Section 3: Executing the Mission

This page and ensuing detail pages are work-in-progress and cannot constitute a formal representation of opinions of all members until its release. No opinion herein may be ascribed to any member or organization till that time. Please do not quote as a finished work.


  • Required Infrastructure, manpower and tools
    • Technology – Devices, Delivery Channels
    • How can we get organized (National Learning Corporation), CLO
    • Shared services mechanisms
    • Budgets & Schedules

We propose the establishment of a National Learning Corporation. The NLC will be led by the Chief Learning Officer of India, who will be assisted by state level CLOs, a Chief Learning Technology Officer, a Chief Academic Officer and a Chief Operations Officer, apart from heads of other functions such as Finance, Incubation, Administration and Legal. Also reporting in to the national CLO will be the head for Special and Inclusive Education.

The NLC could be built on the lines of the National Skills Development Corporation, but with significant alterations in approach and methodology. It will be accountable to the PPP consortium and responsible for implementing the vision and achieving the specified goals.

The following focus areas and actionable goals will be the focus of the NLC.

Infrastructure: Energy, Computing and Network

  1. Provision of affordable and reliable power, computing and network services to 17,000 entities involved in Higher Education.
  2. Provision of LAB facilities and assets to support physical learning activities
  3. Provision of and integration with existing technology, content repositories and other services on a nationwide network (aggregate all existing efforts in technology, content and R&D) by a core team of 50 Ed Tech professionals over 5 years with support from existing initiatives
    1. Identity Management: The ability to uniquely identify a stakeholder and reach out to through multiple identified channels
    2. Campus ERP: A minimalistic ERP system that is based on a SaaS model
    3. Knowledge and Community Networking Services: A mechanism for dissemination and sharing information for, by and of the networks
    4. Communication & Collaboration Services: A mechanism for collaboration
  • Virtual on-demand classrooms
  • Audio and Video Conferencing, including application sharing
  • FM and Community Radio interfaces
  • Satellite based two-way interactive TV

Community

  1. Creation of an elite cadre of 170,000 EdTech champions (including teachers) across the country that shall be certified to create awareness, build & grow educational networks, disseminate information and act as a strategic implementation arm of the MHRD.
  2. Creation of Communities of Practice models and structures that allow guilds to be created for education purposes across sectors and locations.

Content

  1. Creation of localizable, multilingual, rich media advanced elearning and offline materials across subjects (including vocational, medical and agriculture, in close cooperation with those and other guilds)
  2. Integration of domestic community and international Open content repositories through a process of academic, pedagogical and technical validation
  3. Creation of Teacher and Student Resource Kits and kits for assessment of teachers for continuing certification in ET.
  4. Guilds shall create participatory processes to capture curriculum based on interactions between members in the guild and in close interaction with actual employers

Education Technology and R&D

  1. Development of cutting edge technology and EdTech pedagogy by a core team of Ed Tech professionals over 5 years with support from existing initiatives
    1. Personal Learning Environments for every connected person
    2. MOOC based learning environments on demand for community learning initiatives
    3. Social Networking tools for learning, recruitment and professional collaboration
    4. BIG Data Capture and Analytic Services: Provision for data collection services for each node, type of data and type of network. This will involve designing and implementing a single framework for organizing and assessing data, closely integrated with initiatives such as the UID and ERP for HEI. Create the systems for collecting and analysing educational data in ways that make the teaching-learning process adaptive and responsive
    5. Creation and implementation of cutting edge learning content management systems that will allow mass generation of authentic rich media content
    6. Web 3.0 and Semantic Web based development of educational services and applications
    7. Mobile Learning solutions
    8. Offline solutions (like Indian Post, Community Radios, Mobile, IVR)
    9. Adaptive Learning and Personalization systems
    10. Virtual Labs, Gamification, Simulations and Serious Games frameworks development/procurement
    11. Inclusive Education focused R&D
    12. Research and Development in EdTech: Establish a mechanism to develop and integrate increasing amounts of intellectual capital/ human resources that can facilitate the network effect and lead & extend the state of the art; development of 500 international level PhD holders in 5 years

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  1. Provide seed funding of 5 cr for 10 entrepreneurs each year in the field of Ed Tech
  2. Provide 1,000 small scale women, disabled, socially and economically weaker sections INR 5 lakhs grants per year for supporting HEIs with products and services; provide easy loan schemes or microfinance initiatives for this audience; boost educational tourism to certified sites
  3. Provide a support system (ET Labs and other institutions) for these ecosystems for design-through-adoption cycles

Policy

  1. Implement ET certification in teacher career progression (and pay scale) systems; reward performers with more incentives
  2. Process to renew certification every year that requires teachers to demonstrate project experience (employing ET in teaching practice evidence) and conform to ET guidelines
  3. Policy for creating a cadre of champion teachers and teacher assessors, educational administrators, guilds, education sites, LABs
  4. Setting directives and guidelines for the use of funds and for the cooperation between and across MHRD industry and academia.
  5. Money back guarantees for students (a.k.a. NSDC Star Scheme)

