Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), which will begin its new academic year in the online mode from July 27 for continuing students, is prepared to go online for the full semester.
The institute will begin online classes for new batch from August 10. This will apply to all campuses including Mumbai, Tuljapur and Hyderabad with the exception of Guwahati, Professor P K Shajahan, Dean (Academics), told The Indian Express. “Given the situation in Mumbai and in other parts of the country we will not be in a position to start classes in campus. We are prepared to go online for the full semester. But will review depending on the situation as it emerges,” he said.
Recently, IIT Bombay became the first among IITs to announce its decision to go fully online for the autumn semester (until December). Reportedly, other IITs are also expected to announce similar decision.
At TISS, attendance will be considered using several proxies and will not necessarily be dependent on the attendance in online live sessions. Only about 1/3rd of the total teaching hours will consist of online sessions, whereas the rest will be a mix of discussion forums and self learning using reading materials.
The institute is mulling other options such as recorded lectures, text support through email and WhatsApp for students with irregular internet accessibility.
So far, no decision has been made regarding deferment of joining for PhD and MPhil programmes. Admission to MPhil, PhD for off campuses have been completed through online personal interview and presentations. For the Mumbai campus the process will be completed in mid-July.
Field component in the courses and internships will be worked out considering the public health situation. Different options are being currently worked out for each of the programmes, said Shajahan.
To get clarity on digital infrastructure accessibility of students, the institute had carried out a survey. It is in the process of collating data which will be used for planning the rest of the processes.
The institute will begin online classes on its own learning platform called TISS Online Learning (TISSOL). “We will be using this with necessary plug-ins for facilitating synchronous and asynchronous learning. Also we do not consider online learning as a substitute for learning on campus,” said Shajahan.
Across the four campuses, TISS has an intake capacity of 1,605 students, apart from MPhil and PhD students.
Commenting on the admission process, Shajahan said that the admissions have not been affected this year. “We had already completed the TISS NET way back in January. The average turnout for Online Personal Interview among those registered for OPI is nearly 82% which is way more than the turnout in physical interviews,” he said.
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