Video lectures to enhance engg education

6,000 hours of high resolution lectures by IIT, IISc professors digitised

The programme implemented in 60 colleges of the State is the brainchild of VTU e-Learning special officer Dr T N Nagabhushan.

Speaking with Deccan Herald, Nagabhushan said the high quality video e-learning material to be distributed to all undergraduate engineering students in the country was recorded by IITs and IISc professors under the National Programme for Technical Enhanced Learning.

However, sharing these videos posed a problem as the storage space required was around nine terabytes to accommodate all courses.

“These videos were initially put on ‘YouTube’, but bandwidth limits continuous streaming of videos,” said Dr Nagabhushan. The problem got Nagabhushan to work towards providing a “treasure of lectures” to students from any college.

The work started two-and-half-years ago with the assistance of IT firms such as Sun Microsystems, Locuz systems and Tisra. It took one year to design the specifications required for VTU.

This led to the birth of the video content management system which made an index of all the videos. Students can search courses by the branch, engineering year they are studying in, and the professor, whose lecture they want to view.

The programme was first installed in M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, with just three of four courses.

During the past three months, it has been extended to 60 colleges. “Sunsparc servers were provided free to the colleges. Any college with a good one GB backbone network, one GB switch and desktops with one GB RAM can use it as the servers are high-performance streaming servers. About 500 users can watch the video concurrently,” Nagabhushan added.

With more than 1,000 scholars pursuing research under the VTU, this will help them to access additional reading and carry out good quality research. This also means that people who view the videos, can go through the courses and migrate to other specialisations in engineering.

Nagabhushan said: “It is offline right now. Next, we need to have a centralised repository.” So every time a course is recorded and placed on one central system it will automatically be updated in all the VTU affiliated colleges.”

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