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Open Educational Resources for National Development in India Vijay Kumar Senior Associate Dean & Director Office of Educational Innovation & Technology MIT Honorary Advisor National Knowledge Commission, India EADTU, UNESCO, March 12-13, 2009 A Collaborative Publication Project

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Open Educational Resourcesfor National Development

  • in India
  • Vijay Kumar

Senior Associate Dean & Director

Office of Educational Innovation & Technology MIT

Honorary Advisor

National Knowledge Commission, India

EADTU, UNESCO, March 12-13, 2009

A Collaborative Publication Project

nkc on oer

“ Our success in the knowledge economy hinges to a large extent on upgrading the quality of, and enhancing the access to, education. One of the most effective ways of achieving this would be to stimulate the development and dissemination of quality Open Access (OA) materials and Open Educational Resources (OER) through broadband Internet connectivity.”

  • Need for fast expansion of Higher Education (HE) Opportunities
    • Enrolment in HE is 6% of the relevant age group in India, as compared to 30% in Europe and 50% in North America. This needs to be doubled by 2015.
  • Growing shortage of capacity in HE
    • In 2003-04, 1.2 Lakh (105) students went abroad for HE
  • Quality an Issue
    • Few Islands of Excellence
global challenge too many on the outside looking in
Global Challenge: Too Many on the Outside, Looking In

Photo by Shavar via Flickr

Photo by joepub via Flickr

Photo by Felipe Pimentel via Flickr

Photo by kawaface via Flickr

Photo by mathew ramsey via Flickr

the challenge scaling excellence
The Challenge: Scaling Excellence

Quantum leap in scale and quality of educational opportunity

  • Significantly increasing gross enrollment
        • (12 millilion more students in next 5 years)
  • More excellent institutions like IITs, IIMs, IIIT, etc.
    • Building new institutions (additional IITs)
    • Improving existing institutions (NPTEL, TEQIP)
    • Extending distance education initiatives (IGNOU, EDUSAT)
    • Faculty/Teacher dvelopment
  • Alternative opportunities for flexible and continuous education.
national knowledge commission nkc
National Knowledge Commission (NKC)
  • Appointed in 2005 by the Prime Minister
  • (Chair: Sam Pitroda)
    • Build excellence in the educational system to meet the knowledge challenges of the 21st century and increase India’s competitive advantage in fields of knowledge
    • Promote creation of knowledge in S&T laboratories
    • Improve the management of institutions engaged in intellectual property rights
    • Promote knowledge applications in agriculture and industry
    • Promote the use of knowledge capabilities in making government an effective, transparent and accountable service provider to the citizen and promote widespread sharing of knowledge to maximize public benefit
making a difference educator use
Making a Difference – Educator Use

Professor Richard Hall

LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia, now teaching information systems, beginning microprocessors, and advanced computer-aided software engineering.

OCW saved him “an enormous amount of time and stress.”

“I was delighted by the way the material is so coherently presented. It is truly inspiring to see this level of excellence.”

making a difference student use
Making a Difference – Student Use

Kunle Adejumo, Engineering student at Ahmadu Bello Universityin Zaria, Nigeria

“Last semester, I had a course in metallurgical engineering. I didn’t have notes, so I went to OCW. I downloaded a course outline on this, and also some review questions, and these helped me gain a deeper understanding of the material.”

mit online laboratories

MIT Online Laboratories

“If you can’t come to the lab… the lab will come to you!”

ilabs at mit
iLabs at MIT

Dynamic signal analyzer (EECS, deployed 2004)

Shake table (Civil Eng., deployed 2004)

Polymer crystallization (Chem. E., deployed 2003)

Microelectronics device characterization (EECS, deployed 1998)

Heat exchanger (Chem. E., deployed 2001)


The iLab Vision

  • Order of magnitude more lab experiences
  • More lab time to users/researchers
  • More sophisticated labs available
  • Communities of scholars created around iLabs sharing educational & research content

