Posted on Monday, June 25, 2018
Will conventional teachers and traditional classrooms lose its value with increasing popularity of online learning systems? This the question that has left many teachers confused.
As the government moves forward with its plan to promote digital learning through information technology platform SWAYAM that hosts a number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), one of the major challenges faced by the authorities in implementing it is resistance from certain section of teachers who believe that such a format for learning can be a threat to their conventional jobs, said, Manpreet Singh Manna, director SWAYAM and PMSS, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
These courses on SWAYAM are created and provided by the faculty members of centrally funded institutions like IITs, IIMs and central universities. Presently, the portal hosts MOOC available for various subjects starting from class IX to post graduate level."There is a mind-set among some teachers regarding the idea of MOOC that it is a threat to their traditional jobs. Another big challenge is that the teachers who are used to teaching in conventional classrooms, are finding it difficult to teach in front of the camera," said Manna during a panel discussion at ‘higher education technology conference’, organised by EdTech Review.
He added that ensuring quality of the content and providing the MOOC content in regional languages is also a hard task.
“Our aim is to provide the content available through MOOC in 10 regional languages. So, to upload any course, a language expert is also needed along with the subject expert. Presently, we have finished with two of the language and have eight more to go,” said the official. He added that MOOC will be a success in India as it has been linked with choice based credit system, in all University Grants Commission (UGC) and AICTE recognised institutes, to ensure enrolment. This means if a student chooses his elective from one of the MOOC while pursuing a degree, he will have to sit for the certification exam of the elective course as well. Without the certificate, the degree will not be awarded.
"The aim is to give the best choices available to the students from all over the country. With this students are able to study interdisciplinary subjects and add value to their degree," said Manna.
He also stressed on the need to improve the quality of educators in India in order to create skilled workforce.
“With growth of online courses and MOOC only the role of teacher is changing and not being replaced. So teachers who fear job replacement have nothing to worry about,” said another panellist A. K. Bakshi, vice chancellor, PDM University.
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