Massively Empowered Classroom: Enhancing Technical Education in India

Edward Cutrell, Srinath Bala, Andrew Cross, Naren Datha, Rahul Kumar, Madhusudan Parthasarathy, Siddharth Prakash, Sriram Rajamani, William Thies, Chetan Bansal, and Aldo John

Abstract

Students in the developing world are frequently cited as being among the most important beneficiaries of online education initiatives such as massive open online courses (MOOCs). However, very little research has actually been done on the effects of online education in developing contexts. We describe a case study of our experience building and deploying Massively Empowered Classroom (MEC), an experimental project designed to explore how online educational content and techniques in blended learning can be used for undergraduate education in India. Our pilot study of a single course in algorithms extended over two semesters to more than 120 colleges in three state technical universities in India, and reached more than 4000 students. We identified a number of issues that we believe are unique to the Indian educational context. Specifically, we identify four key domains that MOOCs and similar educational initiatives must manage: Content, Incentives, Awareness, and Bandwidth. We believe that similar issues will extend to other developing countries with significant resource constraints.

Details

Publication typeTechReport
NumberMSR-TR-2013-127
PublisherMicrosoft Technical Report
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