VIJAYAWADA: The student community is immesnely benefiting from the technological advancements that have made education easily accessible and affordable. The Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) concept, which has become popular in the past two years in the region, is a case in point. It has enabled the students to do any course of their choice from foreign universities with proper certification on the web.
To equip the students with skills and provide them better job opportunities, the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) has already made it mandatory for all the universities across the country to introduce the choice-based credit system from this academic year 2015-16 and has issued necessary orders to them in this regard. The students in the final year of engineering, medicine or degree can learn any subject as a free elective from any university and the credits will be added to their academics depending on the university certification.
The MOOC involves the participation of professors of leading Universities like MIT, Stanford, Oxford, etc., who put out online courses on the Internet and the students can register for free of cost. However, the students need to pay $ 100 to get the proper certification from the respective universities or else, they can simply learn the content and the universities won’t issue any certificates to them.
“There is an increase of 25 per cent of students, who are showing interest to learn these MOOC courses from foreign universities when compared to the past years,” said BV Subba Rao, IT HoD in PVP Siddartha Institute of Engineering and Technology. Lectures will be delivered on the web along with demonstrations, tests, quizzes, and term papers will be evaluated with the aim of simulating teacher-student interactions in a real university.
“It creates a real university experience, as we can interact with the professors through online and can also interact with other students across the world through bulletin boards and social networking sites like Facebook and can discuss what is being taught”, said A Mani Charan, a student of Usha Rama Institute of Engineering and Technology, who is learning the MOOC in Social Networking from the Stanford University through web.
These foreign universities offers over 1,000 courses from 40 categories, including engineering, humanities, medicine and mathematics, from a period of one month to six months depending on the students’ interests. “The students can gain knowledge over multi-disciplinary streams without physically joining the respective universities. The students who joined in medicine, engineering or any other stream don’t have any chance to learn other subjects out of their syllabus, but MOOCs are facilitating them to learn other topic subjects of their choice with proper certification”, he said.
The state government has also decided to introduce the MOOC in the JNTU and AU like in foreign universities to facilitate the students to learn MOOC as a part of their academics of their own choice in these universities along with foreign varsities.