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Posted On : 13 Apr, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : New Delhi 
IGNOU debuts in digital education, launches MOOC courses
Indira Gandhi National Open University, which has been pioneer in distance education, has now entered the digital education sphere and launched 11 free Massive Open Online Courses.

An announcement in this regard was made by Minister of State for HRD, Mahendra Nath Pandey, during the 30th convocaation ceremony of the university.

"IGNOU has now reached the free and digital education horizon, expanding the perimeter of distance education system.

The MHRD has given the channels of 'Swayam' and 'Swayamprabha' to IGNOU so that it can bring a digital revolution in higher education," Pandey said in the convocation address.

Last year, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry had launched a bouquet of 32 direct-to-home (DTH) educational channels, called 'Swayam Prabha', to broadcast programmes for school and university students. The contents of these channels are prepared by the IIT professors and other subject experts.

"The university is already working on Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Our expectation from the university shall be to extend its students horizon towards digital education through new technology, communication mediums, electronic mediums and devices," he added.

The university has introduced 11 MOOCs out of which two, Certificate course in Russian and Certificate course in e-learning, are already functional.

"We plan to roll out the remainign nine by end of this month and 44 more MOOCs in next three months," a senior IGNOU official said.

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a system aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. It does not always quantify as formal education but provides a platform to study quality courses from institutions offering them, usually for free.

"The online admission system has received an encouraging response with the university for admission of students for the July 2016 cycle. As many as 1,53,454 students took admission through this mode for the January 2017 cycle," Vice Chancellor Ravindra Kumar said.

"Students are now allowed to edit the filled-in information before final submission to the University. With the shifting of the fee module to the last stage, the system has become more student-friendly," he added.

Students from more than 200 courses were presented with 120 PhDs, 10 MPhils and 66 gold medals during the convocation.
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