Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Are Indian Universities Ready for Online Teaching? Determining the Factors for Policy Making

Datta, Sandip and Vats, Shruti (2021): Are Indian Universities Ready for Online Teaching? Determining the Factors for Policy Making.

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Corona virus pandemic which hit the world in late 2019 led to the closing down of schools and colleges across countries and teaching-learning shifted to a digital model. In absence of any policy in place for such digital transformation of education, the shift was haphazard. Even today uncertainty persist over the reopening of educational institutions and we see that online teaching is going to continue in the near future. To add to this, recently, University Grant Commission (UGC) of India passed an order which allows colleges and universities to continue their class in hybrid mode even during normal times. Therefore, colleges and universities need a proper plan of action for the successful implementation of online teaching. In this quest, we conducted an online survey among the college-going students of University of Delhi, India to know the probable course of action in policymaking if hybrid mode of teaching becomes mainstream in the future. Our study shows that more than 50% of students are either fully dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with online teaching. Ordered probit estimates suggest that teacher's ability to take online classes, availability of study materials, and access to high-speed internet play a crucial role in students' satisfaction. This indicates that regular training of teachers and keeping them up to date with latest technologies, timely availability of user-friendly reading materials downloadable/watchable in low bandwidth should be given utmost importance while making policy for online teaching. We also identify that students with greater exposure to social media tend to be more satisfied as students with higher exposure to social media possess greater social capital. Conversely, a damaged device can lower the overall experience of online teaching. These two results suggest that the policy of introduction of a common virtual platform for students and of borrowing laptops/tablets can enhance the experience of online learning of the students who lack social capital and properly functional device.

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