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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

State varsities should start offering online courses: report by Bhavya Dore

Universities in the state should consider providing open learning opportunities through online courses along the lines of foreign universities, a draft report on exam reforms through technology has recommended.


The report, prepared by a 15-member committee on upgrading the state’s higher
education system, has now become available for feedback from the public, after the last meeting concluded on September 14.

The University of Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Columbia are among several top universities offering online courses through various portals.

The report comes in the wake of multiple challenges including paper leaks, increased administrative burdens, delayed assessments and staffing shortages.

“Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) encourages greater interaction and discussions between students from different geographies leading to greater information sharing and content development,” said the report. “Typically, participation in a MOOC is free; however, some MOOCs may charge a fee in the form of tuition if the participant seeks accreditation.”

In the “wholesome education” segment of the report, the committee said that students should be allowed the opportunity to earn extra credits. “Through technology we have concentrated on transparency, accuracy and speedy performance,” said S Deo, director of examinations at Mumbai University, the secretary of the committee.

The report will be finalised after taking into account feedback on September 30 and will be submitted to the chief secretary in the first week of October.

Source: Hindustan Times

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