Crisis, the Salem based institute had geared for Education 4.0 aligning itself to the needs of the fourth industrial revolution. Smart technology, artificial intelligence and robotics are the backbone of the fourth industrial revolution and forward-thinking educational institutes have been changing their learning delivery systems as well as curriculum to meet the needs of a constantly connected world.
Sona has the necessary platforms to conduct both summative and formative evaluation in online mode. Sona also uses HireMee platform to conduct proctored exams which has AI based proctoring to identify if a student copies from books. HireMee coding tools are used for testing the programming skills.
At the Thiagarajar Polytechnic learning has continued uninterrupted with the institute activating its online platforms. The faculty utilises online services like Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype, Google Classroom to connect with students to complete their courses. Over 80 per cent of students get connected online and have been enjoying their new learning experience. Learners needing hand holding are addressed in separate groups to clear their doubts cleared at ease. Learning materials are shared via WhatsApp and Google classroom.
The assessments too are also conducted in virtual mode.
The Polytechnic is offering Online Courses in Tally ERP 9 and Tax Accounting, Office Management and Python Programming through the Continuing Education Centre from April 10, 2020 onwards.
Since the Polytechnic is an Autonomous institution, it has the capability to conduct final examinations in an online mode post approval of the Directorate of Technical Education and the AICTE.
Meanwhile at the Sona School of Management, the second year MBA students are currently doing capstone project they have been allowed to use platforms like Google forms and Survey Monkey to collect data. The students are provided with the facility to access proprietary databases like EBSCO, ProQuest, Prowess etc from their home to facilitate their research work. Due to the lockdown the students have been permitted to do desk research. The students are monitored through emails, WhatsApp and phone calls.
Native Japanese language trainers are conducting Japanese classes through Zoom meeting tool. Also, all the students who already got offer letters from Japan based companies are being prepared for their work life in Japan by the teachers.
Given the unprecedented situation, the three institutions have moved not just academics but their placement related training and testing to online platforms as well.
Resumes of small number of unplaced students already with prospective employers, and moving to the next stages. Online tests are conducted by companies which students can write with a webcam facility and net connection. Personal Interviews are conducted by companies through Zoom or Skype.
At the Thiagarajar Polytechnic, technical and personal interview for placement were conducted using online platforms for L&T Construction, Sun Mobility, Amazon Logistics and Cameron Inc.
Of the 821 final year students, 451 opted for placement and all but 19 have got placement offer letters.
The placement team organised webinars for students using Go to Webinar software. Some of webinars during lockdown were addressed by C K Ranganathan, MD - Cavin Care, Hari Thiagarajan, Deputy Chairman & MD, Thiagarajar Mills and Chairman CII Southern Region.
Sona College of Technology, known for meeting the ever-changing knowledge needs and skill requirements through its 36 research labs, and for a deep connect with the industry has been recognised as the Best Industry Linked Institution by CII-AICTE for the past six years.
As an autonomous institution under Anna University, the Sona College runs a dedicated training department with experienced trainers from various fields who help sharpen Problem Solving Ability, Soft Skills, Language Proficiency, Leadership Traits as well as Stress Management. An exclusive team of native Japanese teachers are also engaged in a training program to prepare our students with N5 to N3 levels of Japanese Language Proficiency Certifications.
The Thiagarajar College, also an autonomous institution under the Department of Technical Education and Anna University, has consistently been awarded the top spot by AICTE-CII surveys for its industry-linked programmes. And, now it has been chosen as a mentor institution to 3500 other diploma course polytechnics in the country – an illustrious honour for a college.