How Are College Faculties Upskilling In The Face Of COVID-19?

64% find practice-oriented online trainings a fruitful solution for learning a new skill

faculties
A survey with college faculties. Pixabay

By Sunidhi Beeliya

Internshala Trainings, the e-learning arm of Internshala, recently conducted a survey with college faculties to understand their perspective on upskilling through online training, since the lockdown was announced in 2020. 

The key highlights of the survey result suggest that 64% of the respondents feel practice-oriented online training is the best solution for learning a new skill for college faculties. Only 35% of the respondents said that employed people should choose a blend of physical classes and e-learning for upskilling. 

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Popular training and respondents’ characteristics

As per the survey, programming and data science training were the most popular skills that faculties learned, with 22% and 16% share respectively.  Core engineering, management, and career development training were the next popular choice of the respondents with 13%, 12%, and 11% enrolments in each. 

Professors, lecturers, HoDs, and training and placement officers from Bengaluru and Hyderabad majorly enrolled in these online skill-based training. 53% of all the faculties specialized in teaching engineering, 17% teach science and technology, and 11% and 10% were management and commerce specialists. 

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40% of all the faculties shared that they enrolled in an online course to learn a new skill. Pixabay

Learning objective of the faculties

Talking about their online learning goals and outcome expectations, 40% of all the faculties shared that they enrolled in an online course to learn a new skill during their free time. 24% of them enrolled with the objective of polishing or upgrading their teaching skills in general. 14% of the faculties wanted a career advancement in their current field of teaching, and 10% of the teachers registered for a training course to be able to learn and teach a new subject. 

Impact of assessment techniques on learning outcomes

When asked about the contribution of assignments and projects in online training, 60% of the faculties believed that they enhance memory and help retain information for a longer time. 28% of the respondents felt that assignments and projects make learning fun and engaging, and 5% felt that they add weight to their portfolio or resume. 

64% of the faculties also suggested that the inclusion of more live interactive sessions with instructors and the addition of more gamification elements could make online learning a much interesting experience. 

faculties
The contribution of assignments and projects in online training. Pixabay

Faculty sentiments on online learning challenges 

Expressing their opinion about the difficulty level of learning different skills online, 47% of the faculties feel that technical skills are the most difficult ones. 28% of the total respondents found analytical and critical thinking skills, a bit difficult to grasp online. 

Owing to the multiple personal and professional responsibilities faculties handle, 73% of the respondents faced time management issues while learning a new skill online. And 15% of the respondents said that procrastination and lack of self-motivation decelerate their learning capacity. 

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Referring to the survey, Sarvesh Agrawal, the founder, and CEO of Internshala Trainings said, “Although initially our efforts were largely inclined towards providing skill-based education to Indian youth, we have been lately innovating our beginner level training and specializations to suit the requirement of working professionals too. Faculties have always been our prime focus, to extend our training services, as learning and teaching go hand-in-hand for them. Owing to this, we also launched the ‘Faculty development program (FDP)’ – an initiative wherein faculty members across India got free access to our certified online training, during the lockdown.”

“This survey gave us a broad idea on how online training has been fruitful for Indian faculties. We hope that based on the faculties’ feedback, we would be able to make the curriculum more industry-relevant, improve our product, and bring similar initiatives like FDP to help them continue skilling up,” he added. 

(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored.)