GLOBAL CLASS­ROOMS

It doesn’t mat­ter which col­lege you go to or what field your career is in; e-learn­ing plat­forms can aug­ment your skill set. Five ex­perts on why mas­sive online open cour­ses are the way for­ward

India Today - - SMART EDUCATION E-LEARNING -

There is a no­table demand for ed­u­ca­tional pro­grammes from learners around the world who are not be­ing served by ex­ist­ing sys­tems. In the tra­di­tional aca­demic model, stu­dents are pushed ahead at a fixed pace. So, in a mid­dleschool pre-al­ge­bra class, the teacher might go over ex­po­nents. Af­ter some home­work and per­haps an­other lec­ture, there would be a test. Some would score 70 per cent, oth­ers might get 80-90 per cent. The prob­lem is that even though the test has iden­ti­fied learn­ing gaps, the class will move on to the next con­cept. Those gaps keep ac­cu­mu­lat­ing.

In India, there is a mas­sive need and a whole in­dus­try for ex­tra-school tu­ition. Some might call it ‘sup­ple­men­tal’, but in terms of re­sources in­vested, it is al­most equiv­a­lent to school. In that sense, online plat­forms al­low stu­dents to learn at their own pace and to get im­me­di­ate feed­back on their progress.

Mas­sive Open Online Cour­ses

(MOOCs) are es­sen­tially tra­di­tional cour­ses that one might take at univer­sity—they have been trans­planted online and are al­ways avail­able. One might learn a con­cept in statistics at the age of 16 or 17, but when one needs to apply it, at the age of 25 or 30, the re­sources needed to re­fresh one’s mem­ory might not be there. MOOCs make them avail­able.

Due to MOOCs, any­one can learn any­thing—from core aca­demic sub­jects like pre-K read­ing and writ­ing to school-level math­e­mat­ics, so­cial stud­ies and sci­ence, all the way to col­lege-level ma­te­rial. A re­ally in­ter­est­ing de­vel­op­ment that will take place over the next five to 10 years is how one can take such learn­ing and con­vert it into proof that they can then take to the job mar­ket or to in­sti­tutes of higher ed­u­ca­tion.

SAL KHAN, Founder, Khan Academy

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