Registration Name : eINDIA2011/AN/140
Project Category : digitalLEARNING::Best ICT Enabled University of the Year
Project Name : Edunxt
Details of Applicant
Name : Ashish Batra
Address : Manipal Towers 14, Old Airport Road
City : Bangalore
State : Karnataka
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 560008
Details of Project/Implementing Agency
Name of Organisation : Sikkim Manipal University – Directorate of Distance Education
Address : 5th Mile, Tadong,,,
City : Gangtok
State : Sikkim
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 737102
Name of the head of Organisation : Prof N.S. Ramesh Murthy
Website : www.smude.edu.in
Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :
Bringing 4,00,000+ students, 6500+ Counsellors along with Industry Experts and Alumni on One single Classroom-like platform was the inspiration behind the origin EduNxt. In two years since its launch by Microsoft Corp. CEO, Steve Ballmer, it has grown manifold to provide over 800 courses, programmes in multiple languages and much more. Its integration with SMUDEâ€™s other online platforms has given a new dimension to EduNxt in providing End-to-End services. The aim of Sikkim Manipal University Directorate of Distance Education (SMUDE) is to make learning an interactive experience not only for Distance Education students but also for Campus students to learn collaboratively. Unlike other Learning Management Systems, which focus solely on providing content, EduNxt provides an End-to-End Learning Solution through its multiple features. These add to the student experience and convenience thereby enhancing the learning process and making EduNxt an End-to-End Online platform for providing education. â€¢ Integration with Social Media (facebook & twitter) to provide regular updates about activities on EduNxt â€¢ Integration with other online services (Online registration, Online Examination, Online Helpdesk and SMS updates) of SMU-DE to provide end-to-end experience â€¢ Courses in Multiple languages to offer choice â€¢ Weekly Industry Mentor chats to provide Industry insights and regular updates â€¢ Soft Skill training to make our students Job ready â€¢ Student Progress tracker and Guide Map to enable student track the completion of course and plan accordingly â€¢ Online Quizzes for students to test their learnings EduNxt is the next generation learning delivery system that fully takes advantage of modern teaching techniques to create a virtual classroom where students come together to learn from distinguished faculty and each other. The focus is on personalised learning and mentoring.
Why was the project started :
In an environment where the average GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio) across the globe is 23.2%, India lags far behind with a GER of 13%. Given the countryâ€™s predicament with respect to its availability of educational infrastructure, distance learning is the answer to spreading education throughout the country. In the Distance learning space, Online Education is a necessity to enhance the reach and quality of education provided. SMU-DEâ€™s EduNxt bridges the low credibility gap in Distance Education by focussing on the important elements which indicate quality learning for students. SMU-DEâ€™s enthusiasm was shared by Microsoft Corporation CEO, Steve Ballmer who came to India to launch EduNxt on 12th May 2009. In all, EduNxt along with all other SMUDE online features provides its students with a plethora of resources not possible in the existing physical mode of Distance Education.
To provide Learning Experience that brings in the Best of both worlds, Campus and Distance Education, to an Online platform that allows the user to learn 24X7 at his own convenient time and place in a format of his own choice, with the interactive nature and collaborative learning advantages of a Classroom. The platform has the functionalities to attract users from both Campus and Distance Education modes. The four pillars of quality Education that EduNxt is designed for are: i. A definite learning process through the student progress tracker and study guide map ii. Connect and relationship with faculty by providing anytime access to faculty & counsellors iii. Connect and relationship with other students by bringing entire SMUDE active enrolled student base to enable learning through collaboration iv. Industry interaction/Academic Experts: through weekly Industry Mentor/Alumni chats
Target group :
1. All SMUDE students
2. SMUDE Learning Centres/Counsellors, SMUDE faculty and Industry experts
Geographical reach :EduNxt is not restricted by any geographical constraint, SMUDE students can log onto EduNxt from anywhere in the world. Currently SMUDE students are using the service from 310 towns in India and 22 other countries around the world
Date from which the project became operational :12 May 2009
Is the Project still operational :YES
10 points that make the programme/project innovative?
- Providing an interactive Classroom like Environment for Collaborative Learning: EduNxt helps create an environment exactly like a classroom, facilitating a more interactive learning experience as part of its holistic approach to providing education – addressing all aspects from pedagogic modelling, rich content, interactive technology & faculty training.
- One of its Kind End-to-End Online platform for Education: SMUDE plans to integrate the EduNxt platform with its Online registration, Online Exams and Online Results thereby making a one-of-its kind Complete Online Distance Education scenario for such a large audience.
- Faculty Certifications: To ensure standard content and quality in the academic counselling at the Learning Centres, EduNxt has various levels of faculty certification programs. The programmes are generally two days long where the University faculty explains all the resource & tools available on EduNxt & how to use it. At the end of every session, online examinations are conducted & certifications are awarded.
- Tracking a Studentâ€™s progress: The platform facilitates an automatic guide-map and prescribed study schedule to all SMU-DE students for completion of the course on a day-to day basis. This schedule gets updated every time a student logs in to EduNxt based on resources to be covered to complete the syllabus as well as the remaining number of days in the semester.
- Multi Lingual Content: SMUDE provides courses in both English and Hindi, through the online medium. EduNxt also has provision for the learner choosing a language of preference for his studies, thereby increasing the convenience factor.
- Integration with Social Media: Integration of EduNxt with SMU-DEâ€™s facebook and twitter page provides regular updates about any activity on EduNxt to all the students through Social media.
