Digitalization in Higher Education Institutions and Scope of Research

Digitalization in Higher Education Institutions and Scope of Research

Digitalization in Higher Education Institutions and Scope of Research Digital Technologies

Digitalization in Higher Education Institutions and Scope of Research

Digitalization in Higher Education Institutions and Scope of Research

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immense impact on education and learning across the globe. The sudden close-down of educational institutions severely affected the ongoing learning process among students. Despite apprehensions about instant damage control, what rose to prominence was the digital mode of teaching and learning. However, adjusting to this new format or the new learning environment wasn’t an easy task at all. This form of re-imagination or digital revolution is still an ongoing process that requires to be dealt with patience and positive might. In case of Research also digitalization helps a lot to collect data and different information easily.

 Integration of technological advancement in classroom set-ups (education) is one among the burning issues that have layed-up critical significance in contemporary times. There has been an initiation to transform the online deliverance of lectures and readdress the traditional foundation of the education sector. Usage of slide screens, smart-boards, projectors, and computers in classrooms is a thumbs up for the students, as they get to acknowledge the concerning areas of study in an effectual manner. Initiation of technology within the classrooms has significantly abated the number of absentees, as they have started enjoying the digitally appealing learning method.

 Technology is nowadays conveniently used as an active portal to assess and exchange interpretation, feedback or criticism between instructors and students. Thus, digital technology has been a stirring game-changer in getting under the way of change and remodeling of the teaching-learning process. Digital learning, unlike the traditional ‘white chalk and blackboard teaching’, focuses on technological inclusion in learning- which can be done in a more desirable, personalized and delightful way- by literally initiating learning anytime, anywhere, irrespective of time, place, space and almost with any feasible device. The rising visibility of digital space has proliferated students’ engagement (to a significant extent) as it brings in flexibility. The trial, however, lies in concocting a conducive and appropriate atmosphere or set-up and obtainability of resources that amplify the will of the students to partake in this process of teaching-learning.  

Despite the fact that online learning is gathering sensation and popularity among the masses, it is highly debatable whether it is the rightful beneficiary or replacement to the traditional means of education. Holding examinations with the help of proctors or creating a learning environment that is secure and authentic is a significant challenge. Often the academic deliverances suffer backlashes due to lack of inter-participation and low level of motivation in teachers and students. Consequently, ‘digital fatigue’ impacts their respective performances, thus minimizing productivity.

 The emergence of the internet as a profound repository of information and knowledge has caused a reversal of the traditional library and transposed it to virtual service environments. However, new-age strategies like ‘digital promotion’ are quite hyped as it engages enrolment in digital courses. Research has reported digital promotions by HEIs for about 26% of online admissions. E-Granthalaya library management system developed by National Informatics  Centre  (NIC)  is a valuable database for library services.

 Talking ‘Cloud computing is a technology base that stores data and provides access to multimedia content via the internet. It enables data security owing to network backups. Further, Artificial intelligence (AI) has simplified the teaching methodology and facilitated a personalized learning experience by enhancing adaptability in online learning technologies. Keeping in view the steady rise, cloud computing in HEIs is expected to grow by 26% by 2027.

 ‘Mixed Reality is an amalgamation of augmented and virtual reality. It has been created with audio-visual techniques to look very identical to the real world. This technique is used to levitate the niche of students in digital gaming, design thinking in engineering, robotics, and training related to medical sciences. Another open-source platform that needs to be discussed is ‘blockchain technology’ where “digital records are stored as a ledger.” It redressed transparency, eliminated corruption and worked towards technological improvements in HEIs.

 India has taken some concrete and much-awaited transformational initiatives to truly transform higher education in recent times such as-SWAYAM, SWAYAM Prabha, National Digital Library (NDL), e-Shodh Sindhu, Virtual Labs, e-Yantra, e-Acharya, E-Kalpa, Free and Open Source Software for Education (FOSSEE), e-Vidwan, Spoken Tutorial (a ‘talk to a teacher’ initiative taken by MoE), NAD, BADAL, DigiLocker, e-PG Pathshala, etc.

 There are three digital literacy levels: digital competence, professional or discipline application, and innovation or creativity. Here the author described the first level as the ability to use the keyboard, evaluate, critical thinking, intellectual approaches such as consciousness about autodidact, attitude as a learner, as a peer, and perspective about the digital function in our society. The second level is all about the digital competencies in professional sectors. Level three describes the transformation of digital technology by using technology to create something innovative and new.

 In India, the digital literacy scenario is like this: more than 35% of citizens use the internet without formal training. For that reason, the government of India 2018 launched a digital literacy programme to provide awareness to mass. The central government stresses the Digital India concept to turn one governance, improve electronic services and products, and produce job opportunities for young Indians. The government is also trying to provide high-speed internet for the digital accreditation of citizens; these aims all are included in National e-Governance Plan (NEGP). The vision of another programme, Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (DISHA) or National Digital Literacy Mission (NDLM) to provide awareness and training. There are two levels of training: 1 includes Appreciation of Digital Literacy, which makes a person able to use digital devices like mobile phones and receive or send mail. Level 2 is all about the higher level of training for e-Governance services. Such agencies will organize DISHA as NIOS, IGNOU, and NIELIT.

The scope of research increased due to these facilities.

The novel coronavirus has significantly swapped the dimension of modern-day education, even though digital education is an effective and feasible option in digitally equipped countries. However, there’s a lacuna (concerning this) yet to be filled up in developing or under-developed countries. There is a rising perturb that the involvement of ICT might transform India into an information society. Still, a very poignant question lies herein, if technology alone can improve the standard of higher education in the country!

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