JNU to start short-term online courses, developing infrastructure for e-learning: officials


New Delhi: The Jawaharlal Nehru University plans to introduce various short-term online learning courses for students across the country as it aims to foray into the e-learning segment this year, officials said on Friday.

The varsity is working on modalities to develop infrastructure to support e-learning on campus catering to students belonging to underprivileged sections and residing in rural areas, they added.

“JNU has received a HEFA loan of Rs 455 crore and is in the process of creating infrastructure to support faculty members to develop these courses,” B S Balaji, chairperson, Special Center for E-learning, JNU, told PTI.

The university plans to set up a video recording room with camera, light, and sound proof facilities where teachers can hold or record these classes, he added.

This year, JNU plans to introduce a four-credit and 15-week long massive open online course (MOOC) on Climate and Environment Protection, approved by the University Grants Commission, as part of its undergraduate programme on Indian Arctic Policy (IAP) for students across the country, Balaji said.

The university also has in pipeline six to eight open online courses on international relations, political science, social sciences, and languages that will be rolled out in the near future, he said.

These courses will be provided through SWAYAM platform. Some of the courses will also be hosted on LMS portal of JNU Digii campus, he added.

“Initially the courses that are developed for JNU Digii campus will be offered only to JNU students and in the future, the university will explore the courses to be offered to students from the entire country,” Balaji said.

Students can earn credits associated with these courses that will be reflected on their Academic Bank of Credits upon successfully passing the exam, conducted by NTA at the end of the term.

It is anticipated that many of the courses that will be developed for JNU-LMS will be integrated with future UG and PG programmes.

“Every effort will be made by JNU to convert these courses into full-fledged programmes in the near future at the earliest,” the official said.

The varsity may charge a nominal fee for the courses provided through JNU LMS while the MOOCs provided through SWAYAM are available free of cost, he said.

Currently there is no eligibility criteria for joining SWAYAM courses. Depending on the requirement, the entry criteria will be decided for the JNU-LMS courses, the official said.

These short-term courses will have both live classes and pre-recorded lectures. Discussion forum, pre-scheduled interactions through online platform, and peer learning, are some of the ways by which the students will be able to clear their doubts, he added.

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