On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic. Since then, the mystery virus has affected more than 4.5 million lives. According to UNESCO estimates, 68 per cent of the world’s student population has been impacted by the outbreak. Higher education across the globe has never seen destabilisation of this kind before. The world today is radically very different from yesterday. We live and learn in a new world now.
Many of our academics say they will never teach again in the same way as before. While every university could foresee the advent of technology-based learning, COVID-19 has only fast tracked this process as every institution across the globe launched emergency remote teaching. While the earlier generations are familiar with the concept of AD and BC, the current and next generations will possibly term the world as BC (Before Covid) and AC (After Covid). In the new world today, institutions across the globe are re-examining how they teach, do research and serve their students, staff and alumni.
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Education in India is at the cusp of transformation. Undergraduate lectures with hundreds of students in the audience are likely going to be replaced with recorded lectures that can be replayed, paused and shared. Student comments, and student responses to those comments, could make the lessons even more relevant and comprehensible. One-size-fits-all instruction can be augmented with more personalised digital content for each student. The tools to engage students online are only going to get better over time, and faculty are going to improve in how best to use digital instruction methods.
The road to recovery lies through...