Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the education of over 1.2 billion students across 186 countries. In India, close to 20-million-odd college students and 300 million school-going children have faced a disruption in their education in some form or the other.
QLogic Solutions, the placement training arm of the Gudlavalleru Engineering College based in Andhra Pradesh, faced similar challenges. With its vast experience in employability training and delivering consistently high placement numbers, QLogic Solutions was well aware of the need for connectivity and engagement of students to deliver wholesome learning outcomes.
During the lockdown, QLogic Solutions observed that engaging the students in learning and conducting online examinations had become a difficult task and future learning had become uncertain. It also observed that keeping the students’ interest in learning and getting the teachers to teach had almost become impossible as everything had come to a sudden halt.
“For us, connectivity and engagement have been severely hit because of the lockdown and the problem was bigger than what we have anticipated. If the students are not engaged in continuous learning and practicing, their learning curves tend to flatten and productivity levels dip. This often leads to poor results at the end of the year and that impacts the organisation,” says Sai Krishna Kota, Head, Training and Placements, Gudlavalleru Engineering College.
Bringing continuity to education with Vodafone G Suite
At the onset of the pandemic, education institutions looked to pivot their education model to remote learning platforms, to bring about some continuity in the academic year.
But such a move comes with its own set of challenges, mainly around having the right tools and the proper infrastructure in place to ensure connectivity for thousands of students in a short span of time. After trying a couple local service providers for online learning and teaching that didn’t provide satisfactory results, QLogic Solutions reached out Vodafone, whose 120 closed user group (CUG) Postpaid connections have been keeping the staff and faculty at Gudlavalleru Engineering College reliably connected for close to a decade.
“Providing strong signal strength is vital in making the relationship stronger. This is where Vodafone did a wonderful job,” says Sai Krishna.
With the trust that was built with the superior connectivity provided by Vodafone over the years, QLogic Solutions decided to avail 150 licenses of Vodafone’s G Suite Enterprise Version — Google’s all-in-one suite of cloud-based applications that students and teachers can leverage to engage in meaningful learning across a variety of devices, be it a computer, smartphone or tablet.
Teachers can carry out their classes with Google Meet — a secure, enterprise-grade solution which delivers a seamless, reliable, and simple video conferencing experience. It allows screen sharing to aid their teachers in engaging their students by showcasing relevant course material.
With Google Docs, students were able to create and share their projects and assignments with teachers across a variety of formats, including documents and presentations, in a seamless manner directly from their browser, with no need for the installation of additional software. The teachers, in turn, could provide their evaluation and feedback in a hassle-free manner on the same document.
The access and storage of important assignments, course material and other important learning aids was no more a hassle with Google Drive, which provides unlimited storage with no cap per user shared across Drive and Gmail, and allows the storage of over 40 popular file formats including videos, images, Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets and PDFs.
While learning remotely, it is important to maintain a structure that would facilitate learning as it was taking place in classrooms. With Google Calendar, teachers can ensure that students are allotted various subjects by blocking the appropriate hours on their calendar, and streamline their learning day remotely.
Fostering trust with reliability in connectivity
When QLogic was in search of a suitable solution to carry out remote learning and teaching, it found that Vodafone could meet its requirements, and witnessed the coordination to materialise the solution from Vodafone’s end carried out in a professional manner.
“Vodafone, through its products, kept our students connected and communicated. Its digital solution made QLogic comfortable in conducting online training classes and online quiz examinations, which was very difficult earlier,” says Sai Krishna.
According to estimates by QLogic, had they undertaken the task themselves, it would have taken them three years to adopt a virtual learning platform. But because of this pandemic, they were forced to adapt Digital Platform for Vodafone’s services within no time. By implementing Vodafone’s solutions, they managed to adapt to virtual learning in 30 days. QLogic also saw a rise in attendance of the virtual training sessions to 78 percent, up from 23 percent of the students. As a result, Vodafone has become the exclusive service partner to QLogic and Gudlavalleru Engineering College.