The Ministry of Human Resource Development established Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) programme for providing the learning and study material to all students, teachers, and senior citizens offering 1082 courses in total throughout the last year. It was observed that over 4 lakh citizens were admitted to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) in the batch started in July 2018.
Nine national coordinators were assigned for different types of courses: AICTE for self-paced and international courses, The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) for engineering, UGC for non-technical post-graduation education, Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) for undergraduate education, NCERT and NIOS for school education, IGNOU for out of the school students, IIM Bangalore for management studies and The National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR) for teacher training programme.
Keeping these in mind, the University Grants Commission has instructed regional higher-education institutions to motivate their faculty to produce more MOOC’s since only premier institutions were directed to run MOOC such as JNU, IIT’s, IIM’s.
“MOOCs aim at offering training to students in remote places that lack quality teachers. This gives ready-made study material from trained faculty of premier institutes.”
“Several institutes do not have trained professors, so the students can take help of MOOCs to learn the course through material generated by a professor of another institute,” said a senior UGC official, on condition of anonymity.
UGC recently was observed to be inviting applications from the higher-institutions to initiate online degrees from the next academic session for those students who fail to avail their choice of course. But, this will not be applicable to those who look forward to holding two degrees since UGC does not allow any student to hold 2 degrees simultaneously.
“Conventional degrees in the near future will lose their value as the new-age industry is looking for professionals with relevant skills. Online degrees will allow students to pursue many things at once to gain academic exposure. Students will have access to online degrees in 2019-20, but we need to chart out plans for amendments in the existing acts and rules,” said the official.
“Developing a course has been a challenge since many teachers do not have access to quality books and resources. Teachers in Indian universities do not adopt multidisciplinary approaches of teaching, online access to different disciplines can help students gain interdisciplinary knowledge,” said Dr. Bharti Yadav, assistant professor, National Law University, Delhi, who is also the course coordinator of a course ‘Access to Justice’ offered on SWAYAM platform