The pandemic situation which occurred in the year 2020, led to some major changes in various sectors. The use of technological advancements which was earlier restricted to the corporate sector became the new normal for education sector as well.
The education sector switched over to the modern and innovative ways of teaching and learning which were invented with the help of technology. Different educational institutes such as the schools, colleges, universities started adopting progressive means of performing education activities.
To support the new social distancing norms, these educational institutions started conducting classes and examination in online manner wherein the students could attend classes and appear for the exams using any electronic device from the comforts of their homes.
These educational institutions thus started looking for and adopting different online platforms which would help them to conduct classes and exams as also help them with carrying out the admission process.
Now in 2021, it is being estimated that there are high chances of the repetition of the pandemic situation. The lockdown would continue worldwide and the education sector thus needs to continue its dependency on the technology i.e. on EduTech for carrying out teaching-learning activities.
UGC’s decision regarding online courses
Considering the current situation and the above mentioned facts, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has put forth a proposal to the universities. As per the proposal, the universities can now offer 40% of the total courses in an online mode for every semester.
These courses will be provided through and application known as SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds).
UGC designed a new set of regulations called as ‘Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds Regulations, 2021’ which will allow the universities across the country to conduct 40% of the semester courses in an online manner with the help of SWAYAM platform.
The University Grants Commission said, “Every higher education institution shall within four weeks from the date of publication of these regulations in the official Gazette make the necessary amendments, as may be required, in their statutes, ordinances, rules, and regulations to adopt and incorporate the provisions of these regulations for seamless integration through SWAYAM based online courses.”
In addition to above, the Commission said, “No university shall refuse any student for credit mobility of courses earned through SWAYAM platform.”
Seamless Integration through SWAYAM
UGC uploaded a Gazette notification on its official Twitter handle UGC INDIA. The notification stated that the institutions have been asked to amend their rules and regulations within four weeks for “seamless integration through SWAYAM based online courses.”
In the view of lockdown caused due to covid-19 virus outbreak which occurred last year, the schools were closed for a long period of time. Thus, the students have now become accustomed to the new online way of learning. This new regulation by UGC will help students follow a model of education which will be a blend of online and offline studies in the future.
SWAYAM is India’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform. UGC as the national coordinator for non-technology postgraduate courses has developed 145 MOOCs and offered 208 MOOCs on the SWAYAM platform.
Thus, UGC has thoughtfully chosen SWAYAM platform for this kind of seamless blend between online and offline courses.