Prof Sisuru Sendanayake, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Northshore International Campus
Northshore International Campus, one of the pioneering non-state sector higher educational Institutes in Sri Lanka has shown immense resilience in the face of the recent Covid 19 pandemic keeping true to the Sri Lankan spirit.
Northshore, which has been offering internationally recognized British degrees in Engineering, Business and Computing/IT from highly ranked universities was one of the first higher educational institutes in Sri Lanka to convert to online delivery of lectures from the very first week of the country-wide lockdown and continues to do so very successfully. Further, Northshore was one of the very first, if not the first, to conduct online semester end structured examinations and assessments successfully in Sri Lanka.
Prof Sisuru Sendanayake PhD, MSc, BSc Eng (Hons), Deputy Vice Chancellor of Northshore International Campus, stated ‘‘In fact we are well equipped with a fully customized and state of the art Learning Management System (LMS) and a well-trained, highly qualified staff, Northshore conducted a full semester load entirely online including the assessments, which is an achievement worthy of mentioning.’’
‘‘The success can also be attributed to the active participation of students through multiple channels of communications, including synchronized live video chat groups and frequently conducted feedbacks and outcome surveys ensuring completeness and comprehensiveness of the delivery. It was encouraging to note the enthusiasm shown from even hitherto somewhat silent members of the student cohort compared to that of face to face delivery.’’
To their credit, Northshore academic staff has readily embraced the ‘Teaching at a Distance’ mode with meticulous planning ahead and systematic instructional design, coupled with frequent feedbacks backed up by specially formed chat groups, where students interact with each other as well as the lecturer. Northshore is also highly advantaged to have its students’ access to an immense collection of online learning resources of its partner universities in UK. Coupled with the digital library of Northshore, students now have easy access to all reference materials as and when required.
‘‘While encouraged by the success of our online program delivery during the lockdown, Northshore is also mindful of the importance of student interactions with the peers and teaching staff, participation in group work and extra-curricular activities which also contribute heavily in forming the graduate profile. Hence, while ensuring strict health and safety standards are met, Northshore in future will offer its entire range of degree programs in ‘Blended Delivery’ mode with a mix of Online and On-Campus delivery of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work maintaining the positives achieved over the last few months.,’’ Prof Sendanayake further added.
With the above background, Northshore has also launched a paperless culture in campus operations with all academic activities, starting from admissions to assessments carried out in paperless mode. Already all evaluations, including the exam answer uploads have been marked on screen with many benefits in maintaining records and databases. With the new culture, Northshore is looking forward to digitalize its entire operation within a short period of time providing a novel and futuristic experience to its students with the intention of producing graduates who can readily integrate with the ‘New Normal’ in a digitalized world.