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An e-English class, literally

lucknow Updated: Aug 23, 2013 11:32 IST
Rajeev Mullick

How about studying Shakespearean plays and old literary classics by watching DVDs and video clippings from youtube?

The department of English at Avadh Girls’ Degree College has virtually transformed itself into an ‘e-pathshala’, where alongside textbooks, students are exposed to a wide range of e-content to grasp all that is being taught in class.

E-literature from Oxford and Cambridge University too is being made accessible to students.

The department has planned, designed and developed the content with the purpose of helping undergraduate students get more comfortable with English.

AGDC’s department of English has now become the first humanities department of any government-aided college in UP and North India to start the UGC’s e-learning programme -- e-pathshala.

The database is growing every day with the increasing volume of e-resources, which is divided into four categories:

First, e-texts , e-books, e-journals, reviews, online bibliographic database, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, etc.

Second, video-lectures, weblectures, audio-books, mobileresources and other multimedia material.

Third, clippings, slides, illustrations, e-images, e-exhibits etc and fourth e-links, urls, e-libraries, case studies, power point, etc.

“At present, we have restricted ourselves to the syllabus prescribed by Lucknow University for undergraduate courses in English literature. We plan to develop a database for literature in English/ translation studies and other Indian languages. In the next phase, we plan to include concepts, themes, theories and approaches to literature, besides including other great writers,” says Ranjana Krishna, head, department of English.

Krishna further adds, “The introduction of e-resources has certainly brought qualitative change in teaching, learning and research. The scale of information it provides overwhelms the students. They can access the writer’s full text and bibliographic database just by a click of a button.”

At AGDC, Internet is extensively used for research content pertaining to the lives of the authors prescribed, their complete oeuvre, their style of writing etc.

Students are encouraged to access web dictionaries and encyclopaedia for enhancement of language and communication skills. Clippings of recitation of prescribed poems by poets themselves or by some other celebrity and power point presentations and e-links make the class more interactive and learner-centred.

“I blend e-learning and face-toface learning for the prescribed syllabus. E-tools have extended the boundaries of learning and helped reduce the limiting walls of a traditional classroom.

The virtual space of partnership between me and my students is accessible 24x7,” she adds.

This permits sharing of subsidiary material with the students, which couldn’t be done in a traditional classroom due to time constraint.

“These virtual classes have resulted in better student-teacher interaction and helped reduce isolation,” adds SS Katiyar, a senior faculty member.

Modern age teachers at AGDC believe that their role has changed.

In the present scenario, the teacher is facilitator, transactor and provider who passes on the information and develops critical sensibility among students.