The list of online credit courses will be notified on the SWAYAM platform before November 1 for the January semester and before June 1 for the July semester, every year. “Universities will have the flexibility to opt for the courses based on this. Since many of the MOOCs on SWAYAM are being offered by the country’s premier institutions, more students will have access to high-quality content, ”says N Gopukumar, joint secretary, UGC.
Adoption of online courses, according to him, is evolving fast, with as many as 147 universities having opted for SWAYAM courses post the pandemic. “These include 27 central universities, 51 state universities, 24 deemed universities and 45 private universities.”
Evaluation and certification
As per UGC, the Host Institution organized a course on SWAYAM and the course coordinator will be responsible for evaluating the student registered for the credit-based MOOCs. The parent institution where the student is enrolled will give the equivalent credit weightage and no university can refuse credit mobility to any student.
These courses can help address the digital divide, Gopukumar says, since the Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC), an inter university center set up by the UGC, is running SWAYAM PRABHA channels through which these courses are being telecast to widen their reach. ”
Welcoming the move, RP Tiwari, vice chancellor, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, one of the early adopters says, “Earlier, universities could allow up to 20% MOOCs in a programme, but due to the paradigm shift in our education system post covid , this mode of ‘anytime, anywhere learning’ has been increased to 40%. Students will now have greater access to courses from different universities and learning environments. ”
KR Venugopal, vice chancellor, Bangalore University, anticipates that around 50% of the curriculum will soon go online. “Institutes with no digital infrastructure will be forced to adopt online learning. Funds allocated for developing physical infrastructure can be used to strengthen the digital ecosystem, to increase the reach. With the second wave of COVID-19, online courses will gain more relevance. ”
The move, says Venugopal, will also improve the gross enrolment ratio (GER). Digitalisation will ensure the proper distribution of students and stop the migration of students from rural to urban areas as learning material will be available at their fingertips.
“MOOCS will also mitigate the shortage of infrastructure and teachers while making the Indian education system more democratic and learner-centric. Owing to the four quadrant approach of imparting these courses involving e-Tutorials, e-Books, discussion forum, MCQs, quizzes etc, students will no longer have to rely on rote learning, ”Tiwari adds.
(With additional inputs)