op-ed online learning in india EDUKWEST

Online Learning In India – A Note

There is a lot of activity around the Online Learning, MOOC, Hybrid Learning space in India. A number of leading universities have started their own MOOC’s (IITBX, IIMB) and are offering open access to their content to students.

The governments push for Skill Development and its initiative of upskilling of millions of Indians also has  technology as one of the corner stones of its policy. There are already existing programmes that use a Hybrid teaching model – (learn some parts online / mobile and then go to a class and brush up what you have learnt through an instructor)

Related: EdTech Market Brief India Q1 2016

Online learning through MOOC’s, Hybrid Learning etc is a relatively new area in India that needs encouragement and handholding by the Government and its respective certification agencies. One of the main challenges facing the online space is certification and the acceptance of this certification by the Industry.

There is a policy in the making which will offer credit for students doing courses online in their respective universities – this is an excellent and bold initiative which has come at the right time. We need such long term ideas if we really need to make Online Learning a force to reckon with.

Offering credit for courses completed within the Higher Education system and then getting the Industry to accept such credits and certifications will close this loop. The Sector Skill Councils are working towards this in the vocational space – I believe we need a similar body that will create policy on  online certifications, curriculum and lay down guidelines for private players to operate in this space.

The next few years are critical – if we are able to create a healthy ecosystem which emphasises on learning outcomes, guarantees authenticity of online credits and certificates, then we will be able to fulfil the idea of delivering the best content and certification to the people who do currently do not have access.

This will require active and honest participation from all stakeholders  – Universities, Faculty, Higher Education Ministries, State Governments, Private Sector and of-course the students.

Picture by Charlie Styr via Flickr

CEO - Millionlights.org - Deeply involved in bringing inclusive technology to the Higher Education vertical in India. Part of the Governments Mission on ICT programme.