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Delhi University to launch MOOCs by end of this month

The Delhi University is about to launch its series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) by the end of this month, reports the Times of India. The courses will be open and accessible worldwide and will be provided free of cost.

The first MOOC course will start on January 30th in a series called ‘India in the 21st century’, which will include 10 lectures with all of them to be delivered by the Vice Chancellor of the University Dinesh Singh. The University will also provide offline interactive facilities at four colleges, including Aryabhatta College, Maharaja Agrasen College, IP College for Women and Keshav Mahavidyalaya.

Students participating in the MOOC will be provided with a certificate for the non-credit courses although the approval for this is to be yet granted by the varsity’s Academic Council (AC) which is meeting today. The course itself can be accessed by students and members of Delhi University through the University’s internet network.

mooc

The report mentions that the University undertook this initiative to demonstrate that technology enabled learning is effective for good teaching and learning. However, the enrollments for the course are yet to be announced.

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Last month, IIT Kanpur had mentioned that it was developing its own platform for MOOCs called MOOKIT. Under MOOKIT, the institution said it will develop MOOCs around verticals like agriculture and computer science among others.

Similarly the HRD Ministry’s own MOOC platform SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds), which was expected to launch by the end of last year, had signed a Joint Declaration of Intent with the US Department of State to have US universities offer online courses through its platform. At the time of launch SWAYAM is expected to have three different courses – two from IIT Bombay and one from UC Berkeley’s Umesh Vazirani. Currently, all these courses are available on edX, an MIT and Harvard backed MOOC provider.

The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) had also launched a new e-learning course in association with IIT and IISc, in March last year. The program is powered by Google’s open-source MOOC platform Course Builder, and it runs on App Engine and Compute Engine. As we had mentioned then, the government already has an open education website in NROER, so it’s not clear why NPTEL exists as a separate website at all.

The Indian Government also operates Sakshat, as part of its national mission on education through ICT. All services provided on this website, such as e-books, virtual classes and testing services, are available freely under the creative commons license.

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