Alternative Learning Platforms for Agri-Students through e-Mediation: An initiative of agMOOCs
Agricultural education in India is offered through a network of 75 State Agricultural Universities, f ive Deemed Universities , four Central Universities with faculty of Agriculture, three Central Agricultural Universities and few privately owned colleges of agriculture affiliated to traditional sta te universities. Each Agricultural University has a number of constituent colleges. However, p aucity of quality faculty has remained an emerging issue. S pecialization of the faculty also matter s while imparting education. Providing q uality inputs to the learners spread over large geographical area demands e - Mediation. One such platform was created by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur entitled “agMOOCs” in 2015 .The courses offered through the platform h a ve attracted participa nts from eve ry state of India and seven countries. The paper is a partial analysis of the efforts of agMOOC s in penetrating agricultural education system as an alternative platform for students of agriculture and allied sciences . More than tw o lakh learners have accessed courses so far . The feedback of learners is highly encouraging. So far the author s ha ve offered t hree courses in agMOOC s platform during 2017 and 2018 . The highest number of learners registered in a course was 48 84 . There is an increasing trend in number of registrations on the platform, which shows effectiveness of the course s and penetration among agricultural fraternity. Age of majority registered learners was up to 24 years (76 per cent). More than 65 per cent offered courses to enhance their knowledge. Home was the most preferred place of access (65 per cent). About 60 percent learners preferred the agMOOCs app to access course contents. Gender and preference of app are not independent of each other, Gender and age of participants are not independent, there was no association between range of learners and relevancy of quiz. There exists association between range of learners and pace of content delivery. //Paper ID 40
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