|On-Line delivery of
language courses for On-campus Teaching by Veena Kumar
Over the past
twenty years, education delivery systems are being constantly redefined and the computer
has come to play a key role in implementating new teaching-learning strategies. However,
little has been done in the area of language teaching.
Teaching of languages in India, particularly English, is in
a sad state to say the least. In India, English enjoys a special status: it does not fall
under any of the conventional categories of mother-tongue, second language or foreign
language. Yet, the professional India is totally dependent on it. Today, it is very
difficult, if not impossible, to design an effective course in English language for
students at the higher education level due to the great disparity in individual
This paper shares a totally new concept of delivering
English language course.
Exclusively through the computer. The strong point of the
concept is that it fits into the existing system with minimum disturbance. It aims to
- Multi-level, visually rich course material in hypertext
- An entry-level diagnostic test.
- Total autonomy to the learner to actually create his own
- Complete flexibility of time, pace & place.
- Solid though somewhat unobtrusive support from the
- Three levels of evaluation (self-through questionnaires;
peer-through e-mail and formal-to be corrected by the teacher with an option hard copies)
- High flexibility in group size ranging from 1 to 100.
- High economic viability.
- The proposed system involved the following methodology-
- The students follow the existing norms for registering for
- The course kept its conventional format (40 hour, 4 credit
course - 3 lectures and one tutorial Per week) for study and evaluation.
- X number of learning points are identified by the courseware
team. Where a point value is assigned to each learning point depending on the complexity
and practice time involved. Y number of points make 1 credit. A given course thus
comprises points totaling up to 4 Y.
- The teacher meets the entire class together on the first
day, for mid-semester evaluation and for the end of the semester evaluation. He/She has 2
office hours per week to receive the students and discuss their problems.
- At the beginning of the course, a student takes a diagnostic
test which may or may not be computer-based. The test is evaluated by the teacher who
lists out the areas where the learner needs help and identifies the most suitable
learning points. The student then picks areas according to his/her need/interest and
a course outline is finalized.
- The course schedule is worked by the student according to
the pre-fixed evaluation dates,
- The learner has the full liberty to start with any point of
his/her choice. However. The teacher is there to monitor discreetly.
- As soon as the learner is ready he/she can go ahead with
self/peer evaluation. The computer maintains the scores obtained.
- Once the identified learning points are completed, the
student is ready for the final examination. \the evaluation may be a piece of composition,
functional document such as a report or a scholastic endavour such a research paper.
Basically well tried pedagogical principles and strategies
of the open learning system are put to test for on-campus teaching with some very
interesting results. The reasons for success is basically the fact that the learner is
made to take the responsibility of his own learning. The material is presented in a
pleasant and interesting manner promoting active learning. The skill-oriented or remedial
level courses in other core subjects not only in humanities but also in pure and applied
Multimedia Technology and Education - An Indian Perspective by T. K. Ghoshal & A. B.
ground-swell expectations that the eastern countries, and specifically India, would become
the natural producers of multimedia contents, it does not seem to have materialised yet,
despite a number of praiseworthy initiatives both by the private initiatives and also by
the government. Had that expectation been fructified, it would have generated substantial
employment and earnings in the formal and informal sector. This paper presents and
analysis of some of the possible reasons for non-materialisation of the expectations, and
steps already taken to arrest the situation and further steps that would be
necessary in order to kick-start the Indian multimedia content creation industry.
The primary factors for inadequate growth in multimedia
(contents) industry which even a cursory analysis would reveal are: (I) Globally, the
growth of the interactive multimedia content market has lost momentum (if not shrinking in
dimension), and (ii) Non-existent indigeneous mass market for multimedia
products/services. Both of these, therefore, may emply sufficient braking against the
self-generation of critical take-off momentum.
The reasons behind the global shrinking of the
interactive multimedia has been analysed and it is predicted that technological
innovations would tend to correct the situation in the near term . Even with a reduced
rate of global market growth, segment exist for substantial Indian contribution. The
first of such segments could be Technical Education and Training where focused
marketing/promotional efforts may generate immediate returns. The second, called the
culture and leisure segment, is to some extent dependent on the second most crucial factor
regarding inadequacy of the local demand.
Reasons for the inadequacy of indigeneous market for
multimedia contents have been analysed and grouped into supply-side constraints and the
demand side constrains. These constraints mutually reinforce each other and are appearing
as a typical chicken and egg syndrome. The Department of Electronics, Government of India,
initiative for low cost multimedia content creation envisages to alleviate the supply side
constraints and conveniently assumes that the demand side would take care of itself by the
generated market forces. The present paper argues against the above assumption and
proposes separate measures to tackle the demand side constraints as well.
A proposal, for "Integrating Social Development with
Multimedia" is articulated for mitigating the demand side constraints. It has been
argued that by suitable networking of the district level Libraries, Field Publicity wings,
Schools, Municipal Museums, NGO's, and post-literacy programs, a substantial and growing
demand for low cost multimedia contents could be unleashed. The technical and economic
aspect of the scheme is discussed.
It has been shown that as a social informal education
program this scheme has excellent cost benefit quotient, augments and enriches utilisation
of existing facilities and would tend to improve the people's participation in various
levels. This scheme is also expected to generate local enthusiasm in contributing to the
multimedia depository and thereby help to draw attention to heritages and culture.
