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COVID 19: Battling University Lockdown Through MOOCs Courses And Online Education

MOOCs could be a viable alternative in times of university shutdown due to COVID 19, says Dr. Durgesh Tripathi

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Universities across the globe are being shut down due to the risk of COVID 19 impacting the normal academic schedules. As prominent universities like Harvard, Cornell, MIT stopped their classroom-based instruction, the online education company Coursera has come forward to compensate for the loss. Coursera has offered to provide access to 100 American universities to its 3800 online courses free of cost.

In India, the University of Delhi has asked its faculty to send the relevant e-resources to its students to minimize the impact. Dr. Durgesh Tripathi, Coordinator, MOOCs, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), New Delhi opines that “MOOCs courses were begun with the aim of democratization of higher education but now it is serving as a viable alternative to deal with geopolitical and geoclimatic situations like COVID 19. There is an urgent need for universities as well as students to adopt and integrate such courses in the curriculum. These courses have the potential to increase the engagement between students, academia and the educational institutions to a much wider scale.”

Dr. Tripathi runs a highly popular interdisciplinary MOOCs course ‘Society and Media’ on the Swayam portal. He believes that the integration of technology with education can be transformational for society. SWAYAM and E-PG Pathshala are important initiatives of the Ministry of HRD (Human Resource Development), Government of India to cater quality free of cost e-resources to students at the higher education level.