Campus network



Service Broker

University Databases

Lab Server

ilabs elsewhere
iLabs Elsewhere
  • University of Queensland
  • DUT iLabs- Several in EE
  • Zhejiang University
    • 50 Net Labs today (Electronic, Power and Automation/Controls)
    • Strong interest in adopting iLabs

elevator system

triple-tank system

electromotor system

  • The Collectivity Culture
    • Participatory, Collaborative practices for developing and sharing educational materials
      • Social Software, networks
        • Wikis; Blogs; Shared Bookmarks; flickr…..
      • Virtual Environments: Second Life.
      • Remix
    • Technology and Design
      • Design
        • Agency
        • Sustainability
        • Open Architecture, Specifications and Standards for Interoperability (O.K.I)
    • Organizational
      • Legal: Open & Community Source; Creative Commons
      • Consortia an Communities (Open Courseware; iLab; Sakai)
current initiatives
Current Initiatives
  • Open Access
    • 81 scientific journals accessible as Open Access
    • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore along with Carnegie Mellon University (+ 21 Indian institutions )are participating have digitized more than 450,000 books, out of which 220,000 books are now web-accessible.
  • Open Educational Resources
    • NPTEL
    • Kerala e-Grid
      • subject-specific portals for science and engineering
    • Eklavya
      • Content in various Indian languages distributed over the Internet.
      • Open Source Educational Resources Animation Repository (OSCAR)
    • * IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National Open University)
      • egyankosh
  • 129 Web based Courses
  • 110 Video Courses

(40-50 hours duration for each course)

impact of initiatives
Impact of Initiatives
  • Limited!
    • Dearth of quality resources (content) and practice
        • Availability of OER for limited disciplines and languages
    • Lack of infrastructure for delivery
    • Inadequate adoption support
  • Need: Systematic national strategy for developing and delivering open educational resources the availability of OER for a wider range of disciplines and regional languages as well as scaffolding to support greater adoption among teachers and students.
nkc working group on oer implementing opportunity
NKC Working Group on OER:Implementing Opportunity
  • Resources and Opportunities
    • Content and Pedagogy
      • Courseware and other OER
      • Labs and Simulations
  • Infrastructure Requirements
    • Delivery:.
    • Pedagogy
  • Organizational
    • Insitutional framework
    • Policy framework (quality; regulation)





Medical Repository

Science Repository


Content & Labs

Educational Content Repositories

End User


Domain Grids and Portals






Service Interfaces

nkc recommendations
NKC Recommendations
  • Launch a national e-content and curriculum initiative
    • Leverage global open educational resources movement
    • Support the production of quality content by a select set of Indian institutions.
    • Initiate development of online programmes for science and engineering laboratories – simulations
        • Establish 50-100 laboratories (iLAB)
    • Undertake a large scale e-Curriculum development effort directed toward adaptation and adoption support.
      • Teacher training/Faculty Development
nkc recommendations21
NKC Recommendations
  • Develop network-enabled delivery infrastructure
    • Access: High b/w national network: establish Indian Research and Education Network (IREN)
    • Delivery:
      • Distributed repositories of educational resources
      • Open, standards-based Service-Oriented Architecture
      • Educational applications
nkc recommendations22
NKC Recommendations
  • Faculty and Institutional Development Program
      • Promote distance and network based delivery techniques
      • Develop domain competencies and teaching skills for quality education using quality faculty and high quality materials.
  • National Portal for Open Education
    • Enabling resources for faculty and resource development
    • Clearinghouse function and an interaction environment.
      • Domains Experts and Communities (Grids)
  • Set up a National Education Foundation to Develop Web-based Common Open Resources.
indo us collaboration for engineering education iucee
Indo-US Collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE)
  • Assembly of courses from content in three separate physical repositories:
    • MIT OCW Repository
    • Rice Connexions Repository
    • NPTEL IIT Course Website
  • Support the Collaborative Development of Courses among Faculty Peers.
  • The delivery of these courses can use the Learning Management System and applications chosen.
end game altering the economics and ecology of education in india
End Game: Altering the Economics and Ecology of Education in India
  • Greater numbers of citizens participating in quality educational opportunities for employment or personal advancement.
  • Adequate supply of skilled human resources to meet the progressively escalating needs of the service economy.
  • Enable current initiatives to succeed
    • Overcome current limitations of inadequate content and paucity of good educational practice models and infrastructure.
open education vision elements
Open Education Vision Elements
  • Blended Learning
    • Intelligently combine the physical and the virtual(MIRTLE)
    • Integrate conventional pedagogy with net-learning to deliver quality (relevant) educational opportunities
    • Intelligent combinations of formal and non-formal
  • Boundary-less Education
    • Beyond Geo-political:
      • Research-Teaching
      • Disciplines -- Thematic and World Problem based
      • Teacher-Learner
      • Expert-Novice
      • Off-Campus-On Campus
      • Living-Learning
thank you vkumar@mit edu


The Carnegie Foundation’s Book on

Open Education (August 2008, MIT Press)