‘Open resources, online courses hold key to future of education’

(From left) MSSRF chairman M.S. Swaminathan, V Balaji, from Commonwealth of Learning, Canada and N. Ram, MSSRF trustee, at a lecture in the city —Photo: K.V. Srinivasan  

Open education resources and massive open online courses (MOOC) are the future of higher education and help reach out to a large number of learners.

This was one of the key aspects discussed at the millennium lecture hosted by M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation here on Wednesday. Tracing the role of information and communication technology in helping the rural poor and MSSRF’s contribution, V. Balaji, director, Technology and Knowledge Management, Commonwealth of Learning, Canada, said online open education resources are reusable. More MOOC courses are being developed on mobile platforms as well to meet the requirements of agricultural education. However, scalability is proving to be a challenge.

In his lecture titled ‘Divides, bridges and virtual academies: Evolution of the Swaminathan Paradigm of ICT for sustainable development’, Dr. Balaji elaborated on the evolution of ICT and various efforts of MSSRF in connecting the unconnected in rural pockets.

He also recalled that many countries, including the U.S., are focussing on skilled employment and consider it an engine of economic growth. Prof. M.S. Swaminathan highlighted the need for sustainable development paradigms 25 years ago, said Dr. Balaji.

N. Ram, chairman, Kasturi and Sons Limited and trustee, MSSRF, who chaired the session, said internet penetration is still lagging in the country, particularly in rural areas. While open licensing allows free access to content online, prospects of content adulteration, particularly of that related to science, is a major issue, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 3:17:11 AM |

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