- Enabling Live content to enhance Learning progress: Discussion forums and student/faculty generated blogs makes the experience of learning more enriching and also keeps the student base updated about the recent happenings in the industry. Mentor Chat provides a facility for students to clarify issues online and all such chats are made available for later viewing by all students.
- Making the student Job Ready: EduNxt is the only platform that enables soft skill training which makes the learner more competent to face the job screening process. Additionally, some of the programmes are designed by our Industry partners like Datacraft and India Skills which provide certification in their respective fields like Networking, Supply Chain etc. at the completion of each year.
- Industry Interaction: EduNxt exceeds the boundaries of an Online Learning Management System by enabling Industry Interaction for students. This gives them a new perspective to their classroom learnings and valuable insights into application of the same in the industry.
- Online Quizzes and Tests: EduNxt enables a total of 150 quizzes per semester for each student which includes both multiple choice and descriptive questions to give the student a check on what he has learnt.
List the 5 achievements of the programme/project?
- Bringing together 4,00,000+ students: The EduNxt environment has shown a 260 % growth in usage over the last year. This is indicative of the reach and growth facilitated by EduNxt.
- Integration with various other online platforms: EduNxt is integrated with SMU-DEâ€™s social media pages, its Online registration platform, online examination platform and SMU-DEâ€™s online helpdesk to take it from a Learning Management system to an End-to-End online Education platform.
- Quality Content at studentâ€™s convenience: The EduNxt delivery system is a boon to India where a large number of students do not have access to a conventional campus programme (lack of quality higher education) for reasons of infrastructure or finances or availability or quality faculty.
- Integration with Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar Network: EduNxt will soon be integrated into the Hariyali Kisaan Bazaar network, through which it can provide quality education to those who would otherwise be unable to do so in the rural hinterlands.
- Students, Faculty and Industry Experts on a Single platform in DE: It has succeeded in bringing together students, faculty members and Industry people so there is more interaction and the learning process is continuous and ever evolving.
List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative
- Internet Accessibility: The lack of accessibility to the internet across India proved to be a formidable challenge. But with increasing penetration of the internet and SMUDEâ€™s policy of having compulsory internet labs at all our Learning centre, we are in the process to handle the challenge.
- Students were not Tech-inclined: Initially students were intimidated by the usage of technology to aid their preparation. The user interface has been continuously modified basis the student feedback which makes the Student experience natural to people with no tech experience.
- Working vs. Non-working Student: Large percentages of our students are working professionals. They need access to their learning environment and their mentorâ€™s at during non-working hours. We addressed this by putting large number of content online which can be accessible anytime anywhere. In addition to that, keeping the working professional in mind we provide chat support on weekends. We also have forums, faculty blogs which helps them to understand the concept taught in simpler way. The platform has asynchronous messaging functionality which also allows students to leave a message & get the response from respective faculty within 48 hours.
- Mass Customization: One of the driving forces behind EduNxt is Student Convenience. To make it convenient for a student to learn, it was necessary to customize the learning method and content. Mass customization was a challenge for such a large student base. To overcome this, the platform divides the entire student base into various cohorts, where each & every cohort has standard learning plan as per their enrolment details. Customized learning tips are provided for each cohort which helps students to have better learning outcome.
List the 5 points how can the programme serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?
- Minimal Technological requirements at User end: EduNxt requires no separate functionality from the userâ€™s end except for a device with an Internet connection. EduNxt can be accessed from any device and with the increasing reach of affordable technology into remote parts of the country, there exists a great opportunity for every educational institution to deliver quality education to the students.
- User-friendly Interface designed for ease of Use: EduNxt is extremely user friendly and requires no technical knowhow. This makes it easy to adopt in a fresh environment and can completely avoid transition time thanks to the simplicity in its technology.
- Standardised High Quality Content can be used across Universities: All the courses are UGC approved, extremely dynamic and are updated every year. The information thus shared on EduNxt is extremely standardised and may be easily integrated with any Higher education setup.
- Open Source Software: EduNxt uses open source platform and open libraries which will be helpful in replicating the same in other institutions.
- Modularity makes it easily reusable: EduNxt is a collection of several individual modules. An institution may adopt the most suitable modules and thus serve its specific requirement. EduNxt follows a Plugin model, where any new institution may adopt the required functionality instantly.
List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative
- Open to All Universities: EduNxt can be made an open to all software which can be used by people from across the globe to come, share and learn. Such a step would take E-learning to the next level with an unprecedented number of people sharing a single platform and learning collaboratively.
- Adaptable to large number of Courses: The number of courses offered on EduNxt has been increased from 157 to 880 over the last year. EduNxt has the ability to cater to the specific needs of a fast growing demographic through its Plug & Play model which allows easy extension of courses.
- Use in other Education formats: The same model can be replicated to both formal and non-formal education in regular and non-regular modes like Institutes, Study Centres, and Schools etc. Such scalability will enable existing/new education providers to provide their courses/certifications through EduNxt.
- Â Supports multiple Languages: EduNxt has programs available in English and Hindi. EduNxt can provide content in any number of languages and hence can be scaled to a truly global platform for its use in Online Learning Delivery.
- Scalable to New and Emerging devices: EduNxt can be scaled to Mobile and Tablet users by designing an application for these devices. E.g. An Android/ iPhone application or collaboration with a Mobile Handset company like Nokia to develop an app specifically for those.