Cusat’s Open Online Courses all set for launch

Gayathri | Tuesday, March 14, 2017 3:47 PM IST

Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat) will soon offer its Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through the ‘Swayam’ Information Technology platform of the Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Nearly six courses will be offered in the first phase of the initiative. They include short-term courses in areas like fire safety engineering, electronics, and polymer science.

“The module on fire and safety engineering is ready for uploading. We have already tested the efficiency of the course internally. Initially, the course will be offered free of cost,” said J. Letha, Vice Chancellor.

The duration of the online programme in fire and safety engineering is nearly 40 hours. Learning modules for the programme were finalised after holding discussions with faculty members. The course may also benefit those working in the field of fire and safety engineering.

The varsity authorities are in talks with the group that offered a free platform to launch MOOCs till the Centre’s Swayam project is ready for operation. Earlier, the varsity had dropped plans to tie up with a firm abroad in view of the high price quoted by it to host the courses.

With the Centre backing the Swayam initiative in a big way, the varsity hopes it will give a big boost to its open online courses. The Union Budget had promised support for the platform by proposing to launch around 350 online courses. This will enable students to virtually attend the courses taught by the best faculty; access high quality reading resources; participate in discussion forums; take tests and earn academic grades. Access to Swayam will be widened by linkage with DTH channels dedicated to education.

Cusat has plans to offer its online courses free of cost in the first stage. A decision on collecting a nominal fee will be taken after evaluating feedback from learners.