Students of 100 engineering colleges will now be virtually taught by IIT professors. From January, as many as nine subjects, from mechanical engineering to Mathematics will be taught to these students by one of the best faculties in the country. In a variation of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), lectures by senior IIT faculty will be combined with inputs from regular college staff to improve educational outcomes. The initiative is taken as part of the Quality Enhancement in Engineering Education programme guided by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. E-tutorials and e-labs are also part of the first phase of the programme. The ministry reportedly hopes to extend this experiment to other disciplines.
India has previously experimented with online classes but their impact has been marginal probably due to their lack of interactivity. When the teacher-student ratio in most classrooms is 1:40, there is dearth of properly trained faculty; the availability of online content can usher in the much required experimentation in the higher education model.