College teachers find e-learning system useful as it provides them the freedom to create and manage content for their class.

In an effort to bridge the gap between teachers and technology-savvy students and thus make education more interesting, the Academic Staff College (ASC), University of Madras, recently organised an orientation course for teachers on content development for E-learning in collaboration with the Chennai-based Access Atlantech Edutainment (AAE).

In this ‘Train the Teachers' programme, the first of its kind in the university, 150 teachers from Tamil Nadu and Kerala participated.

“Participants included heads of departments, senior and junior lecturers from different faculties such as languages, science and arts and vocational streams,” said, P. Kingsley Alfred Chandrasekhar, Director, ASC.

“The staff college of the Univesity of Madras has for the first time got into this kind of training for lecturers as we feel that the need of the hour is to give students an experience in e-learning.

Traditional methods of teaching combined with latest technology will make a great impact for the student community,” he said.

“Our aim is to ensure that teachers approach teaching as an enjoyable experience, rather than consider it only as a profession. Teachers enjoy the freedom to develop content for their learning and also have the freedom to manage it and update it themselves,” says Rathish Babu, chief executive officer of AAE.

Mediapro, the software used by the AAE to train teachers, takes care of formatting and creating tables, graphics, pie charts and voiceover. It helps create and manage content in 17 Indian languages.

Teachers need to develop only content and do not have to undergo technical training. As most educational institutions have computers, it would be fairly easy for teachers to develop e-learning content.

The latest orientation programme concentrated only on content generation.

“E-learning can be successfully implemented and its advantage can reach a wider student community only if there is active participation from both the sides,” said Mr. Babu.

Another advantage in this system is that the software also has an in-built broadcast mechanism.

“Our initiative is to empower the faculty with the right technology and tools to help them pass on the right type of knowledge to students. We hope to create the right ambience for a better equipped student community,” he said.

Such workshops for faculty development help update curriculum and upgrade methodology. Their objective is to integrate theoretical academics with practical industry experience.