IIMB to offer open online courses in 73 govt colleges

They will supplement what students learn in college

IIMB to offer open online courses in 73 govt colleges

 An initiative to provide Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs in 73 government degree colleges will soon be launched by the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).

It will primarily cover colleges in the backward districts of the state such as those in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.

Since last year, the IIMB started a project to impart education in English communication in these colleges on the lines of its tele-education programme - Satellite and Advanced Multimedia Education (SAME) - in select government schools.
The English education programme has on its rolls 20,000 students. The aim will be to impart MOOCs parallel with the English education programme, said Gopal Naik, professor and chair, Economics and Social Sciences Area, IIMB, who will head the project.

“A month and a half ago, we had a meeting with faculty from the Maharani’s College and quite a few students have shown interest in enrolling for such courses,” said Naik.

As many as 100 students from the college in the commerce and management disciplines have registered, showing their intent to enrol.

The MOOCs will be extended to other colleges depending on the level of interest shown by them, said Naik. “In addition to MOOCs and English, we may also add soft skills and other courses. We are looking to use various platforms for providing MOOCs,” Naik said.

The IIMB has tied up with EdX, a platform for MOOCs started by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Naik said that a number of facilities needed to be ensured such as equipment, common facilities for colleges to enable students to register and access courses.

“The connectivity of colleges is a big area of difficulty. There needs to be a common lab where students can come and access the course. Students and teachers need to be oriented to what it would impart,” he said An official from the Department of Collegiate Education (DCE) said MOOCs will help and supplement the education of the government students.

“Students have varied interests and with MOOCs, they could enrol in courses of their choice. A person interested in computer science can enrol for courses in java, basic, computer language programmes and so on.”

What are MOOCs?

MOOCs are a very recent form of distance learning where courses are offered online, usually for free, to very a large group of people.  Courses are imparted by means of video lectures, course works as well as interactive forums and social media.

Gopal Naik, professor and chair, Economics and Social Sciences Area, IIMB: The connectivity of colleges is a big area of difficulty. There needs to be a common lab where students can come and access the course. Students and teachers need to be oriented to what it would impart.

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