Sikkim Manipal University – EduNxt e-learning Program

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    Registration Name :
    Project Category : digitalLEARNING: Best ICT Enabled Management Institute of the Year
    Project Name : Sikkim Manipal University – EduNxt e-learning Program

    Details of Applicant :

    Name :
    Yash Chhabra
    Address : Manipal Global Education Services, 14, HAL Old Airport Road
    City : Bangalore
    State : Karnataka
    Country : India
    Zip Code :
    560008

    Details of Project/Implementing Agency :

    Name of Organisation :

    Address : 5th Mile, Tadong, Gangtok, Gangtok
    City : Gangtok
    State : Sikkim
    Country : India
    Zip Code : 737102
    Name of the head of Organisation : Prof. Ramesh Murthy
    Website : www.smude.edu.in

    Brief description of the programme/project/Initiative :

    EduNxt is a new technology – infused learning system that has transformed distributed learning across India. EduNxt functions on the principle of 3As + 4Cs. The 3 As of Affordability, Accessibility and Appropriateness are the guideline to scaling up EduNxt across distributed learning. Meanwhile, the 4Cs of Content, Collaboration, Communication and Computing are the basis of developing EduNxt into a means of disseminating educating among the not-so-privileged or the infrastructure – challenged. The EduNxt platform is an easy to use delivery system. It enables a collaborative and interactive environment for learning and includes small group mentoring, virtual classrooms, simulation, self-study content, recorded presentations and shared browsing. With a reach of over 40,000 students enrolled across 80 Learning Centres in Maharashtra, EduNxt is the pinnacle of learning management system in Maharashtra.

    Why was the project started :

    EduNxt was launched by SMU-DDE on 12TH May, 2009 by Mr. Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft Corp. USA and Mr. Anand Sudarshan, CEO Manipal Education, to –
    1) Take the fruits of online learning to all the Distance Education students of the SMU-DDE
    2) Impart quality education through cutting edge technology
    3) Develop a sense of togetherness among the members and different stakeholders of the huge SMU community within the platform

    EduNxt is a pioneering effort in the field of Distance Education (henceforth referred to as DE). The primary objective behind it is to provide Sikkim Manipal University (henceforth referred to as SMU)’s DE students with a plethora of resources not possible in the existing physical mode so they learn through collaboration. SMU has armed its DE students with industry knowledge and skills necessary to be industry-ready. EduNxt attempts to provide a powerful interactive learning experience to our students, improving their quality of learning leading to better employability. Unlike conventional programs that use technology to disperse content, EduNxt focuses on personalised learning and mentoring at a very large scale.

    Objective : Other than the main objective of collaborative Learning, the other important objective behind the development of EduNxt is to open a channel of communication between the 40 thousand students on the rolls of SMU-DDE in Maharashtra and our 63 core faculty and 6500 counsellors in order to utilise the varied expertise and vast experience of this community.

    Target group: Students who wish to pursue Higher Education both at the Graduation and Post-Graduation Level. Age Group – 18 to 50

    Geographical reach: More than 80 Learning Centres spread across all 35 districts of Maharashtra

    Date from which the project became operational: 05/12/2009

    Is the Project still operational: YES

    10 points that make the programme/project innovative?

    1.It takes a holistic approach to providing education – addressing all aspects from pedagogic modeling, to rich content, to interactive technology, to faculty training to providing access to computing devices and internet connectivity. It is truly an end-to-end approach.
    2.EduNxt has a unique and powerful Pedagogic model. Instead of considering technology as an enabler to conventional teaching, a lot of research has gone into developing a teaching model that makes active use of technology. Interaction semantics using technology are actively modeled as part of the pedagogic process and a mechanism of evaluating the effectiveness of the pedagogic approach is used to fine tune it.
    3.It creates an environment that blends quality content with interactivity with teachers and mentors at a very large scale
    4.It creates an environment where a very large number of learners and teachers across the country can interact with one another and learn in a collaborative manner
    5.It creates an ecosystem where faculty at the University and counsellers at study centers can interact with one another, share teaching material and improve the overall quality of learning .
    6.It caters to both a connected and offline mode of learning via the Internet
    7.Imparting quality education and overall upliftment of courseware delivery standards influenced the decision to choose EduNxt as a supporting tool along with the conventional mode (Self learning material, VSAT sessions and face-to-face interactions at authorized learning centres).
    8.It is designed to operate at very low cost of ownership at less than 100 Rs. per student per year for the current set of 200,000 students including hosting and support costs.
    9.Built on open sources technologies including Mulgara, Java based content repositories, Drupal, Solr, OpenFire, GWT and MySQL. The development languages are object oriented PHP and Java.
    10.Designed with a scalable architecture, federated repositories and a cloud based deployment

    List the 5 achievements of the programme/project?

    1. Bringing together 40,000+ students in Maharashtra: 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
    2. Integration with various other online platforms: EduNxt is integrated with SMU-DE’s social media pages, its Online registration platform, online examination platform and SMU-DE’s online helpdesk to take it from a Learning Management system to an End-to-End
    online Education platform.
    3. 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.
    4. Quality Content at student’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.
    5.Awards & Accolades: Career 360 rates SMUDE as the best distance education program. Competition Success Review rated SMUDE as the No. 1 Management Program in Distance Mode

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

    1. 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 SMUDE’s policy of having compulsory internet labs at all our Learning centre, we are in the process to handle the challenge.
    2. 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.
    3. Working vs. Non-working Student: Large percentages of our students are working professionals. They need access to their learning environment and their mentor’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.
    4. 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?

    1.Minimal Technological requirements at User end: EduNxt requires no separate functionality from the user’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 student
    2.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.
    3.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.
    4.Open Source Software: EduNxt uses open source platform and open libraries which will be helpful in replicating the same in other institutions.
    5.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 :

    1. 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
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.EduNxt was launched by SMU-DDE on 12TH May, 2009 by Mr. Steve Ballmer,CEO Microsoft Corp. USA and Mr. Anand Sudarshan, CEO Manipal Education,to –
    1) Take the fruits of online learning to all the Distance Educationstudents of the SMU-DDE
    2) Impart quality education through cutting edge technology

    3) Develop a sense of togetherness among the members and different stakeholders of the huge SMU community within the platform

    EduNxt is a pioneering effort in the field of Distance Education (henceforth referred to as DE). The primary objective behind it is to provide Sikkim Manipal University (henceforth referred to as SMU)’s DE students with a plethora of resources not possible in the existingphysical mode so they learn through collaboration. SMU has armed its DE students with industry knowledge and skills necessary to be industry-ready. EduNxt attempts to provide a powerful interactive learning experience to our students, improving their qualityof learning leading to better employability. Unlike conventional programs that use technology to disperse content, EduNxt focuses on personalised learning and mentoring at a very large scale.

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