Hacking the Indian MOOCs

The game is afoot. There seems to be some signs of a resurgence in xMOOCs in India.

The government, it seems, is asking folks at CDAC to put together an indigenous platform within 3 months and asking both school and higher education institutions to contribute by January 2016. This is SWAYAM 2.0 it seems, an aggressive roadmap to put MOOCs (alas, xMOOCs) in the hands of our children. Pity that we still do not know or appreciate the difference between a MOOC and an online course. Skill development folks also seem to be riding on this path.

Meanwhile Amity University has placed an actual undergraduate degree on its MOOC platform. The degree is being provided from Amity University and the website is silent on the exam fees it hopes to generate. Is the degree something that has the endorsement of the doyens in the government?

Incredibly the government has also created a veritable marketplace for digital content with ebasta.in. The ostensible aim being to do away with the heavy school bag. I don’t know if it will also shift the heavy load that we call our education from the students’ shoulders.

Somehow we are stuck in the ICT age and mould. Provisioning network, hardware and now Apps seems to be the secret sauce behind making learning and teaching better when what is needed are the skills to learn online, to teach online and to administer online.  That perhaps will see the light only organically, if at all.

What we need is to first understand the cultural gaps in online education and then devise our strategies for technology enabled learning. Unless this gap is addressed by making the academic workflow online seamless, there will be no significant progress made. Practice, not provision, will make us perfect.

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