About

This is a site dedicated to envisioning alternate futures for MOOCs in India, instigated by FICCI and their Committee on Higher Education. Initiated by Mr. Mohandas Pai and led by Prof B N Jain (VC, BITS), the core team facilitating this discussion comprises of:

  • Girish Gopalakrishnan, Synoptes
  • Lokesh Mehra, Microsoft
  • Mohan Kannegal, Manipal Global Education
  • Manish Upadhyay, LIQVID
  • Rajesh Pankaj, FICCI
  • Viplav Baxi, LearnOS

The site is open to all constructive commentaries, opinions and contributions. We invite you to write in, reference your work and comment on the work being done on this site. Use the comments boxes below to send in your special requests.

Remember, this effort is open and it is online. However it is massive only if you participate!

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10 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey there, I am a final year Business Journalism student studying in London and I am doing a research project on MOOCs and its impact on education and recruitment in India. My main topic is based on whether a foreign degree is worth the investment for Indian students, and I want to incorporate the element of MOOCs in it. Since the percentage of students who use MOOCs in India is high, I was wondering if I could interview any of the experts on this blog with regards to it. Please do let me know asap. Your help and input will be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Hi

    My name is Haroon. I am an NRI and Medical Hospitalist in Sydney. I have an interest in leveraging Massive Open Online Education in enabling equitable access to high quality education across geographic and institutional boundaries.

    We believe that this has the potential to address the current shortages India faces in medical generalist and specialist workforce and would be keen to be a part of enabling solutions that facilitate MOOC adoption in the country

    Look forward to hearing from you

    Regards

    Haroon

  3. Hello, I read through the MOOCs report and was surprised to see several Indian initiatives not mentioned in it. The NPTEL program has been working on Web Courses since last several years and their MOOCs program (officially launched in Jan 2014) has already offered three courses reaching out to more than 100k students. A group led by Prof TV Prabhakar at IIT Kanpur has offered four online courses and have developed their own software platform to deliver SPOCs. Also, Dr Gautam Shroff (TCS, Adjunct at IIT Delhi) was possibly the first faculty from India to offer a MOOC (as it is known in its current definition). His course on Big Data was offered on Coursera. I work at Google and have been extensively collaborating with the NPTEL project. Would be happy to talk more about initiatives in this space.

  4. Wow Great Website Ashwani — 100K students is really good.
    But with Indians being the second largest consumers of MOOC worldwide — Do MOOC’s need to be popularised more in India ? Could this help more students enrol in MOOC ?

    I definitely see MOOC’s as very potent medium of informal education that could leveraged to enable collaborative learning across craft groups — this could be particular relevance at the intersection of technology / medicine / education — since such learning could potentially spur innovative ideas in mhealth solutions , data analytics to personalize healthcare etc

    And I think this is one field that could be of great benefit to healthcare institutions , patients and also enabling cost efficient high quality health service in India

  5. @Viplav – thanks, my email ID is mentioned along with the reply. Please do drop a line.

    @Haroon – several observations from you, let me reply one by one.

    MOOCs (and other online programs) are very hard to popularize in India among college students. The audience is distributed over a large area, they are not consuming online media that we could advertise easily to them and their social networks are hard to reach. For now, print advertising seems the only effective way to reach that audience and that is extremely costly.

    It is important to find out what keeps students engaged in a MOOC. I find that the demands of a course are so much that students find it hard to incorporate it with their regular schedule of classes and assignments. Some kind of university credit waiver is required to give them time to engage. While working with NPTEL, we have seen that a credible certification process also keeps students engaged. In-fact the future might be that students could learn anywhere but show up at a university’s doorstep to write the exam without having ever attended that university’s classes.

    All the areas of learning and training that you point out could potentially benefit from MOOCs. This field is in its infancy right now and so various teachers, trainers and policy makers should keep trying and learning about what works for them. Experimentation is the key. A few technologists can only provide a platform for teachers and trainers to come and try new things.

    • Many thanks Ashwin. You make great points.

      I suspect the engagement issue that you allude to is not dissimilar to the issues faced by MOOC”s all over the world. I believe the completion rates range around 4-8% for most MOOC’s.

      Some argue that these completion rates could be increased if the MOOC’s were able to foster that workforce that would meet the needs of the corporate world. This would increase the commitment of the students — since it would have career advancement implications for the them. Such courses could be funded by the corporate world — given their interest in training a workforce that suits their needs. Nanodegrees — founded by Sebastian Thrun ( Founder of Udacity) is based on this idea.

      One wonders if one could form such partnerships with industry partners in India to design courses that help train a workforce that would be relevant to the changing needs of today’s world. Such partnerships could be advertised in campus career expos and also in conjunction with government stakeholders.

      Such partnerships I believe could be leveraged to foster collaboration between teachers, trainers and the industry stakeholders by subscribing to new paradigms in learning and accreditation like practice based learning .This may in the end help enable high quality learning that fosters a workforce that is relevant to needs of our society.

      This is article on Practice Based Learning from UTS maybe of interest

      https://www.uts.edu.au/future-students/communication/student-experience/practice-based-learning

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