NEW DELHI: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), the pioneer in distance education courses in the country, has ventured in the digital education arena with 11 free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). The announcement regarding MOOCs was made by Minister of State HRD, Mahendra Nath Pandey at the 30th convocation ceremony of the university. Addressing the convocation, Pandey said that with the introduction of these courses, IGNOU will explore the free and digital education horizon, thus expanding the perimeter of distance education system.
Pandey also said that MHRD has given the channels of ‘Swayam’ and ‘Swayamprabha’ to IGNOU so that it can bring about a revolution in higher education in the country.
‘Swayamprabha’ is a bouquet of 32 direct-to-home (DTH) educational channels launched by MHRD last year to broadcast educational programmes for school and university students. The programmes broadcasted on these channels are based on content prepared by IIT professors and other subject experts.
As per PTI reports, he said,”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.”
Out of the 11 MOOCs launched, two certificate courses in Russian and e-learning are already functional. A senior IGNOU official told PTI that they plan to roll out the rest nine courses by the end of this month. The university will roll out 44 more MOOCs in next three months.
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a system which provides educational courses via the web and promotes unlimited participation. MOOCs do not qualify as formal education but allow students to learn a variety of courses and skills offered by various institutions for free.
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.”
He said that students could now edit filled-in information before final submission to the university. With the fee module now shifted to the last stage, the system had become more student friendly.
At the convocation, students from more than 200 courses were presented with 120 PhDs, 10 MPhils and 66 Gold Medals.