Saturday, August 10, 2013

Transforming Indian Education with MOOCs: Inaugural Programme Details

Transforming Indian Education with MOOCs

Prof. M M Pant, Founder, LMP Education Trust, explains that this event is a gathering of thought leaders, opinion makers and academics to deliberate upon addressing the multiple challenges to education in a rapidly changing world through a number of disruptive innovative solutions. These include inculcating self-learning (building on meta-cognition), curating learning, measuring learning, collaborative and co-operative learning, personalisation of learning and learning analytics.

We also need a fundamental change of perspective. State delivered Education is based on authority, licenses and permissions and is often a misfit in modern times. As Henry Maine had said ' as society progresses, it moves from status to contract'. So must the educational system build contractual relationships between the learner and providers of learning with educators being at the core.

A technological and pedagogical model that has received a lot of attention during the last years initiated by Stanford, Harvard, Duke and almost 100 of the world's top ranking Uni-versities to teach millions of learners is that of the MOOC. The MOOC is considered on the one hand as a panacea for education and on the other as a defilement of the sanctity of the higher education tradition. The truth will probably lie somewhere in between and we must explore the potential of MOOCs to create a model of simultaneously teaching on-site and off-site learners, using synchronous and a-synchronous teacher learner interactions to de-liver assured high quality learning to large numbers, maybe evolve a model for a classroom of 10,000 learners.

This event is a step in that direction. We are experimenting here with a few MOOCs in a variety of subjects, for different target groups delivered by a team of Internationally re-nowned resource persons. We will be exploring several technological platforms and peda-gogical models to find answers to a few interesting questions:

  • What is the right size of a learning cohort that is empowered with technology?
  • What is the right price for tuition?
  • What would be the most appropriate technology platform for mass education?
  • What is the best way to cope with linguistic diversity?
  • What course programs are best delivered as MOOCs?
  • What skill sets must learners have to benefit most from MOOCs?
  • What skill sets must educators acquire to teach effectively with MOOCs?
While MOOCs began as University courses of about 12 weeks, they may evolve to shorter duration MOOCs, such as Nano-learning MOOCs equivalent to the standard lecture, micro-MOOCs equivalent to the half-day ( 3 hour) seminar/workshop and an intensive 20 hour mini-MOOC reflecting Josh Kaufman's estimate of the time required to learn anything new.

To deliberate upon these timely issues, the event was inaugurated on Friday, 9th August 2013 by Prof. Asha Singh Kanwar, President & Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth of Learning (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Inaugural Session 
  • Welcome by Mr. D.C. Pant, Former Pro-Vice Chancellor IGNOU 
  • Introduction by Prof. M.M. Pant, Founder, LMP Education Trust
  • Inaugural remarks and launch of 'The MOOC Primer' by Chief Guest: Prof. Asha Singh Kanwar, President & C.E.O., Commonwealth of Learning (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Session 1
MOOCs: a solution or another fad (Chair person: Prof. Vinay Pathak)
1.1: The technology and pedagogy supporting MOOCs {Dr. Kinner Sachdeva}
1.2: New skill sets needed for effective participation in MOOCs {Prof. George Eapen} 1.3: MOOCs as a disruptive innovation for education in difficult and disaster-prone Geographies {Prof. Durgesh Pant}

Session 2
Panel Discussion: Transforming Indian Education with MOOCs (Chair person: Prof. V.R. Mehta)
Themes : 

  • Science and Technology Education {Prof. S.K. Kak} 
  • Healthcare and Medicine {Dr. Ajay Agarwal} 
  • Teacher Education {Prof. A.K. Sharma}
  • School Education {Prof. Rajaram Sharma}
  • Legal Education {Prof. Susan Lamb}
  • Management Education {Prof. J.K. Mitra}
  • Higher Education in Hindi {Prof. G.K. Rai}

Session 3
Open Education Resources (Chair person: Prof. Marmar Mukhopadhyay)
3.1: The OER movement & launch of 'The OER MOOC' {Prof. Madhulika Kaushik}
3.2: Learning and Teaching effectively with OERs {Prof. Sanjay Jasola}
3.3: OERs and Educational Providers {Dr. R.C. Sharma}

Session 4
Announcements of MOOCs
4.1: Effective Parenting for Pre-School Children {Ms. Anjali Gogia}
4.2: Mathematical Modeling for School Teachers {Dr. Dharam Prakash}
4.3: Curating Learning Resources {Sri Sanjay Malaviya}
4.4: Becoming an Independent Educator {Dr.Gita Bajaj}

"May a thousand MOOCs bloom": Concluding Observations {Prof. MM Pant}

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