BITS-Pilani, in all the three Indian campuses, moulded the teaching pedagogy in order to establish a forum for better teaching and better learning, by employing MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses), for a few courses. The students are equipped with online video lectures, which they are expected to watch and learn from, in order to survive the problems they would be bombarded with during the classes.
The semester thus brought forth a (un)welcome surprise as the students came to terms with the fact that they now have to cut down on their free time to stare resentfully at video lectures. Students however consoled themselves with the fact that they can now pause a lecture to watch a cat video on YouTube, while munching last week’s cookies. But the most celebrated win that these watch-at-home videos give to the students is the joy of not changing from their comfortable jammies, though they would have to watch these videos by pausing a game of Counter Strike or a Game of Thrones marathon. This is something a BITSian is not used to.
The Professors, who are now waiting for the T1 results, welcomed MOOCs bearing a very noble thought in mind…if BITSians can’t make it to class, let knowledge make its way to their desks. They believe that in harvesting in the vulnerability in the reverence one has towards 0% attendance and attempting to divert it to a supposed advantage. This is an attempt to work on the dwindling attendance rate which drops exponentially faster than the temperature at Pilani as soon as the First Week Syndrome is done. Encouraged by the success of a previous such venture, certain other courses hence witnessed a ravishing debut of online video lectures.
Conceived with tremendous expectations and a great deal of courage, MOOCs is a relatively nascent adoption. Now only time will tell whether it is a pilot study being conducted over engineering students or a mere test on a bunch of helpless lab rats.