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Friday, November 4 • 2:15pm - 2:40pm
'Open Education in the Indian context : new approaches and challenges'

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India has the largest population of University-age students in the world and the growing numbers by 2025 may challenge the inadequacy and quality of the Higher Education system. "New Education policy" is taking adequate measures to address this challenging task of providing world class education to the youth of India and steer the economy of the country on an upward trajectory, by taking initiatives to link higher education with employability, skill development and entrepreneurship.

Due to lack of physical seats in higher education institutions, open and distance education plays an important role to provide access to the masses in terms of quality education for degree programs and skill enhancement certificate courses e.g. University of Delhi ( http://www.du.ac.in) .Open education can make higher education more accessible to working students with limited financial resources , and encourage them for "Earn while you Learn". The students pursue degree programs through distance learning mode and simultaneously, take up industry linked professional certificate courses which makes them employable. With millions of Indians leap-frogging technologies, going from limited access to electricity to ownership of smart phone technologies; even rural and impoverished Indians are connected to the world like never before and therefore, ODL is a sustainable approach to achieve the target of educating large numbers.

In developing countries like India, MOOCs( Massive Online Open Course) could help towards building a new model of higher education which is away from a Bricks and mortar model of an Institution of higher learning. There could be MOOC on basic general components in respective subject fields. Also, e-learning and MOOC courseware could be used by Indian Universities to lower the cost of instruction even for the science labs. However, the rise and potential decline of MOOC educational system in the developed world presents a unique challenge for the Indian system to learn from; as educational institutions attempt to connect and educate these population. Apart from MOOC, there can be online- onsite courses with subsidized fees, e -learning manuals and use of flipped class.

With a robust system of accreditation and credit transfers; Open and Distance learning is the key to meet the needs and aspirations of higher education system in developing countries.

However, the major challenge of implementing massive open education source and industry oriented online courses , lies in the fact that firstly the country's economy should be able to support and promote digital literacy for the masses and envisage provision for access devices to institutions and learners. Other challenge lies in quality content creation as per global standards and also to overcome impediments like the bandwidth issue, online assessment, credits transfer to Universities, certification etc. The use of ICT and Cloud Technology can leverage their potential for the benefit of all learners in educational institutions by encouraging "learning anywhere anytime" mode and also promote lifelong and continuous learning that will contribute to global knowledge economy.

avatar for Mamta Bhatia

Mamta Bhatia

Associate Professor, Acharya Narendra Dev College,University of Delhi
Dr. Mamta Bhatia is a recipient of Fulbright – Nehru International Education Administrator’s Award for 2014 and attended the Seminar under which she visited several community colleges in Washington, New York and Florida; to understand the concept and challenges of community colleges... Read More →

Friday November 4, 2016 2:15pm - 2:40pm EDT