Flexible Higher Education Through Swayam

Flexible Higher Education Through Swayam

Varun Gupta (Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal), Durg Singh Chauhan (GLA University, India) and Thomas Hanne (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Switzerland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0115-3.ch005


Challenges in MOOC education for both practical and theoretical courses are identified by the researchers, both experimentally and through a case study. The insights brought by empirical studies helped researchers to propose a framework to make higher education in engineering and management truly online and tuition free. The objective of this chapter is to propose a flexible online degree framework through SWAYAM or any other online platform being approved by education regulator. The process involving course enrollment, learning, evaluation, and outcome is contained in the proposed flexible system that leads to tuition free online degrees. The proposed system not only gives students a freedom to choose their courses in accordance with their flexibility but also use earned credit towards online degrees of any university of their choice.
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Proposed Framework

The framework for online Master’s Degrees in Engineering and Management is discussed considering the typical stages in earning the degrees. These stages include the following:

  • Application for Admission in University and selection.

  • Selecting the credit based courses for a semester and all mandatory courses.

  • Undergoing through the evaluations including assignments, tests, mid examinations, final examinations etc.

  • Repeating the above process for all semesters followed by mandatory Project work (also called as Dissertation work or Project work).

In Masters Degrees involving Engineering, none of university offers through Distance mode, however large number of universities do offer Distance mode MBA’s. The admission criteria are different for all universities with fewer of them ask for Entrance examinations while others offering on basis of marks in UG degree and satisfying of minimum criteria. The degrees are offered if candidate has earned the minimum credit points with CGPA above the minimum defined by individual universities. In engineering Masters Degrees, few courses have laboratory courses also while in MBA the courses are based on theory, numerical and case studies. Industrial case studies and interactions with Industry people thus are easier to be provided through online platform and enhance the effectiveness of learning. Laboratory courses are challenge to be offered through online learning and require continuous guidance of teachers.

Typical degrees have maximum duration within which candidates do have to complete their degrees and the final examinations are proctored examinations conducted as subjective examinations at established examination centres.

Online degrees must be fully online and must allow candidates to take examinations at locations convenient to them provided that such examinations do not involve any element of unfairness at the end of candidate. The proposed framework is divided into levels to correspond to the stages in earning degrees outlined above (Table 1 and Table 2). The levels differs for both Engineering and Management degrees due to involvement of laboratory work and finally these levels are mapped with each other to yield a common framework for Online Masters degrees in Engineering & Management (Table 3).

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