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Effective time utilisation by students to improve skills during lockdown

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It is an unprecedented experience for all Indians during this lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic

It is an unprecedented experience for all Indians during this lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost everyone is going through a rough phase and finding it challenging to deal with the abrupt change in lifestyle. Since the numbers of Corona patients are soaring in India, nobody believes the government is going to lift the lockdown any time soon. Many are saying that we are in an "era of uncertainty." We are in transition to learning, teaching, and conducting our daily business online.

As schools and colleges are now closed currently, students now have no other option but to spend their time at home. It seems that students are feeling hard to find a task to do that is something productive to them at home during this time. There are number of opportunities available to utilise their time in a productive way without stepping out of their homes. Some of them are discussed in this note which can be adopted by students to utilise their time.

During this lockdown period, it is important for the student community to utilise their free time in learning through various online courses or to participate in free webinars conducted by eminent academicians and prestigious organizations. I emphasize each student to find various ways to utilize their leisure time to take part in useful free online courses available through NPTL, conducted by the renowned Indian Institutes such as IITs & IISc. Online courses provide students the opportunity to plan study time around the rest of their day, instead of the other way around. Students can study and work at their convenience. Course material is accessible online, which will reduce the in person library trips.

Apart from these institutes, there are several world class universities offering online free courses through Coursera. Through these courses the students can acquire not only the knowledge, but also it gives opportunity to students to obtain credits which subsequently leads to attain the certificate. Additionally, with minimal payment of fee they would get quiz questions, educational videos and reading materials which will be helpful in their career.

At this juncture it would be like to mention that digital marketing is one of the hottest industries which provides high growth potential. Students can learn digital marketing online. These programmes not only help them to enhance their skills, but also enable them to implement the attained skills in their career.

This is the time to learn some of the basics in online mode which improves the development of new computer skills. Students in online programs can effectively manage their time, learn the materials, and complete assignments on their own schedules. Online courses provide a wide range of knowledge, they are student centered, adaptable and with much self-discipline/learning. Very importantly, the recorded online classes provide instant learning with pause, rewind, and speed up and with instant feedback.

The courses are dealt with choice not by chance so ultimately complete involvement and satisfaction of learning is gained by the learner while going through the classes. It is noteworthy to mention that, peer pressure will be less learning through online classes as there is no face to face interaction until and unless the students feel to have it. More authentic and systematic learning material will be available as it is disclosed to everyone.

Through this article, an attempt has been made to bring awareness to provide information on the various online educational programmes, that can be beneficial, and one can adopt very easily.

(The author is Director, Student Affairs, GITAM (Deemed to be University), Visakhapatnam)

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