The anxiety and excitement that comes on the first day of college may be missing for thousands of Delhi University (DU) students whose classes begin Wednesday. As classes move online due to the Covid pandemic, colleges have also moved their orientation programme to the web and added some new elements.
Hindu College, which was among the first to hold its orientation on November 11, added several elements to its online orientation programme that would be missing from a physical orientation.
“We showed them various aspects of the college which we wouldn’t otherwise. We told them about the library and what all e-resources are available since that will become very important. The counsellor also played a very big role. She spent a lot of time on what all issues they can face due to the online mode, and how and when they can reach her. We got a tremendous response from students for that,” said principal Anju Srivastava.
She said students were made familiar with the disability unit, which would otherwise be missing from the orientation programme.
Nandhana, a first-year student of History Hons at the college, said she found the orientation programme very pleasing but missed the real-life experience.
“There were virtual performances and we were introduced to our classmates. But I missed being in Delhi, feeling that colour and excitement of the first day and meeting like-minded people,” she said.
A student of Economics (Hons) at St Stephen’s College, which held its orientation Monday, said the experience was different.
“In our department-wise orientation, we did discuss about the college but there were more discussions around why teachers are using Zoom or Google Meet. So the discourse on the first day was different. Also, online interaction and conversations tend to become monologues. Of course, the connections we make on the first day were missing,” the student said.
Miranda House, which will hold its orientation Wednesday, plans to give students the closest experience to a physical orientation. For this, a virtual tour of the college, among other new things, is planned.
“Earlier first year student would meet the second and third years on their own but this time we will give them email IDs and contact numbers to help them. I will also be holding office hours for students once a week. They will be able to contact me during certain hours. We would also be giving counselling sessions,” said Principal Bijayalaxmi Nanda.
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