Interactive Onsite learning (IOL)

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Registration Name : eINDIA2011/AN/258
Project Category : digitalLEARNING::Best Technology Solutions for Education Institutes
Project Name : Interactive Onsite learning (IOL)

Details of Applicant :
Name : Dharmendra Singh
Address : Plot No.-1, Sector-18 Electronic City
City : Gurgaon
State : Haryana
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 122015

Details of Project/Implementing Agency :
Name of Organisation : Hughes Communictaions India Limited
Address : Plot No.-1, Sector-18,Electronic City,
City : Gurgaon
State : Haryana
Country : INDIA
Zip Code : 122015
Name of the head of Organisation : Mr. Partho Banerjee
Website : www.hughes.in

Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :
Hughes has developed its own virtual classroom platform called as Interactive Onsite Learning (IOL) Platform & education infrastructure to deliver the live programs with Content & two ways Audio/Video. This platform is consisting of satellite communication, Audio Video and Data delivery software, Studios and remote classrooms. Hughes Education infrastructure gives the freedom to the presenter & participant to talk to each other via audio/video & data. In normal scenario presenter/teacher is at studio location and participants / students reach the remote classrooms. The IOL platform provides a low cost mechanism to deliver the long term & short term programs anywhere in the country through their satellite technology. HughesNet Education Platform is an easy to use, high quality, integrated solution usable across different networks.

Why was the project started :
Initiative was taken considering that there are no good institutes in majority of Class B and C cities and towns and specifically in rural areas. With this we initiated a service to bridge the education quality gap between rural and Urban India.

Objective :
To encourage the premier institutions to use the technology for higher education for Rural & urban areas where the reach of the premier institutes & faculty are less.
Target group : The Hughes IOL platform is a complete distant learning package in itself. It is highly scalable and thus fits the requirements of all categories of learners. It is currently catering to a vast variety of learners starting from the primary school students and moving up to help qualified working professionals.
Geographical reach : Anywhere in India – Services are provided through satellite whose footprint covers almost all parts of India.
Date from which the project became operational : Day Month 2004
Is the Project still operational : YES

10 points that make the programme/project innovative?

  1. IOL services are delivered over an end-to-end comprehensive Interactive Online Learning service platform developed by HCIL that integrates broadband satellite technology and interactive learning technologies including live interactive, real-time and on-demand two way audio, video and data. The fully interactive distance learning solution allows students to have a highly interactive one-to-one exchange with the faculty making the interaction as spontaneous and natural as in a regular classroom. The solution includes functionality such as student registration, attendance, exams, studio scheduling and other ancillary functions.
  2. Provides greater access to proven quality learning. Live & interactive training has always been very productive, however it becomes very expensive. Getting quality education/training from an Institute of choice and high repute was not feasible for many either due to location or cost or in some cases both. IOL platform enables every student/trainee to participate in live and on-demand interactive training sessions, enhancing the quality of training, while keeping costs low.
  3. Enables serving significantly more learners from currently served populations. With IOL platform, now training/education programs are being designed keeping in mind the varying schedules of students & working professionals. This encourages a large number of students to join a program of their interest and from an Institute of their choice. In the typical classroom teaching environment where a faculty was able to address only 30~50 students in one class, now this platform has widened the window accommodating more than 300 students in one virtual classroom and all interacting with the faculty as and when needed. Over 20,000 students to date have used and benefitted through IOL Platform.
  4. Provides greater convenience for learners. . I)Availability of classrooms within 3-4 miles Perimeter of homes/offices in most cases. Ii) Tailor made programs to suit individual’s needs. Iii) Simultaneous availability of all running programs under one roof. Iv) Availability Learning Management System (LMS) which provides students an additional platform other than live interaction where students can get together for group discussions, access Course materials, online assignment handover & submission, real time chat, Feedbacks and repository of Attendance, test result data.
  5. By enabling learning to up to 300 students in one virtual classroom drastically cuts down the cost of the education for each student. Having a network of over 1000 classrooms does not put extra financial burden of buying a computer and internet /broadband connection. Using Hughes own and most advanced satellite technology helps IOL to keep content delivery costs to a minimum. Faculties/teachers can now spend the majority of time producing their courses, developing course modules rather than simply spending their day taking 3-4 classes of 30~50 students each and also travelling to different parts of the country to address more students as the need arises.. They now come to IOL studios, prepared with the best possible content available and concentrate on delivering one class over the platform imparting knowledge to more than 300 students in one go without compromising upon the quality of delivery.
  6. Enables clarity of learning outcomes, Improves results in mastery of subject matter as measured by formative or summative assessments, Enhances effectiveness of pedagogy or learner engagement, Enhances self-directed learning, critical thinking or met cognitive skills, Includes or enables integrated assessment or better assessment of student learning by the teacher/faculty.
  7. All the partner institutes specifically design short & long duration (6 months to 2 years) courses/programs to be conducted through the IOL platform. Nearly 90% of the program delivery takes place over the platform and remaining 10% is delivered at Campus
  8. IOL platform is based on the popular Microsoft Windows platform and can support the open standard operating systems. Uses industry standard Audio Codec (G711, G722) and Video Code (H.263, H.264). MySQL works for database. It can run of any i386 hardware platform and supports all new generation Microsoft Operating systems and some freeware.
  9. Shares data, content, or services seamlessly with other applications from other vendors at minimal Cost.
  10. Combines best-of-breed products from multiple vendors that share data, content, or services. Has enabled and caused practical feedback into the standards process to improve future standards.

