Shastry V. Mallady
It will begin with popular courses, says Vice-Chancellor
MADURAI: Courses offered by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will be available online from the academic year 2007-08 and those who want to avail themselves of that facility can opt for it at the time of admission.
To start with, the university is extending the online facility to its popular courses, beginning from the July session, and all study materials will be posted on the Internet.
Speaking to The Hindu here on Monday, IGNOU Vice-Chancellor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai said the move was aimed at "putting technology into teaching and learning in a big way" and online courses would be offered along with print medium. "We are not replacing the existing system of despatching self-learning materials to students. But our students will have the facility to study online be it lessons or assignments," he said. In the first phase, management studies and computer courses are to be covered.
He said steps were taken for `consolidation' of academic programmes by weeding out courses that were not relevant today and revising the curriculum in tune with the times.
The IGNOU would introduce `Smart Cards' that would be given to each student. To be launched in two to three months, the card would contain complete academic data of the student.
According to Dr. Pillai, a study had been undertaken for this project and preparatory work would be entrusted to a private IT company shortly. "It is the first of its kind effort taken by any university."
The Vice-Chancellor said his aim was to integrate technology in imparting the courses and provide everything in digital format.