Dr Manmohan Sharma
President, Educo International
“Our mission is to ’empower the teacher to engage students’ by capturing in digital media, well known presentation and assessment techniques”
Please tell us how Educosoft was conceptualised?
Educosoft has evolved from my own experiences as a teacher for more than 40 years, enriched with inputs from educators across the world through interactions at seminars, conferences, and research symposia. Based on these, we identified three critical areas where appropriate technologies can help improve quality of instructional outcomes:
To empower the teachers to be more effective as presenters and discussion leaders in classes,
- To provide technology tools and question banks to teachers that can assist in periodic assessment
- Technology tools must be easy to use and learn and help teachers save time
How effective is the Educosoft online learning system in enhancing the performance of students?
Our mission is to ’empower the teacher to engage students’ by capturing in digital media, well known presentation and assessment techniques. Educosoft provides class notes replete with graphics and animations, tools like online grade book, online homework and frequent self assessment, communication tools (announcements, e-mailing, and chatting), survey creation and administration, and features to add content or create custom courses, tutorials, varieties of tests with solutions, etc.
Educosoft turned out to be more effective than our expectations. Its effectiveness has been measured in several ways, including national surveys in the US; published PhD dissertations; results of student performance in state examinations; and comments from principals, teachers, and students exposed to this system.
What kind of feedback have you received for your product in India?
Educosoft was officially launched in India in April 2008 after piloting its use in some select schools in National Capital Region. In the last eight months, we have organised 34 seminars attended by 1357 teachers from 456 schools. After each seminar, we conducted half day training sessions for seminar participants. Almost all teachers exposed to Educosoft have endorsed this platform as unique and comprehensive than any other initiative. There are however, some implementation hurdles related to the lack of appropriate technology infrastructure in schools and resistance to the use of internet. To counter these, we have launched a new initiative by providing schools with Local Area Network (LAN) solution to deliver content.
What pattern does Educosoft follow for its assessments?
We follow a unique pattern as all assessments including home work, section quizzes, chapter tests, or comprehensive course tests are delivered in Free Response mode. Students have to work out the solution and enter the answer on screen, instead of clicking an option in multiple choice. If the answer is correct the system will grade it correctly. All assessments are recorded automatically and saved for review later. Homework assignments have built in tutorials and all tests provide instant feedback, with step-by-step solutions. Another very powerful feature is SMS messages or e-mails to keep parents informed about their ward’s progress.
Are there any plans to cater to other subjects apart from Math?
We will have science courses by the beginning of the new academic term in April 2009. For sciences we will be having additional component of actual simulated labs, along with the theory presented in the same format as in Math courses; embedded with illustrations through dynamic graphics and animations.