List the 5 achievements of the programme/project?

  1. IIM & IIT and other premier institutes Content available in cities like Imphal, Aizwal, Kohima, Leh, Silchar, Doda, Kargil and Tura to name a few remote areas. That means reached to underserved geographical areas where otherwise content like this is not possible to receive.
  2. Prospects having professional and personal obligations who could not leave their home towns can now avail this opportunity and study from these premier institutes from excellent faculties
  3. Professional with Entrepreneurial skills can take up the franchisee and earn a respectful income as well as contribute to society.
  4. With the assistance of this initiative working professionals are able to grow in their current profession or make lateral shifts in their career.
  5. With the assistance of this initiative working professionals are able to grow in their current profession or make lateral shifts in their career.

List the 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative :

  1. Biggest challenge was the acceptability of the satellite technology. We prepared the roadmaps for the Business partners and convinced them that in long term satellite connectivity is the most affordable connectivity medium. Which is cost effective & they can run many different services with the same equipment & connectivity. They can increase their revenue without changing any equipment in the future.
  2. Technological change is rapid & the requirement from institute forced us to keep our self competent in the dynamic industrial environment. Therefore timely we plan and add more features in the delivery platform to bridge the gap between the physical classrooms and this technology based interactive classrooms to ensure that the students are at the ease.
  3. Due to nature of the Interactive onsite learning process students needs to take responsibility in managing their own learning. Sometimes the students are not satisfied with the learning process as like the students who are doing regular courses from Institutes. To overcome these issues we & institute has setup the resource center & online mechanism to give students access to academic & administrative assistance and clear the expectations of students before the enrollment.
  4. Another area of concern was interaction with faculty. Because there is no daily or weekly face-to-face contact with the faculty, Student have trouble in self evolution Interaction in some form is recommended in online learning. Every Participants & Presenter wants to interact with each other as they do in the normal classroom. To overcome this scenario we had developed the two way Video/Audio & chat facility.
  5. To run the Interactive Online Learning at technological platform is another concern because of the Cost of the bandwidth. To overcome this situation the software is designed in a way to work in multicast environment with Satellite multicast features.

List the 5 points how can the programme serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?

  1. This Programme has become really popular and we are expanding this rapidly. Looking at the popularity many traditional education organizations has already adapted the model and some of them are : Everon, Educomp, Purple Leap, Sukh Sagor, Bright professional, NOESIS
  2. It is simplest of the Programme to implement which require the following steps: I. Identify the content and design a course around it. II. Identify the instructor and train them on technology.
  3. III.Important to have a content which is in demand and a popular certifying authority to add value. D) Create a central site called studio with Audio / Video equipments in place for recording or live transmission. E) Deploy the VSAT network wherever students/participants are available. F) Connect the VSAT NOC with the Studio and deploy the necessary satellite bandwidth depending on the quality requirement and business affordability. G) Start transmitting and acquire the students.

List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative :

  1. Presenter / teacher sitting in any of the studio can communicate with the unlimited number of participants / student present in any of the 1000+ available classrooms across India and some of the international locations. It is also possible for the students to connect from any of the 8000+ CSC centers. There is Uniform teaching standard for all the Participants.
  2. We started the project in 2004 with 1 Studio & 5 Classrooms and today we have 14 studios and over 1000 classrooms.
  3. Corporate bringing the customized programs from IIMC at their offices. The platform is Cost Effective, save cost of travel & Operations.
  4. Working with the CSC to expand its base to over 10,000 within next 12 months. There are no limitations from the technology stand point.
  5. The project is sustainable, Scalable and making money, on an average each franchisee earns about 1L per month as their revenue share which goes as high as INR 5L in some of the Metros.

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