Ensuring Learning Continuity

The word “disruption” that is usually related to technology has also been applicable to social transformation. While technology boom has resulted in explosion of information, student population explosion (an outcome of population explosion) on the other hand, has created the demand for educating more people in less time. Hence, invigorating the integration of various mass communication educational technology tools has become imperative to facilitate and accelerate the expansion of education on a qualitative and quantitative basis.

Moreover, the pandemic invasion has also compelled us to adapt to utilizing the mass communication media tools to engage with the learners and ensure continuity of the teaching-learning process. We could see a lot of technology tools, apps, and platforms cementing the teacher-learner divide that has erupted in the society. What was dreamed as “Education of tomorrow” has come into being now, disrupting the distance between us and the future.

Since the lockdown, there are webinars, podcasts, and online courses either free or paid happening to ensure learning continuity across the country. While the traditional players in the education space have been enjoying reputation, the current situation has brought in whole lot of new players capitalizing the speed of Internet bandwidth available today, and yes, the current situation of the society too.

Let us look into the online learning platforms run by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) ahead in this article.

SWAYAM MOOCs platform, the world’s largest online free e-learning portal designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., Access, Equity and Quality by covering School/Vocational, Under-Graduate, Post Graduate, Engineering and Other Professional Courses. [1]

This is done through a platform that facilitates hosting of all the courses, taught in classrooms from Class 9 until post-graduation to be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. All the courses are interactive, prepared by the best teachers in the country and are available, free of cost to any learner. More than 1,000 specially chosen faculty and teachers from across the country have participated in preparing these courses.

The courses hosted on SWAYAM are in 4 quadrants –

(1) Video lecture,

(2) Specially prepared reading material that can be downloaded/printed

(3) Self-assessment tests through tests and quizzes and

(4) Online discussion forum for clearing the doubts.

Further steps have been taken to enrich the learning experience by using audio-video and multi-media and state of the art pedagogy / technology.

In order to ensure that best quality content is produced and delivered, nine National Coordinators have been appointed. They are:

  1. AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) for self-paced and international courses
  2. NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning) for Engineering
  3. UGC (University Grants Commission) for non technical post-graduation education
  4. CEC (Consortium for Educational Communication) for under-graduate education
  5. NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) for school education
  6. NIOS (National Institute of Open Schooling) for school education
  7. IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University) for out-of-school students
  8. IIMB (Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore) for management studies
  9. NITTTR (National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research) for Teacher Training programme

Courses delivered through SWAYAM are available free of cost to the learners, however learners wanting a SWAYAM certificate should register for the final proctored exams that come at a fee and attend in-person at designated centres on specified dates. Eligibility for the certificate will be announced on the course page and learners will get certificates only if this criteria is matched. Universities/colleges approving credit transfer for these courses can use the marks/certificate obtained in these courses for the same. [2]

AICTE’s Pick

AICTE has also enlisted a number of online course providers under an exclusive link which is available for learners to avail courses at free of cost. (Courses will be available till 31 May 2020).

Further, here are some principles of using Mass Media, for institutions that may wish to run online courses in the interest of engaging with the learners productively.

Primarily, teachers can consider making the entire indispensable arrangements to use the mass media very efficiently. Mass media should be chosen in accordance with the age group of the students.

1. Technology Integration in Curriculum: Taking proactive measures to integrate mass media as part of the educational programmes is an essential step

2. Preparation: Rehearsal of presentation is indispensable, as only the presentation of the content anchors the learners keeps them engaged.

3. The Right Channel: Choosing the right mass media channel that suits the needs of the learners is essential, through which the course is delivered coordinated by an experienced teacher.

4. Scheduling: Proper planning with regard to presenting the course online is essential; primarily the faculty who delivers the course should be proficient in handling the mass media tools.

5. Ease of Access: Ensuring ease of access is vital, as learners’ experience is one of the deciding factors of the success of any program. Ample bandwidth with uninterrupted connectivity would be an added advantage in the Internet era.

Final word

Astute use of contemporary techniques, mass media and pedagogical methods will prove fruitful in educating masses from now on. However, keeping the sessions lively and interactive lays in the hands of the teachers.




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