The demand for non-traditional education is growing but there is a shortage of qualified educational technology (ET) professionals and researchers. With an aim to bridge the gap, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B) will introduce MTech in Educational Technology (ET) programme from the upcoming academic session.
“While the country is moving towards digital learning, there is a shortage of qualified ET experts in various research labs, curriculum design roles in schools, colleges and industries for creating educational applications, training departments for online and remote trainings, and content development industries for creation of technology-enhanced learning material and field implementation works,” says Veenita Shah, research-scientist and spokesperson, ET, IIT-B.
The primary reason for this dearth is that ET is an emerging discipline and there are not many dedicated courses at the undergraduate or postgraduate levels.
The programme will screen learners from diverse background who have keen interest in improving technology-based teaching and learning. “Educational Technology is an interdisciplinary field. The broad objective of the programme is to build specialised ET workforce with student expertise in theories of learning and pedagogy, analysis, design, effective implementation and evaluation of learning environments, instructional design, research methodologies, and translating research into practices,” says Sridhar Iyer, head of the department.
The two-year programme will constitute course work, emerging educational technologies, research methods and statistics, designing learning environments and adaptive learning along with on-field projects. The candidates will work on research that has been categorised into four areas, namely Technology-enhanced Learning of Thinking Skills (TELoTS), Teacher Use of Educational Technologies (TUET), Educational Data Analytics (EDA) and Emerging Technologies (EmergE).
Apart from the lack of qualified education technology professionals to design informed solutions to existing challenges in our education system, another challenge is the effective integration of strategic pedagogy and technology.
“Efforts are being made by our department in training teachers across India as part of our focal research. More than 10,000 teachers have been trained through large-scale workshops and massive open online courses (MOOC) initiatives in research-based pedagogical strategies, technology integration and analytics,” says Shah.