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Role Of E-learning In Current Scenario

In the current scenario and prevailing circumstances, the role of e-learning has been realized across all levels of decision making.

The Indian education system has been at the forefront, showing the way towards a holistic approach to learning. Historically, the gurukuls established a system for ensuring the all-round development of the learners which has been carried forward in our current way of the teaching-learning process. A broad look at the present-day pedagogy, clearly depicts that the curriculum is designed in a way to ensure the overall development of students with a sincere focus on extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. However, with the rapid strides in the field of science and technology as well as socio-economic and cultural changes, there is a paradigm shift in the teacher-pupil relationship. The changes have also significantly influenced the teaching-learning process, making it imperative for the policymakers, academicians and educators to think out of the box.  

The business market dynamics govern the popular courses being chosen by the learners. The education has now become synonymous to employability or a paramount factor ensuring it. The present-day generation is focussed and goal-oriented. The most sought after courses are the ones that can guarantee returns in terms of fat salary packages, overseas appointments or a permanent job. The competitive scenario does not necessarily ensure selection of all candidates in their dream courses. Moreover, learning never ends and there is a larger group seeking skill upgradation while being employed. Therefore, to bring good quality education to the seekers, the masses, the conventional brick-mortar conventional schools/colleges/universities may not be enough. Alternative means and mechanisms need to evolve based on strong technological platforms ensuring the credibility of the teaching-learning process. The progress made in the field of technology and revolution in the broad domain of communication over internet has created a path-breaking opportunity for the edupreneurs to harness the power of knowledge and effectively disseminate it among the seekers.  

The Government of India started a National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) to effectively leverage the potential of ICT in the teaching and learning process. The major goal of the mission is to ensure good quality education for learners anytime, anywhere mode. In order to give impetus to the online education in the country, The Government of India has initiated a program called SWAYAM which has been designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of the Education Policy, viz., access, equity and quality.  It includes nine national coordinators and NPTEL is one among these. The National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) powered by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was started with an aim of creating video and web-based courses in various disciplines of science, engineering, management, humanities and social sciences. In the initial phases, the content was created and disseminated among the learners and there was no provision of awarding a certificate for successfully completing a course. In its current phase, the NPTEL has started offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) with the opportunity to earn certificates by appearing in a proctored examination at the end of the course. The online examination is conducted all across the country in designated testing centres, twice in a semester. In the latest initiative, domain certification has also been integrated into the system. A learner after successfully completing 50-60 hours of learning (4-5 courses of 10/20/30 hours) is eligible to get a domain certificate (e.g. Artificial Intelligence or Data Science) in a specific area of a broad discipline, such as Computer Science and Engineering. A number of reputed universities, especially in the developed world have started offering online diplomas and degrees which are helpful to the working professionals in skill upgradation and career growth. 

A large number of edupreneurs have also ventured into the e-learning industry and have developed platforms for learning using the internet. The e-learning tools are now available across various classes, subjects and disciplines.  

In the current scenario and prevailing circumstances, the role of e-learning has been realized across all levels of decision making. The schools, colleges and universities are devising means and mechanisms to reach out to the students during the lockdown period. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is regularly emphasizing on e-learning with the tagline as “Let COVID-19 not Stop your Learning. Continue with SWAYAM”. A large number of students are availing the benefits of e-learning and it is expected to be an effective and efficient mode of the teaching-learning process in days to come. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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