:Central Sector Scheme for MOOCS:
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has recently started a scheme for MOOC-compliant e-content creation. MOOC expands as Massive Open Online Course, which refers to the process of course delivery through an online portal open for anyone with an Internet connection. Thousands of students are expected to enroll for such open, online course offerings making them massive.
Under this scheme, course content suitable for offering as a MOOC is to be created. The IITs/IISc have been entrusted with creating course content primarily at the college and university levels for science, engineering and humanities. Material and resources created and maintained through NPTEL are to be leveraged for this purpose. Additionally, new course content is to be created to meet the requirements.
The scheme is to be coordinated and run in a manner similar to the way the NPTEL project has been operating so far with some modifications to suit the creation and delivery of MOOCs. A set of instructions for coordinators, faculty and the MOOCs project administration office are provided after this short summary in annexures.
Project Implementation Committee
The implementation of the scheme is to be overseen by a Project Implementation Committee (PIC) whose members will be as follows:
- Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Chairman, NPTEL PIC and Director, IIT Madras
- Prof. R. K. Shevgaonkar, Co-Chairman, NPTEL PIC and Coordinator, IIT Bombay
- Prof. A.N Chandorkar, Coordinator, IIT Bombay
- Prof. Kushal Sen, Coordinator, IIT Delhi and Co-PI
- Prof. Sunil Khijwania, Coordinator, IIT Guwahati
- Prof. Satyaki Roy, Coordinator, IIT Kanpur and Co-PI
- Prof. Bani Bhattacharya, Coordinator, IIT Kharagpur
- Prof. Anupam Basu, Coordinator, CET, IIT Kharagpur
- Prof. Mangala Sunder, NPTEL National Web Courses Coordinator (2003-2015), IIT Madras
- Prof. Andrew Thangaraj, Coordinator, IIT Madras and PI
- Prof. Prathap Haridoss, Coordinator, IIT Madras and Co-PI
- Prof. Bikash Mohanty, Coordinator, IIT Roorkee
- Prof. B. K. Gandhi, Coordinator, IIT Roorkee
- Prof. Umanand, Coordinator, IISc Bangalore
- Proposal submission, review and selection
- The proposal for creating and running a course is to be submitted by one or more faculty or subject matter experts (SMEs) through a portal. A deadline will be announced for consideration of the proposal.
- The submitted proposal will be taken up for review by an expert review committee constituted for that purpose.
- The committee may directly select the proposal or provide feedback and findings to the faculty/SME after review.
- The faculty/SME will have to incorporate responses to the review comments of the committee before a specified deadline.
- The expert review committee’s decision will be deemed final for resolving any conflict that may arise. Completed courses and feedback from them will also be made available to the expert review committee for their perusal.
- A portal for submitting and reviewing course proposals will be created for this purpose. A considerable portion of the review process is expected to be done online on the portal.
- Delivery of courses
The courses are expected to be offered as MOOCs on a suitable portal. The delivery of courses is expected to be as follows:
- Courses will be aligned to the typical college semester i.e. one set of courses will start in July and another set in January. This helps students to register for the course through their college and benefit from local mentoring.
- There would be a pre-defined start and end date for the course.
- The course schedule would be published before the start of the course and will have to be adhered by all SMEs and all the participants.
- The course will consist of videos and assignments. Supplementary reading material may be provided by the SMEs. Requirement of specific text books will not be allowed (even if they were authored by the SMEs) , however use /suggestion that they may be used as supplements will be permitted.
- The contents and the videos must be prepared to adhere to the current copyrights policy as well as those that MHRD stipulates from time to time.
- Active conduct of the course will have to be done by the faculty and TAs by clarifying doubts of the enrolled students through the online discussion forum.
- At the end of the open online course, enrolled students have the option of registering for a proctored exam in centres across the country. This exam is to be coordinated by all concerned institutes for financial viability. A nominal charge for covering the cost of the exam is collected from the student at this stage.
- Students who register for the proctored exam, attend it, and meet eligibility criteria will receive a certificate. The certificate for the course will be from the Institute of the faculty/SME offering the course.
- The course will have to be registered with the respective CCE (Centre for Continuing Education) of that institute (the IITs / IISc) under an online course delivery model IIT Madras has examples that can be provided.
- The process of the respective CCE and the institute will have to be followed with respect to overheads and certificate signatories.
- The physical certificates will be printed, laminated and dispatched to the students.
- If there are industry partners for the course, the certificate will have provision to have the partner details displayed.
- The certificates and score are expected to be used for credit transfer and for improving career prospects.
Instructions for faculty offering MOOCs
- What is a MOOC?
- Clear assumptions about prerequisites for a learner
- Clear learning outcomes
- Duration of course: 4 week-10 hrs /8 week-20 hrs/12 week-40 hrs
- 2-4 hours of lecture every week
- The lectures are broken up into short modules
- Every module has a clear description of its contents and expected learning outcomes
- Assignments such as objective-type (auto graded)/ subjective type (manually evaluated)/ programming assignments released every week
Online courses are to be offered along the lines of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). A typical online course contains the following:
Subject Matter Experts
Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are the ones who create the video lectures and other content adhering to a curriculum. If the SMEs already have a course in NPTEL, that course may be modified to meet the requirements of an online course. However, all the important pedagogical aspects of the online course will be met – prerequisites, learning outcomes, splitting into weeks and short modules, weekly assessments and assignments will have to be provided.
