Mandhu College's Virtual Classroom experience: a deserved 100/100

A student of Mandhu College. (Photo/Mandhu College)

Mandhu College, one of the leading colleges in the Maldives has always been different. Mandhu College utilizes the latest technology for its students to embark upon on the educational journey it provides. Ever heard of virtual classrooms?

Mandhu College is the only college in the Maldives that currently provides the true virtual classroom experience in a world of technological advancements in education.

Why is this experience different?

The virtual classroom is not connected to the students through the internet, but rather, through a private network of software. Interruptions on the internet have always been a challenge for everyone whether they are working or studying.

“We are using Ooredoo antennas in other words. We have our own connection and is accessible to anywhere in the country, whether it is at sea or on land,”

“The communications between our teachers and students are made directly, without any disruptions. The connection speed is high and allows HD videos to be downloaded and uploaded with ease.” an official from Mandhu College said.

The network is private but allows students access to the internet for educational purposes and to world-famous websites such as ebscohost.

How does it work?

There isn’t much of a difference between a real classroom and a virtual classroom. They are divided into two main types. The most commonly used type allows lecturers and students to see each other.

In the same way that students can nudge each other and ask questions in a real classroom, a chat feature is present in virtual classrooms to achieve this and would not disturb other students. 

Students can also send messages addressed to the whole class. Isn’t it an advantage to have more privacy than a real classroom?

Other features in virtual classrooms

  • Allows students to question lecturers
  • Screen and file sharing
  • Whiteboard 
  • Presenting PPTs

Every tutorial class consists of 25 students, which is almost the same as a real classroom and discussions can also be conducted with students able to interact with each other in a virtual classroom.

Lecturers and students can see each other, and lectures can be conducted as they are carried out in huge university halls. Classes can be held with 100 students and can be recorded to view later as well.

University students are usually tasked with assignments and virtual classrooms allow students to communicate with each other for assignments and clear their doubts with teachers as well.

Cameras are a must in virtual classrooms at Mandho College as attendance is compulsory.

Virtual classrooms are a lot more beneficial

Virtual classrooms are accessed through a USB drive and a special dongle which makes setting everything up a lot easier. Support staff and volunteers are also present in several islands in case of any issues. The notion that a technical issue might disrupt studies is a myth.

“If a student is faced with technical issues, we will call and provide instructions to fix it.” said an official from Mandhu College.

There are also instances where students have to “step out” of virtual classrooms. Tests and examinations cannot be conducted through virtual classrooms as of yet, but for this, Mandhu College has devised special arrangements.

“We will travel to bigger islands with test papers so that students from nearby islands can attend and complete their examinations. We are currently capable of conducting exams in 16-20 exam centers in different regions of the country at once. There is no need for students to travel to Male’.” said an official from Mandhu College.

It would not be a misstatement by saying that Mandhu College is now a fully virtual college. 80 percent of the students that study at Mandho College now prefer to study virtually at the college that transformed the educational sector of the country through digital technology.

Even though the virtual classroom is an expensive one to set up, there isn’t a huge difference between Mandhu College fees and the fees of other colleges in the country. The fact that students can study from their island would actually save them money and only leave them with the course fees as an expense. 

They are not forced to leave their family and jobs and come to Male’ to study. They are not forced to go through enduring hours of block mode. They would be studying with the students attending the college in Male’ and learning from the same teachers. Is there a better opportunity than this?