IGNOU centre to facilitate technology-enabled education
An Advanced Centre for Informatics and Innovative Learning will be part of the Indira Gandhi National Open University’s regional centre that is being set up at Thiruvananthapuram.
ACIIL would function as a nursery for futuristic ideas for implementing technology-enabled education, research and extension programmes in the country.
An Advanced Centre for Informatics and Innovative Learning (ACIIL) that will develop and maintain advanced information technology (IT) systems to support, among other things, the technology-enabled teaching, learning and evaluation initiatives of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) will be part of the regional centre of the university that will soon commence operations at Thiruvananthapuram.
Though the new IGNOU centre will begin operations from a building at Sreekariyam in the capital city, the university has requested the State government for 10 acres of land for full-fledged operations of ACIIL.
Pro-Vice Chancellor of IGNOU K.R. Srivathsan told The Hindu EducationPlus in an exclusive interaction that ACIIL would function as “a nursery for futuristic ideas” for implementing technology-enabled education, research and extension programmes in the country.
According to the ACIIL project document, the primary objective of the centre would be to facilitate research and development (R&D) institutions and centres of higher learning to collaborate effectively on a technology-enhanced learning and research framework. The centre will mainly focus on academic and research initiatives in information sciences; scientific computing; cognitive sciences and educational systems; database management; simulation; modelling; and associated computational sciences leading to the development of web resources and e-governance systems.
ACIIL would also act as a hub for the training and certification of teachers in the country to enable them to deliver quality instruction under programmes such as National Programme on Technology-Enhanced Learning (NPTEL). On the extension front ACIIL will have its sights trained on agriculture and rural development, health, community development and in emerging areas such as community heritage and environment studies.
“ACIIL will have a direct impact on IGNOU too. Its GIS capabilities will help us in our e-governance initiatives, will help us in the roll out of our online library programme and will give us vital specifics about our student population. Seventy percent of our energy is spent on developing world-class study material. ACIIL’s informatics strengths can help us put in place a top-notch materials distribution system,” Mr. Srivathsan explained.
IGNOU also has plans to bring out a multimedia journal. The IT support systems for this would be developed by ACIIL. Also, the centre will have a crucial role to play in the SMS-based student services of IGNOU such as examination reminders, publication of class schedules and so on. “We would like ACIIL to be instrumental in setting up databases on e-governance, GIS and even biodiversity,” Mr. Srivathsan said.
For now ACIIL will function out of a 4,000 sq ft suite at the regional centre, Thiruvananthapuram.
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