With educational institutions looking at novel options to make learning more interesting for students, a few are even taking that giant leap in technology by adopting the concept of cloud computing. Though it is catching up fast in various other domains, it is still young in the area of education, with only a few institutions in the country implementing it to make their institutions Cloud Campuses.
Coimbatore has just got a Cloud Campus in the form of Sasi Creative School of Business. Based on the “prepare, roll-out and adopt” phase, the institute has just fully adopted the concept to become a Cloud Campus.
With technical expertise from “Classle”, a Chennai-based company that provides social learning solutions, the institution has adopted a customised ‘Cloud’ for the institution.
The Cloud is a single online platform where students, faculty and administrative staff, are connected, and where all classes, lectures, management simulation games, internships, placements and alumni activity are facilitated. The idea is to facilitate campus collaboration from anywhere and anytime connecting everyone and helping them learn and develop by accessing resources from all over the world.
Students and faculty use the laptops that are provided by the institute. As the website opens, there are separate homepages for the student, faculty and system administrator respectively. There are broad links under headings such as ‘classes’, ‘collaborate’, ‘quiz’, ‘projects’, ‘library’, etc.
Talking about the transformation of the institute, Rajdeepan Swaminathan, Managing Trustee of the institute, said: “Students are extensively into social networking. When you know that you cannot stop it, it is only wise that you use the same medium to channelise their learning. Social learning is fast catching up and so we thought of tapping it for our students. We worked with Classle for over four months to derive at this module.”
The institute chose to go for the paid platform as against the free one that the company is providing to a few institutes.
“The paid Cloud is customised to suit our needs and also ensures that the company service is available to us 24X7. It also enables us connect with other Cloud campuses of the company, and industry, to augment placement opportunities. It brings a lot into a single Cloud,” Mr. Swaminathan said.
Launching the Sasi Cloud Campus on July 2, Vikas Goyal, Vice-President of ‘Classle’, said it engaged the students through challenging, collaborative environment that facilitated, visualised, simulated and investigated. “With varied features like lectures, text, audio, video, demonstrations, group discussions, and games, Cloud Campus is a very interesting bet,” he added.
The institute has appointed a dedicated Cloud Campus instructor.
The website is made interesting for students to gain ‘campus points’ by answering impromptu quizzes, riddles, coming up with project ideas, etc.
The institute has planned a reward system for the person with highest campus points on a regular basis. Feedback from the students is very positive. Mr. Swaminathan said that the institute wanted to be fore-runner in adopting cloud computing for the institute because it “is the future of learning”.