Capacity Building of University Teachers
December 2009

Capacity Building of University Teachers

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The Institute of Lifelong Learning, (ILLL) University of Delhi is the brainchild of the Honourable Vice-Chancellor, Professor Deepak Pental and is the hub of e-learning. It is an initiative towards the e-transformation of the University. The idea is to make Delhi University state of the art so that it is abreast with the international standards of education and is able to scale them higher.

The Institute of Lifelong Learning, (ILLL) University of Delhi is the brainchild of the Honourable Vice-Chancellor, Professor Deepak Pental and is the hub of e-learning. It is an initiative towards the e-transformation of the University. The idea is to make Delhi University state of the art so that it is abreast with the international standards of education and is able to scale them higher. Playing a crucial role, the Institute of Lifelong Learning is the nodal body that is going to effect this refurbishment. The vision of the Director ILLL Professor A.K.Bakhshi is to use a three-pronged approach. The first is to provide the basic infrastructure and cyber connectivity to facilitate a materialisation of the theoretical aspects of e-learning into praxis. In this the Honourable Vice-Chancellor has supported this venture by providing 80 computers for students in each Delhi University college. The second aspect of this approach is to develop content. At ILLL nearly 100 teachers of Delhi University are engaged in the preparation of e-content, e-quizzes, video lectures and generating virtual labs. The aim is to substantiate the existing pedagogy with technology so as to be able to maximise the imaginative potential of the teacher and the student to enhance the process of teaching and learning.  But all this would be incomplete if the teachers of the University were not well versed with the latest in terms of technology. In harmony with its aim of transforming the paradigms of teaching, the Director ILLL, Professor A.K.Bakhshi, envisaged a project for developing the soft skills of the teachers and developed a programme, Developing Champions of ICT Capacity Building in DU in alliance with Microsoft India comprising a series of workshops aimed at the capacity building of teachers.

Today, students are technologically advanced and therefore, it is imperative to remodel the pedagogy involved in the teacher-student dynamics. The old system of the chalk and talk method the students and teachers are class bound. The input of the student is, therefore, subject to two sources. One is the teacher speaking in front and the other is the words on the blackboard. In this model the dynamics of the student teacher relationship is structured and unidirectional. The student is at the receiving end in this discourse being completely dependent on the teacher for information. In contrast,  in the virtual world, the association of the youth with the new media is very different world where configurations can be easily changed by the click of a button. The students that we address in higher education are in sync with the technological revolution around them. The question to which then we turn is, how does this sync modify our role as teachers? Do we continue to look at our students as static recipients of the spoken words or can we enhance their process of learning in any way? These were major concerns, as the team at ILLL brainstormed to evolve the idea of a workshop to bring about a change in the entrenched pedagogy. At the Institute of Lifelong Learning it was felt that it was time that the teachers reworked their own concepts in a new and more interactive frame so as to be able to meet the requirements of the students, as the simple lecture mode was completely insufficient.

At the end of this 10 day workshop, the teachers were equipped with the following:

  • Basic knowledge of computer hardware and software

  • Alternative Operating Systems

  • Documentation using MS Word

    Spreadsheet using MS Excel

  • Making Presentations using Power-Point

  • Use of the World Wide Web

  • Developing e-quizzes

  • Use of animation with special reference to class room teaching

  • Use of i-work

The ICT team at ILLL designed a programme for the capacity building of teachers in alliance with Microsoft India. But logistics became a huge challenge for us. Delhi University has 83 colleges and about 8000 teachers. It was a big challenge to come up with a workable methodology to train the entire faculty of Delhi University as inviting each teacher for a workshop would not have been realistic. It was decided to resolve this issue by coming up with a two-tier programme where at the first tier about 2-5 teachers from each college were trained in computer applications. This was in the form of a 10-day workshop where Microsoft trainers held sessions with the teachers from Delhi University.
 
It is a great achievement for us at ILLL that we have created a resource pool of more than 100 teachers who have joined hands with us in taking this programme forward.

The teachers were also trained in transforming a simple lecture or lesson into an e- lecture or e-lesson. This was expected to alter the dynamics of classroom teaching making it more interactive and student friendly. This would also increase the input and the exposure provided to the students. This is the first rung of the first tier of the programme. At the second rung, these teachers will be involved in a plan of action about how they will train the teachers in their respective institutions. At the second tier the champions of ICT will further train the teachers in their respective colleges according to the guidelines of the ILLL-Microsoft team. It is a matter of great pride that the ILLL venture with Microsoft India to enhance the capacity building of the teachers of Delhi University has been a huge success.  The first tier of the programme is already complete.

The workshops to train teachers from the different colleges were conducted in three segments:
  •  ILLL-Microsoft workshop-I 17 Aug-28Aug, 2009.

  • ILLL-Microsoft workshop-II 31 Aug-1Sep, 2009.

  • ILLL-Microsoft workshop-III 14 Sep-25Sep, 2009.

The first batch was inaugurated by the Honourable Vice Chancellor, University of Delhi, Professor Deepak Pental and attended by the Microsoft Chief, Mr. Rajiv Katyal and had 42 participants from the different colleges of Delhi University. The second batch inaugurated by Professor H.C.Pokhriyal, Dean Examinations, had 30 teachers as participants. The third batch had 40 teachers who were trained in ICT. At the launch of the third batch we were fortunate to have with us Mr. Ravi Gupta, Director, Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies (CSDMS), and Chief Editor Digital Learning and the Dean Planning, University of Delhi, Professor Vivek Suneja.

It is a great achievement for us at ILLL that we have created a resource pool of more than 100 teachers who have joined hands with us in taking this programme forward. We are now on our way for the second tier of our project to ensure capacity building for each Delhi University teacher. The completion of this programme will be followed by similar workshops for the students. The ILLL-Microsoft training module will enhance the teaching strategies of Delhi University teachers who will be proficient in their use of cyber skills to plan classroom lectures that go beyond the chalk and talk. This will help in doing away with rote learning and will promote better knowledge acquisition. The teacher student relationship is now mediated by the virtual world that helps them to think in graphic terms about the concept that they are grappling with in the classroom. This is, decidedly, a leap in the field of higher education making learning a truly lifelong process for both students and teachers. The Institute of Lifelong Learning has been instrumental in achieving this target and making a constructive contribution to the University. 

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