Apart from the social contribution, the scheme is likely to
boot-strap greater availability of skilled producers and technicians, country-wide
maintenance facility for multimedia delivery platforms, market for better quality
multimedia educational and entertainment programs and contribute to the growth of
multimedia content creation industry.
Education - Rock Art by B. M. Pande & Abhay M. Lal
To say that
multimedia has enormous possibilities as an aid in education is stating the obvious. At
the same time, it also requires reshaping and, if one may say, reconditioning the approach
and attitude while preparing for and presenting multimedia package for the user.
A fundamental/basic difference between multimedia based and
the conventional system of learning is that in the conventional system, the book is basic
material which follows its own step-by-step structure and the contents are accordingly
structured. In multimedia, on the other hand, the content structuring has to be altered so
as to incorporate the self-paced and non-liner, interactive exposition possibility,
besides, the fact that the audio/visual material plays a greater role in multimedia than
in a book.
The paper seeks to present the requirements for the content
design in developing an interactive computer aided learning tool. The paper will be
supported by a demo.
Scran: a case
study of Networked Cultural Multimedia for Education
Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network, is a Millennium project, spending fifteen
million pounds sterling to build a networked multimedia resource base for the teaching and
celebration of human history and material culture in Scotland. Although based on the
museums, archives, libraries and built heritage of Scotland, SCRAN's prime concern is not
with conservation, nor with documentation, but with educational access. SCRAN is an
electronic rights management project, grant-aiding the digitisation of assets in exchange
for a non-exclusive educational license. Contributing institutions gain a new
digital asset which they can exploit commercially if they wish, while teachers and
students at SCRAN member institutions can download educational resources, copyright
cleared for unlimited use. In addition to this service for formal education, any member of
the public, anywhere in the world, is allowed access to a thumbnail image of each asset,
plus full textual documentation. This documentation is based on conventional library
and museum records, but supplemented by caption material specifically written to be
understandable by the intelligent lay reader, and to build into a vast online
encyclopaedia. In this respect SCRAN is also a resource disclosure and delivery project:
SCRAN acts as a Metadata repository, pointing to hundreds or thousands of digitised
assets in its own resource base and to millions of objects in the real world, as well as
acting as a gateway to other electronic collections. SCRAN is thus an early
implementer of emerging standards, both the Z39-50 Search and Retrieve Protocol and the
Dublin Core Metadata Element set for cross domain access. The SCRAN resource base at
http://www.scran.ac.uk/ offers several access routes, depending on the needs of the
end-user. "Quick Search" presents a single letterbox into which the user
can insert a simple keyword or a complex Boolean search expression, while "Assisted
Search" answers questions of the Who, What, Where, When variety. Both searches
are good for retrieving large numbers of records on a particular subject. "Curriculum
Navigator" on the other hand, allows teachers to locate where their class is within
the National Curriculum, and then suggests a "virtual resource pack",
pre-selected by educationalists, of materials useful in the teaching of that topic.
Further, more graphical, interfaces involving timelines and maps, are under development.
In its first two years, SCRAN has built a resource base giving WWW access to hundreds of
thousands of cultural records from throughout Scotland, many including images, sound and
film clips and virtual reality, ready formatted and copyright cleared for classroom
use. SCRAN's first educational products are already in service, and one of them, the
"Scottish People" CD-ROM, has been distributed to every school in
The United Kingdom Government reports "Towards the
Learning Society: the National Grid for Learning" and "New Library: the
People's Network", envisage a future where Information and Communication Technology
will be increasingly harnessed to support schooling, training, lifelong learning and
education in its widest sense. SCRAN is becoming seen by many as a prototype of the
Educational Content Generators that will be needed on the National Grid.
The future of
Multimedia in Arts and Humanities by R. Narasimhan
communication has come a long way. It has traversed a path from cave paintings (single
mode) to present day multimedia (multi-mode). The development of technology, which has the
capacity to integrate different media; has in the process, generated the possibility of
making the process of communication for the developer (sender) and user (receiver) a
Multimedia essentially consists of a content database which
can be accessed by the user following a navigation path of his choice. The content
database can have ingredients made up of audio, video, text, graphics, animation etc.
These can be seen/heard by the user as he navigates through the database not only along a
path of his choice but also at his own pace. The principal design issues related to the
generation of such a multimedia database are (a) collection and assembling the content,
and (b) planning the navigation strategies. These issues have to be addressed keeping in
mind the end-objective of the multimedia presentation as well as the end-user. Other
issues related to the creation of such databases are (a) ownership of intellectual
property, and (b) copyright of the content. On the other hand navigation issues to be
addressed are whether the navigation should guide the user along a predetermined path or
give him the freedom of exploring the database on his/her own. These is also the valid
question to be asked: Is there any value addition in going to multimedia from print or
video? Every medium of communication needs a substrate which acts as the carrier of the
message. Forecasts are, that such multimedia could be downloaded from the net as and when
required as opposed to the storage on CDs. For India to be able to put such technology to
use what would be the infrastructure required? Which areas could multimedia rejuvenate and
nurture; in a culturally rich country like India?
This lecture will discuss the above issues, and some of the
developments being done today in India, in the area of multimedia.