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Learning Resource Development

In the field of education at all levels, learning resources play an important role and help teachers as well as students to achieve the learning goals in the teaching-learning process. In the new millennium, technology began to infiltrate the education process, and both students and teachers started to utilize technology in basic ways. As this technology advanced, including the mass penetration of a more user-generated internet, Education 3.0 was formed. Technology is impacting all sectors of life. As per the fourth industrial revolution, the demand for skilled manpower is also changing continuously. To cater to these needs there is a dire need to make changes in the strategies and approaches in the field of education also. Education 4.0 is the desired approach to learning that aligns itself with the emerging fourth industrial revolution. One of the fundamental principles of National Education Policy 2020, emphasizes the “extensive use of technology in teaching and learning, removing language barriers, increasing access for Divyang students, and educational planning and management”. NITTTR since its inception has contributed to using innovative approaches and technology in its training and various supporting activities. This includes the design, development, use and dissemination of learning resources at the regional and national levels.

Past LR Development Progression

After the establishment of four TTTIs in the mid-1960s, to cater to the training needs of the technical education system in India, its aims and objects were redefined in 1970. One of the objects was “to prepare and supply, necessary teaching aids, instructional material including film strips, technical films and other aids to polytechnics”. Concerning this objective and Quality Improvement Programme of Govt of India, during 1972-75, the institute started offering training programmes for in-service polytechnic teachers to upgrade their skills in the development and use of instructional material and media in the classroom, and such others.

The development of Learning resources at par with state-of-the-art technology has been a part of its activities. After 1981 when the UNDP Project was conceived and granted to the four NITTTRs, the production work of 16 mm films was started. The Film production centre of the institute always kept a track of technological changes in the field of educational film production and updated itself from time to time. The changes in the technology of video programme production were adopted by the institute every time in line with the industry.

The institute contributed quality video programmes and Computer-based training packages produced through collaboration with research organizations and manufacturing sector leaders such as The Welding Research Institute Trichy, Environmental Training Institute (ETI), Indian Railways CAMTECH, Telco Industries (Now TATA Motors), etc. In a separate segment, the institute also helped the government in the development of the community through its documentaries and training videos produced in collaboration with the organizations such as Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission, ICFRI Dehradun, State forest departments, rural development department of state and central government and their allied institutions. The institute was a part of many projects which were funded by the World Bank and it contributed in the form of training material, development of CBT packages and videos. A few examples are the cement industry training project, the forestry development project, the British Council collaborated REC Project where CBTs, Video and competency-based learning material were developed.

Present LR Development Progression

The institute has contributed its high-quality videos to the UGC-Country wide classroom, CEC, Educational channel and then the Gyandarshan Channel. Currently, the institute is engaged in the development of MOOCs Videos for the SWAYAM Platform for prestigious projects such as ARPIT-NRC MOOCs, AICTE-NITTT FIP Instructional Module MOOCs (Basic and Higher-Level Modules), Teacher Training and MOOCs videos for the Department of Higher education, MP State. The Government of MP has entrusted the work of developing video for the training of CMOs of the Department of Urban Development through MOOCs.

The institute has been conducting teacher training programmes in line with the goals of NMEICT and has trained teachers in the development of e-content and multimedia elements such as e-Content lessons, 2D and 3D animations, MOOCs videos and Demonstrations.

The institute has been working professionally for completing the LR Development assignments and adopts the PDCA approach in LR Development. The work is taken up by a task group approach drawing the experts from relevant fields, education technology, video, computer technology, and control on the quality of learning resources professionally. The institute has a dedicated department of Media Research and Development Education which is equipped with broadcast-grade video production infrastructure. Through reforms in the development process and innovative approaches, the department develops customized learning resources such as content-based video programmes for MOOCs, industry-based

video programmes, computer-based presentations, multimedia e-content, 2D/3D animations, spoken tutorials, graphical resources as well as print material, brochures, publicity material and so on.

The institute is actively involved in offering online courses using the open-source LMS platform MOODLE and offering massive open online courses on the SWAYAM Platform for teachers. The Recent contributions include AICTE-NITTT MOOCs resources, ARPIT-NRC MOOCs resources and teacher training MOOCs.

The institute is conducting national and international short-term training programmes in specialized areas such as media production, media research, animation, e-content, Open Educational Resources (OER) for in-country and participants from ITEC partner countries.

The faculty members of the department have coordinated and offered courses in Education Technology and Instructional System Design and Development in the Masters of Technical Education programme and provided media development support for other courses of the programme. The faculty members also have Research and Development (R&D) contributions, especially guiding master level dissertations, projects and guiding the research scholars for a PhD degree in areas of technical education, computer technology and applications. The department also envisages offering a Ph. D. programme, PG programme entitled “Master of Technology in Education Technology” and PG Diploma programme in Digital Media.

The challenges of Education and Training in coming years

The Indian education system was gearing up with ICT based education and training relatively slowly even after the inception of the NMEICT project. The infrastructures such as NPTEL, Sakshat, EDUSAT, Gyandarshan, A-VIEW, SWAYAM were being used as supplementary platforms and resources in most of the sectors of education. The contact mode education and training were more popular. But the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) has stressed aspects such as the use of ICT, use of local language in education, flexibility and multidisciplinary approach to education.

Coincidently, the recent Pandemic forced everyone the world over to shift from contact mode to online in all segments of education and training. The change was compulsory, and it was adopted anyhow by both, the teachers and the learners. However, effectiveness in the delivery of online education can be expected only after systematic training and project-based interventions. It is so because-

  1. All learners are not having the minimum required ICT resources for pursuing education.
  2. The design of an online learning system requires a scientific design approach for instructional delivery.
  3. Adequate resources are to be developed to support online learning and LMS and CMS have to be deployed for effectiveness in delivery.
  4. The laboratory work and practical skill development courses have suffered because technological support could not be given to provide the requirements of skill development programmes. Virtual learning environments are not equipped with the latest techniques of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and extended reality for easy access to every segment of education and learners. Virtual laboratories developed so far have helped in the development of targeted skills.
  5. The pandemic has changed the preferences of the learners from a rigid contact mode style to a more flexible approach.
The new opportunities post-Covid and in the context of NEP 2020

The National Education Policy NEP 2020 has stressed in on aspects such as extensive use of ICT, enhancing access to all including the differently abled and on flexibility and content in local language etc. The post Covid scenario also shows a preference in ICT based outreach and flexible approach to work and education. These new dimensions have created opportunities for institutions like NITTTRs to prepare the human resources in line with the new requirements of technology in education and develop new types of relevant multimedia learning resources based on upcoming technologies. It will conduct training programmes in online and offline mode adopting the new teaching and training technologies and propose policy level interventions for integrating ICT based learning resources in Higher Education institutions.

The institute will also offer training courses to ITEC countries and others for the achievement of educational goals of respective countries.

The spectrum of learning resources will be

  • E-content,
  • Virtual laboratories,
  • Simulations, AR/VR based learning experiences and resources,
  • Documentary as well as skill-based videos,
  • Videos and Other LRs in emerging technologies

Strategies and plans in line with NEP2020 and Education 4.0:

The institute will undertake resource up-gradation and staff development and networking to cater to the upcoming/ emerging needs of various stakeholders. The resources will be created by project based support and funding from the Government and IRG through the existing institutional capabilities.