Phasewise execution

2014-17 12th Plan

  1. Set up the NLC with appropriate funding and controls
  2. Make the necessary policy changes for NLC to drive the future of online learning
  3. NLC Roadmap and Strategy, setup
  4. NLC production effort on select initiatives

2017-22 13th Plan

2022-27 14th Plan

2027-32 15th Plan

  • Institutions (including teacher & administrator training) (Mohan)
  • Administrators, Teachers and Students (Mohan and Prof Jain)
  • Community (Lokesh and Viplav)
  • Government, include Teacher Training (Lokesh & Prof. Jain)
  • Corporations/Private players (Mohan)
  • Industry Association (Rajesh)

Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs have been a hotly debated and oft discussed topic in the higher education circles. According to the Oxford Dictionary, MOOCs is defined as “A course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people.” This essentially means that a student sitting in the remotest corner of the globe but with access to a computer and a fairly high speed internet connection can have access to courses being run at the most prestigious universities of the world like Stanford, Harvard, MIT and others of their league. Further, these courses are absolutely free of charge and are specifically designed courses which can cater to a niche of students and has no bars on factors like age, etc. While it is true that a vast number of Universities have started offering at least one online course, speculation is rife about it being successful in the long run.

It is widely felt that if the idea of MOOCs can be implemented in the true sense, it will ensure that students across the world can make an informed choice of what they wish to study, where they wish to study, under whom and for what purpose without having to think of the associated financial burden. Geographical boundaries shall cease to be important and shall usher in an era where knowledge shall be truly free and multi-directional. Detractors make a few valid arguments, some of them relating to dire completion rates, lack of credibility of the certificate with potential employers who still prefer the conventional courses and the associated accreditation issues giving rise to the question of standards, technical glitches involved in the completion of the course (refers to internet penetration and available speeds, more pertinent in the case of developing countries and assumes greater significance in light of the fact that MOOCs is supposed to be the game changer in enhancing access to affordable quality higher education for the students in these countries).

Another major challenge that needs to be dealt with is the lack of a business model for MOOCS. Currently there is no clear cut business case for MOOCs except for the fact that Universities are using it to showcase their star lecturers’ curriculum design with a view to entice fee paying international students, though, it would be extremely difficult to quantify the returns arising out of such an arrangement. However, the nay-sayers continue to believe that this is an extremely smart marketing gimmick by the institutes to attract more students to their campus, thereby taking away a bit of the sheen from the other larger benefits that MOOCs can offer to students worldwide.

If MOOCs is to succeed then all these challenges shall have to be addressed in a manner which ensures a win-win situation for all involved. While some of the challenges need a more broad based participation, in some other cases apex industry chambers like FICCI can play a pivotal role in influencing thoughts and attitudes, particularly of the private industry. Industry bodies such as ours can be the front runners in building consensus on the importance and relevance of MOOCs among industry members.

Further, industry bodies can also play a significant role in pushing for the requisite policy reforms that shall create an enabling environment for MOOCs to flourish which shall in turn pave the way for a robust and strong policy framework for MOOCs alone.

MOOCs is currently in its nascent stages and for it to be a serious game changer, it would be imperative that multi stake holder platforms are created where consensus on a wide range of significant and crucial issues would need to be established. FICCI with its large network of members with a reach which spans the length and breadth of the economy is ideally poised to carry out this task and at the same time liaise and coordinate with the government to bring about the desired policy framework. FICCI would be the ideal platform to disseminate preliminary information and spread awareness on MOOCS through the multitude of events that it conducts like seminars, Roundtables, Conferences, and Symposia etc. in connection with different industries. In fact, MOOCs cuts across sectors and FICCI with its guns trained on 72 sectors of the economy would be an ideal stakeholder to promote the growth and development of MOOCs in India.

Once there is universal acceptability on the need and potential for MOOCs, the key-stakeholders can endeavour to work towards making the MOOCs courses standardized and phased, which can also be accepted by the industry for the purpose of recruitment. This shall automatically raise the interest levels of the students with an associated increase in the completion rates. The success of MOOCs shall largely depend upon student involvement and participation of their own accord, which in turn shall depend upon the perceived value of these courses.

However, in countries like India the perceived value of a course to a great degree is a function of its ability to fetch a big ticket job. The higher paying the job it attracts, the greater is the perceived value. India as a nation has not reached a stage where students pursue courses for the love of knowledge alone. Therefore, it shall be imperative that private industry creates a system where MOOCs becomes an acceptable toll gate for students aspiring for rewarding jobs in industry. Unless private industry chooses to put its back behind this, MOOCs is unlikely to succeed. Bringing together stakeholders, establishing consensus over contentious issues, mobilising resources, etc are all tasks that can be achieved through industry bodies like FICCI.

MOOCs still has a long way to go. A plethora of issues shall need to be resolved till it can become ubiquitous. Stakeholders shall also need to work actively towards bringing in variety of end users. However, for that to happen, all stakeholders will have to make a concerted effort to ensure that the true benefits of MOOCs can permeate to all corners of the country.

  • Non-governmental Organizations (Lokesh)
  • International players (Girish, Lokesh)
  • Adoption (learner and teacher, administrator) (include Teacher Training) (Mohan & Prof Jain)
  • Critical Success Factors
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