The Sri Venkateswara University (SVU) has launched Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-based learning for its distance education programmes, along side commencing its ‘Massive Open and Online Courses (MOOCs)’ and ‘Mobile Learning’ initiatives.
The university, in partnership with an academic support services organisation — Schoolguru Eduserve Private Limited-Mumbai — on Wednesday unveiled 15 distance education courses offered via ICT-based learning, under the first phase of the programme, and four MOOCs.
“This has emerged from our idea to build a foundation for digital education at the university. Andhra Pradesh, under the leadership of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, has been focussing on promoting the use of information and technology for the improvement of quality in academics as well as administration. We hope this catapults SVU among the premier institutions across the State and country,” said SVU Vice-Chancellor A. Damodaram.
Explaining the course material developed under this initiative, Prof. Damodaram said students would have access to video lectures, audio books, textual study material and animated content, all developed by experienced professors and industry experts. “The university will be providing the students with a unique id and password. They can login to their personalised course pages, on the SVU Learning Management System, and follow the syllabus at their own pace and convenience. It would also fulfil the students current requirements of seeking an alternative mode of learning,” he said.
With majority of students having access to a smartphone, the SVU has launched its mobile learning initiative via a mobile application, so that the former can have complete access to their course content i.e., ‘Classroom in your Pocket’ to be precise! Schoolguru Eduserve CEO Shantanu Rooj told The Hindu that every student who registered for the course would be mailed a hard copy of the course material along with a memory card.
“The mobile app will help the students access the content even if they are not connected to the Internet via the memory card. This innovative feature will benefit students hailing from rural and far-flung regions with little or no internet facility,” he added.
The app will also have an improved interaction interface between the students and the varsity such as call centre, individual student portals, calendar, chats and virtual classrooms, etc.
The officials further said that these courses will be offered for the same cost as offered for the regular courses via SVU’s Directorate of Distance Education and were focussing on introducing courses in vernacular languages.