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Virtual Open Schooling in India


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The Government of India is aware of the strong and urgent need to make secondary education within easy reach, affordable and of good quality. There are certain measures that can be adopted to bring quality, equity and access for every child. Schools can be upgraded; their capacity to serve students expanded, creating new schools, and increasing GDP allocated to secondary schools are some of them. However, these require heavy investments in terms of infrastructure and finances. Adoption of ICT tools and an increased shift towards open distance and electronic education can improve quality and increase efficiency. Although there are various schemes in place, it is estimated that the demand for secondary education is going to increase sharply due to increased turnover of students from primary level (like the success obtained via Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan programme). Going virtual is one of the solutions. This concept paper looks into the aspect of increasing demand for access to education in the context of RMSA, meeting the educational needs by Open Schooling system, emerging trends in ICT use in education and proposes a framework for Virtual Open Schooling in India.

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Virtual Open Schooling in India

  1. 1. National Consultative Workshop on Virtual Open Schooling in IndiaVirtual Open Schooling in India Ramesh C. Sharma Organized by National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS), Noida & Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, (CEMCA), New Delhi 16 October 2012
  2. 2. Source:
  3. 3. Internet World Connection Density Source:
  4. 4. NMC Horizon Report - 2012 K-12 Edition Identifies top emerging technologies, trends, and challenges that will have a major impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in pre-college education over the next five years. Most important key driver is that the education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.Source:
  5. 5. Alternatives to… Exclusive face to face learning• Internet - enabling learning anytime, anyplace Models• Online / Hybrid / Blended Learning Models
  6. 6. Virtual (or online) Schools Where students can learn and carry out tasks online as they would have done them in a regular classroomEmpower studentsto learn at theirown pace, time andplace convenient tothem
  7. 7. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning In United States 40 states have state virtual schools or state-led initiatives Source:
  8. 8. Free online course offerings to a broader global audienceHarvard University and MIT recently announced “edX”, a combined $60 million joint initiative to offer their college-levelcourses online for freeSource:
  9. 9. Reasons for successof such online learning opportunities lies in theattempt by school districts in providing courseswhich are otherwise not available at theirschools.Further the students can recover course creditsfrom classes missed or failed.
  10. 10. Benefits of Virtual Schools• Personalized, tailored content: suited to individual learning• Flexibility: Anywhere Anytime access, students can enrich their skills in learning a new subject or take up a course or class normally not available at their schools• Lower costs: Saves on permanent infrastructure costs• Access to high quality education: Access to quality teachers and peers, increases collaboration
  11. 11. Cases of virtual schools around the world
  12. 12. The African Virtual SchoolTo help students pass exams in West Africa . It does this by helping them reviseusing quizzes and videos online
  13. 13. The Korean Air & Correspondence High SchoolServes the nation’s youth and adults who couldn’t get a diploma because they wereforced to work in the factories to support their families or because they could notafford to pay for high school (students pay to go to most high schools in Korea)
  14. 14. Open High School TurkeyThree dimensional approach to learning materials:• Printed educational materials• Education through the media• Face-to-face teaching
  15. 15. Grampians Virtual School, Victoria, AustraliaConsortium of schools which provides virtual education in specific strands such asPhysics, Psychology, Mathematical Methods, Chemistry and Physical Education, toremote students who can follow a face-to-face class in a school through videoconferencing
  16. 16. Florida Virtual School, USAUSAs first state-wide Internet-based public high school, offers more than 120courses—including core subjects, world languages, electives, honors, and 15 AdvancedPlacement courses. Enrollment is free and open to public, private, and home schoolstudents in the state of Florida. Students outside Florida enroll on a tuition basis.
  17. 17. Open High School of Utah, USABest examples of providing "one-to-one tutoring for every student in every subject".It is a tuition-free public charter school. The School does not charge any fee forattendance, other than some nominal fee at the beginning of the year. The studentshere work and learn at their pace via individualised instruction. Instructional deliveryof the school is student-centric, addresses individual needs of each one as they donot believe in "one size fits all" approach.
  18. 18. Virtual School British Columbia, CanadaThe students have a variety of goals. Some want to complete high school. Others aregraduates who want to satisfy the prerequisites for a college or university programme.Still others want to better their English skills before they move on.
  19. 19. Features of Virtual Schools • Facilitate individualised learning • Use innovative technology • Offer tailor made flexible curriculum • May be free or charging fee • Provide a variety of content material to the learners like textbooks, study guides, science kits, and electronic gadgets depending upon needs of curriculum • Flexible in allowing students to decide the study schedule as per their convenience and pace
  20. 20. Management of Virtual SchoolsOperations wise virtual schools may be:• State owned• College or university based,• Consortium based,• Public charter schools,• Local education agency based,• Private virtual schools, and• For-profit virtual schools etc.
  21. 21. 21st Century Indian Learners• Net Generation • Digital Natives• Millennials • Multi-taskers
  22. 22. Virtual Open Schooling
  23. 23. Virtual Open Schooling: Indian Model• Travelling to attend face to face classes can be avoided.• Digital media integration would facilitate effectiveness of curriculum.• Synchronous and asynchronous technologies would facilitate interaction - with peers, with teachers, and with content! Image source:
  24. 24. Virtual Open Schooling Definition: An educational practice that provides opportunity to learners to study a formal school-based course online and gain credit for certification purpose. Learners can study using asynchronously or synchronously technologies.
  25. 25. Virtual Open Schooling: Structural Model
  26. 26. Virtual Open Schooling: Support Services Image source:
  27. 27. Virtual Open Schooling:Teaching Learning System
  28. 28. Virtual Open Schooling: Funding Mechanisms• Subsidised by NIOS• Fee Sharing• Each Member Open School contributes
  29. 29. Technologies: Admissions
  30. 30. Technologies:Instructional Delivery
  31. 31. Virtual Open Schooling: Course Development
  32. 32. Virtual Open Schooling:Assessment and Evaluation
  33. 33. Further Issues…• Development of ICT competencies in teachers and students• Pedagogical models suiting to different groups of students• Quality assurance of the e-learning courses• To anchor the work of the consortium and integrate it with overall VOS management strategies• Skepticism of teachers and management towards eLearning and technology based learning• Intellectual property rights and copyright pertaining to e-learning material• Research into e-learning pedagogies
  34. 34. Feedback session…