The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) was initiated by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati and Roorkee) along with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in 2003. Five core disciplines were identified, namely, civil engineering, computer science and engineering, electrical engineering, electronics and communication engineering and mechanical engineering and 235 courses in web/video format were developed in this phase.
The main goal of NPTEL Phase II (2009-14) was to build on the engineering and core science courses launched previously in NPTEL Phase I. An additional 600 web and video courses were created in all major branches of engineering, physical sciences at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and management courses at the postgraduate level. Several improvements such as indexing of all video and web courses and keyword search were implemented.
NPTEL began offering open online courses in March 2014 along with certificates from the IITs/IISc for those who completed the courses successfully.
It is now possible for ANYONE outside the IIT System to be able to do an online certification course from NPTEL and get a certificate from the IITs. IITs are reaching out and taking education to the homes of people through this initiative.
Why was this initiative through the model of Open Online Courses?
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) is essentially an asynchronous platform and a process for teaching through pre-recorded lectures, resource video materials, lecture notes, assignments and quizzes, which are usually online and provide self assessment in regular intervals during learning.
The learning, through scheduling of fixed time duration for completion of courses and, therefore, the simultaneous participation of teachers and a large number of students may be termed synchronous and is thus similar to a classroom, albeit on the Internet and being much larger in size.
When offered with consideration for students in non-urban and rural areas through supplementary DVDs and mobile delivered content, they enable quality and equitable access to a much larger population of students and can lead to a significant rise in the Gross Enrollment Ratio.
These courses are open for anyone to access – at no cost. So anyone who is interested in learning gets access to quality content, which also includes discussion with the content creator and access to assignments for self testing.
The faculty who are currently offering courses are from the IITs or from other reputed institutes such as CMI, IMSc etc.
The objective of enabling students obtain certificates for courses is to make students employable in the industry or pursue a suitable higher education programme.
Through an online portal, 4, 8, or 12-week online courses, typically on topics relevant to students in all years of higher education along with basic core courses in sciences and humanities with exposure to relevant tools and technologies, are being offered. The enrolment to and learning from these courses involves no cost. Following these online courses, an in-person, proctored certification exam will be conducted and a certificate is provided through the participating institutions and industry, when applicable.
NPTEL partners with around 4200+ colleges as on date in the form of NPTEL Local chapters and each college has a coordinator
Certification process: NPTEL began the initiative of offering certification to students for courses in March 2014. The process of certification is as follows.
Many students are using these to prepare for GATE exams and higher studies too.
20% of the audience is faculty members in various colleges across the country. The advanced courses are being recommended to AICTE to be approved as Faculty development programs (FDP) so that they can get the points for the same.