The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) just launched 11 Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC), marking its debut in the digital space of distance learning. IGNOU is the leader of distance learning in India and with the launch of these 11 courses, has taken the distance education sector towards a new horizon. The announcement was made by Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State HRD, during the 30 convocation of the premier university of India. He said that the step will enable the University to utilize the free and digital education space and as a result, there would be an expansion in the digital education system.
Adding further Pandey said that IGNOU has been provided with two channels, ‘Swayam’ and ‘Swayamprabha’ to catalyze its process of revolutionizing the higher education in the country.
Both the channels broadcast educational programs especially designed by the professors of IITs or other experts of the field. “Swayamprabha” is in itself a group of 32 channels that was released last year by the MHRD to broadcast educational programs for the students of school and universities.
“The university is already working on Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Our expectation from the university shall be to extend its students horizon towards digital education through new technology, communication mediums, electronic mediums, and devices” said Pandey, as reported by PTI.
While two (Russian & e-learning) out of the 11 MOOC are already functional, the officials claim to make the rest 9 courses functional before the end of this month. In the coming three months, the university has its plan to roll out 44 more MOOCs.
MOOC is a web-based system that promoted maximum participation and offers virtual reach. Though it does not qualify as formal education reform, MOOC successfully helps many students to gain knowledge about various subjects and courses offered by the different university without any cost.
The IGNOU Vice-Chancellor Ravindra Kumar said, “The online admission system has received an encouraging response with the university for admission of students for the July 2016 cycle. As many as 1,53,454 students took admission through this mode for the January 2017 cycle.”
IGNOU is also working on its fee module which is in its last stage. This has made the university very students friendly. IGNOU offers a number of courses for distance learning and every year lakhs of students seek admission in various courses offered by IGNOU.