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Tamil Nadu mulls online classes for one subject this year

Following experts’ recommendation, the Tamil Nadu government is mulling online classes for college students in at least one subject from this academic year. Also, adhering to the new guidelines from the University Grants Commission’s (UGC) expert committees, the State Higher Education Department is taking measures to implement online exams this year.

Tamil Nadu mulls online classes for one subject this year
Illustration: Saai


A senior official from the Higher Education Department told DT Next that the Department of Collegiate Education, which monitors Arts and Science colleges, and the Directorate of Technical Education (Dote), which controls engineering and polytechnic institutions, have been entrusted to look into all possibilities of implementing the online initiative. “The experts, comprising academicians and software professionals from the government, would design, develop and deliver online programmes for select subjects,” he added.

Stating that the course would be able to utilise a variety of technology tools, the official said it will have a user-friendly interface and meet accessibility standards for interoperability and access for learners with special needs. “To start with, online classes will be introduced to one subject. Based on the feedback from students and faculties, more subjects will be picked,” he said adding the authorities will ensure that those enrolled are acquainted with requisite information literacy and communication skills to effectively participate in the online learning environment. However, for those who are not tech-savvy, some hands-on training and virtual demo would be provided.

According to the official, there will be one teaching assistant if the number of learners in an online course is less than 500 in a particular college or institution. “One teaching assistant will be appointed for every 500 learners,” said the official, adding the courses will have a precise assessment mechanism for identified learning outcome at every level for both continuous in-semester assessment and the end-semester examinations.

On conducting online exams, the official said question paper for a particular subject will be uniform for all institutions. “The department will soon come up with guidelines for universities and colleges on how to go about introducing online exams from this academic year,” he added.

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