The role of the SMEs will not end with content creation. The SME team (assuming there are more than one for a particular course; the team could have a single SME as well) will play a crucial role in the conduct of the course on the portal. The SME team will be assisted by a group of Teaching Assistants (TAs) selected by them.
Content for one week
- 2.0-2.5 hours or (120-150 minutes) of recorded video lectures per week
- For each video
- make a summary of the video with 3 or 4 points (this is to be mentioned alongside the video on the portal)
- provide notes or slides, whenever available
- • provide links to additional resources
- One “tutorial” video showing working out of problems, if applicable
- Assignment: 8 to 10 questions per week (self assessment and completion will be required for all those who want to write the final examination)
- Solutions to assignment
- Record a video working out solutions, or provide a detailed worked out solution
- 4-5 lessons: each of 30 minutes duration
Repurposing Courses for Online Delivery
SMEs who already have an NPTEL course can work with the recorded video lectures and content from the other quadrant to repurpose their existing course into an open online course suitable for online delivery through the portal. The methodology involves porting the content to the online course portal in a suitable format. Typical tasks include adding annotations for video lectures to describe the content, uploading the content onto the portal and adding weekly assignments.
The running of the course is similar to that of a newly created course. The effort of the SME is lesser for repurposing because new video lectures are not being created. However, the effort of running the course – managing the content on the portal and responding to forum posts – are the same as that of a newly created course.
Rerun of Open Online Courses
Once a course has been uploaded onto the portal and successfully run once, it can be offered again at a future time. At this time, either the same SME or a new SME, will be expected to alter the assignments suitably, manage the content of the portal, and respond to questions on the forum. Based on feedback from the previous run, new content may be created, if necessary. For each and every offering of the course, SMEs would be required to provide a new set of online assessment questions/assignments and two sets of final exams at nearly equivalent levels.
A rerun involves little effort in lecture content creation, but the effort and methodology of running the course is same as before.
Before the start of the course run
- Once the review committee has approved the courses for a particular run, the Institute coordinator will confirm and invite the faculty to offer the course.
- The course will be created on the portal by the super-admin of the portal.
- The faculty and TAs will be made course admins and given access to the course.
- They will be able to create content and host on the portal in private mode.
- Ideally, all content will be expected to be ready before course announce date.
- The course will be opened for enrolment and the enrolment numbers will be tracked using Analytics.
Course announcement for enrolment
Once a course is ready, it will be announced on the portal for students to sign up for the course. The announcement will include the following:
- Date when sign-ups are opened and closed
- Start date and end date for the course
- An abstract about the course and the instructor
- The weekly lesson plan
- Pre-requisites, intended audience and suggested reading
- A 2-3 minute introductory video about the course
During the Course Run
The course will open on the announced start date. Content will be released every week: Week 1 to Week 4 or 8 or 12. Content will include video lectures, lecture slides, additional material, assessments and assignments. The SME team and TAs will be responsible for uploading the content on the portal, formatting it suitably, making it public and posting an announcement in the announcement email list about the content being available.
A suggested practice is to upload all content by Wednesday of the previous week, check the content for a couple of days and then make it public on Sunday night or Monday morning. The SME team and TAs will function as a well-knit group that would meet often and discuss the modalities of running the course.
- Make public the videos for the week.
- Make public the assignment for the week.
- Send an announcement to the students that has subject "<course name> week <y> videos available" with email option enabled.
- Send an announcement that has subject "<course name> week <y> Assignment released " with email option enabled – once the assignment is released (or in the above email if both are released the same day)
- Close the assignment for the previous week and release the solutions to the same. Send an announcement that has subject "<course name> week <y> Assignment solutions released" with email option enabled informing the students of this.
- Check the forum to answer questions students may have raised. If already answered, you can flag them as duplicate. The SMEs will ensure that every question raised in the forum is responded.
- If there are junk posts, delete them.
- Best answers can be tagged.
- If solutions to assignments are posted, kindly remove them from the forum as long as the assignment is still active. If doubts about questions in assignments are asked, those can be answered though.
- Check the admin email id for any emails posted by students directly to this and have them answered.
We recommend that faculty and TAs be subscribed to the forum by email or at least daily digest so that you can keep track and answer all questions on the forum easily.
SMEs (and not the TAs) will have to generate question papers for certification exam.
Online mode of examination
The exam is completely computer based where MCQ, MSQ, fill in the blanks and essay type of answers is supported. Any question that requires the student to enter mathematical symbols, figures or charts is not supported in this format of exam. Responses are auto-graded and results are available in the form of CSV sheets.
Subjective mode of certification exam
If this mode of examination is opted for, the question papers are printed and given to the student in each centre along with main answer sheets (12 pages) and additional sheets (4 pages) provided to the students to answer in. The answer sheets are collected by the exam partner from various centres which are sent to the faculty member for correction.
This mode of examination allows a wider variety of questions to be asked of the student which can include graphs, charts, drawings, derivations, detailed problem solving etc. The answer scripts can be corrected with the help of a team of TAs – who can be paid for their efforts.
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