As part of his educational initiatives, Narendra Modi, the newly elected prime minister for India, is expected to launch an India-focused MOOC platform. The platform, likely to be christened ‘Swayam’ is expected to go live with three courses.
At launch Swayam is expected to have three different courses – two from IIT Bombay and one from UC Berkeley’s Umesh Vazarani’s. Currently all these courses are available on edX, an MIT and Harvard backed MOOC provider. Also, it would not be surprising to see the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore joining Swayam, as IIM Bangalore announced its intention to offer MOOCs by joining edX. The following are the three courses in question from edX:
Thermodynamics via IIT Bombay This a basic course in thermodynamics, designed for students of mechanical engineering. Students will learn the terms and concepts used in thermodynamics, with precise definitions
Though nothing has been stated on what platform will be used to host these courses, the obvious candidate is Open edX, the open source version of the edX platform. Since the first batch of courses announced are all hosted on edX, transferring the courses from edX to a self-hosted openEdx platform would be fairly straightforward. Open edX seems to be the platform of choice for institutions to self-host courses, as it has been adopted by George Washington Univerisity, Queen Raina foundation for the Edraak MOOC platform, MongoDb University, French Universities, and others.
With a population of over one billion and the leadership of a new government, there could be a large potential impact from this Swayam initiative.
Dhawal is the CEO of Class Central, the most popular search engine and review site for online courses and MOOCs. He has completed over a dozen MOOCs and has written over 200 articles about the MOOC space, including contributions to TechCrunch, EdSurge, Quartz, and VentureBeat.